HomeNewsBriefFemale Skeletons Found Near US-Mexico Border Are Reminder of Juarez Femicides
BRIEF

Female Skeletons Found Near US-Mexico Border Are Reminder of Juarez Femicides

GENDER AND CRIME / 17 APR 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

The skeletal remains of 12 people found earlier this year close to Mexico's Ciudad Juarez have been identified as female, bringing attention once more to the city's high rate of murders against women.

Mexican authorities announced Monday that six of the 12 victims discovered in January and February in Juarez Valley have been identified as girls between the ages of 15 and 19 years. The girls had been missing since 2009 and 2010, reports the LA Times. The other six have also been identified as female, though their ages are unknown.

The cause of death remains unclear, as little more than the bones have been found.

Activist leader Victoria Caraveo of the NGO Women of Juarez (Mujeres de Juarez) told the Associated Press that the discovery suggests the work of a "well-organized gang ... with some people kidnapping them, others mistreating, using or raping them, and others dumping the bodies."

InSight Crime Analysis

Ciudad Juarez has been afflicted by a high rate of "femicides" (gender-based killings of women) over the past two decades. More than 500 cases have been documented since 1993, though the actual number may be far higher. The authorities have generally failed to bring about any prosecutions, and activists protesting the lack of action by Mexico's government have become targets, as evidenced by the rape and murder of campaigner Susana Chavez in January 2011. In November last year, the government was forced into making an apology for the state's failure to prevent the killings, and the continued impunity.

The motives behind the murders of women are often unclear, though they are thought to be driven in part by the macho culture linked to the drug trade, and the resulting violence that has engulfed Ciudad Juarez in recent years.

What's more, Mexico's criminal gangs have increasingly moved into human trafficking, increasing the levels of violence against women. According to Mexican congresswoman Rosi Orozco, there are some 800,000 cases of sex trafficking in the country each year. Ciudad Juarez's location as a border town and key transit point for people and goods moving north to the US increases the potential for violence associated with these trades.

Based on a recent report by the Small Arms Survey entitled " Femicide: A Global Problem," while Mexico overall has a low rate of femicide compared to others in Central America, with 2.5 cases per 100,000 people between 2004 and 2009, the rate in Ciudad Juarez stood at 19.1 per 100,000 in 2009.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

GENDER AND CRIME / 28 JUN 2018

Authorities in Spain and Venezuela have arrested members of two different transnational networks sexually exploiting women and girls fleeing the…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 20 JUN 2019

The recent kidnapping and sexual assault of a Honduran migrant woman sent from the United States to Mexico underscores the…

BARRIO AZTECA / 13 OCT 2014

A series of reports highlights growing ties between US gangs and Mexican drug cartels, and the corruption north of the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…