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

HOMICIDES / 4 AUG 2021

Families combing for clues about their vanished loved ones at recently discovered extermination sites in northern Mexico have turned to…

BRAZIL / 4 MAY 2021

Around two hundred women were trafficked from Brazil to foreign countries by a gang based in São Paulo, which was…

ELITES AND CRIME / 12 FEB 2021

US authorities at both the federal and state level provided training to members of a Mexican special operations unit with…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…