In the mid 90s, the northern border city of Juárez, Mexico made headlines for its disturbing trend of femicide. Approximately 370 women have been found dead since 1993, with their bodies showing physical signs of torture and rape, and more still have disappeared without a trace. Like many other tragic events around the world, it has been abandoned by the media for new headlines and stories. However an article published this week in the L.A. Times proves that the women of Juárez still need our attention.
The article reveals that two dozen women or girls have disappeared in only a year and a half, and this time, no bodies have turned up. Local authorities have set up a special prosecutor’s office and made some arrests, but the cases have largely remained unsolved.
Amnesty International issued a statement in 2006 about its concerns with the city’s special prosecutor’s office. Amnesty reports that the office “appears to downplay the scale of the crimes committed against women and suggests that a ‘perception different from reality’ has been created about the crimes by those seeking to highlight the crimes and impunity.” The organization accuses the authorities of negligence and omission, but no one has been reprimanded.
Although these cases, along with other human rights cases in Darfur and Tibet, are not making major headlines anymore, their stories are still alive and justice is still needed. As ordinary citizens we may feel powerless or overwhelmed, but being aware and showing solidarity are major steps we can all take to keep the victims’ voices alive and fight for justice.