Missing Women of Juárez (1998)
When I first went to Ciudad Juárez, between 99 and 109 women had been raped and murdered in and around the city. Many of the women, who left rural villages, came to work in one of the four hundred assembly plants and factories, called maquiladoras, that are scattered around the area.
Feminist groups, along with the victims’ families, criticized officals in charge of investigating the disappearances. They sited lack of information, indifference, and machismo as the largest stumbling blocks in the investigations. To the outrage of feminist groups, local authorities suggested that the women provoked the attacks by frequenting bars and wearing short skirts.
After a longtime ineptly handled local investigation, it was taken away from local law enforcement and placed in the hands of the federal Attorney General.
Several arrests were made, including the highly publicized arrest of Sharif Sharif, an Egyptian chemist, who later was acquitted.
Despite those arrests, the bodies of women continued to turn up almost daily.
“We do not want mausoleums, we do not want to find our dead daughters, we want research, to find our daughters alive, after 10 years come to inaugurate a mausoleum that serves as a tourist curiosity for other people in the world are made”.
-- José Luis Castillo, father of Esmeralda, a 14 year-old girl who disappeared on May 19th, 2009
Proceso, Nov 7th, 2011
"Pink crosses located in some sectors of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, seem to have lost the sense they had at the time as a symbol for justice for the disappearance and death of hundreds of women. It's been over 20 years since the first case was recorded and the stories of how the vanishing trail of some young women -as if they had been swallowed by the Earth- continue. It is still common to find a mother trying to give the most accurate description of what her daughter was wearing the last time she saw her, but the end of the stories are not always what they expected."
-- El País, April 22nd, 2016