mexico protest

MEXICO CITY (WOMENSENEWS)–Shouting “Justice! Justice!” and “Not a dead woman more!” relatives of the victims, students, professors, members of human rights organizations, artists, politicians and citizens–mostly women dressed in black, wearing dark veils and holding candles–marched to denounce the government’s lack of action “to punish and put an end to these murders,” said Patria Jimenez, member of the Closet de Sor Juana, a Mexico City-based lesbian and feminist association. The protest commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

In Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua, more than 285 women have been murdered and more than 800 have been reported missing since 1993. About 110 of their bodies were found raped, mutilated or tortured, suggesting they could be the victim of a serial murderer or murderers.

Veiled women during the march

Even though the motives for these murders are unclear, authorities have said they could include drug or organ trafficking, as well as prostitution or pornography. Two more female bodies were found in Ciudad Juarez last Friday.

“We were unfortunate to be poor and have a young and beautiful daughter,” Norma Andrade, the mother of one of the victims, said, sobbing to the gathered crowd. “And in the state of Chihuahua, being a young, poor and beautiful girl is being a perfect target for the murderers.”

Relatives of victims during the march

Similar marches took place in other cities of the Mexican Republic and in front of Mexican consulates in foreign countries. Also, the United Nations announced that Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of United Nations Development Fund for Women, will be visiting Mexico this week to analyze the situation of women in Ciudad Juarez and make recommendations to the Mexican government on how to fight violence against women.

Laurence Pantin is the Women’s Enews correspondent in Mexico.

Also see Women’s Enews, December 21, 2001:
“250 Murders Prompt Mexico Anti-Violence Campaign”:

Also see Women’s Enews, August 20, 2002:
“Film on Deaths of Mexican Women Indicts Corruption”:

Por Nuestras Hijas (For Our Daughters)–Campaign against
the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez
(In Spanish):