A Cry for Women’s Rights in Mexico?

 

A woman identifying herself as “Diana, the Hunter” has murdered two male bus drivers in the Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, bordering El Paso, Texas. The unidentified woman has allegedly boarded the buses, with blonde hair as her disguise, shooting the drivers at a close range. Media stations in the city have announced they have received e-mail communications from “Diana” in which she writes: “I’m an instrument that will avenge [the attacks against] several women…We seem weak to society, but we’re truly not. We’re courageous and, if they don’t show respect to us, we will make them respect us by our own means. We women of Juarez are strong.” (CNN)  “Diana’s” attacks are reportedly in retaliation against bus drivers who have raped women coming home from working in maquiladoras—foreign assembly plants. About half of Ciudad Juarez’s bus drivers have not shown up to work out of fear that they will be a victim of the next “random” attack. The attacker’s moniker is said to be representative of the Roman goddess of hunting.

The city of Ciudad Juarez became internationally known after a large number of women, particularly young and single, were murdered. The women went missing and their bodies were then found in graves in the outskirts of the city. It was later determined many were raped, tortured, and mutilated before being killed. The murders received wide spread attention due to the governments failure in not only preventing the violence, but also failing to solve the cases. Many have used the term “femicide” to describe the events in Ciudad Juarez, a term first introduced at the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women in Brussels. The term has been defined as the killing of women by men, simply because they are women. Amnesty International has reported that 370 women were murdered between 1993 and 2005 in the city.

Many point to the maquiladoras as playing a role in the city’s femicide. The industries cheap labor and poor working conditions have found young women to be the most desirable employees, thus diminishing their power in society. The industry sees their employees as dispensable, and in light of these murders, society does too.  Do you think these recent events will lead to a probe into the maquiladoras? Is this a random attack or will it grow into a women’s rights movement?

 

Sources:

CNN

Conceptualizing Femicide

 

2 comments

  1. The Ciudad Juarez murder rate, at about 30 women a year, between 1993 and 2005 is outstanding. It seems that this Mexican city has put off solving gender based crimes so long that it now has a serial killer on its hands. The email “Diana, the Hunter” wrote, makes it clear that she is so desperate to stop the violence against her gender, that she has resorted to revenge murder in order to make a societal change.

    Although I agree that something needs to be done in order to protect these women, I do not agree that killing potentially innocent male bus drivers is the right solution. Fair trials, convictions, and punishments would better serve to correct these heinous sex crimes. What “Diana, the Hunter” has shown the world, by turning to this last resort attempt at equality through revenge murder, is that these women desperately need their city to change.

    While the maquiladoras provide jobs and industry development in Mexico, negative implications could include the creation and encouragement of a low skilled population. Perhaps companies who are buying these Mexican exports should be more aware of the employment and labor environments they are facilitating. There is no question that this city’s gender crimes and discrimination are revolting and must be stopped. However, it is hard for me to place blame solely on the maquiladoras.

  2. Wow, this is a truly eye-opening story. While this is certainly a drastic and criminal way to achieve a goal, it may be that there is no other route in a city like Ciudad Juarez. Due to the government’s inaction, and the continued prevalence of this “femicide” in their city, maybe this is that one exception where two wrongs do make a right. While if these two drivers that were murdered were innocent and had never taken advantage of maquiladoras women, I do feel sadness for them, but maybe this is the wake up call the government needed to actually do something about the treatment of women in their city. It is truly unacceptable to let senseless murders of women go to the wayside, in any community, and if a society will allow lawlessness to persist, then a woman like Diana may have a right to rise up and demand respect.

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