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The Ciudad Juarez Murders

The Juarez Femicides

Since 1994, more than 300 mutilated bodies, almost all of them young women and girls, have been discovered in the garbage-strewn deserts outside of the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Most of the women were beaten, stabbed or strangled, and about one-third of them show signs of having been sexually assaulted.

Many of the women worked in Juarez’ infamous sweatshops, the maquilas, where they earned less than $60 per week. More than 50 of the bodies have never been identified.

Police Corruption

The Ciudad Juarez police department has drawn international attention because of gross incompetence in the case; although there have been many arrests, the body count continues to rise. There have been many allegations of human rights violations: many of the suspects in the murders case have said that they were tortured into confessions.

The police have been so incompetent that many in the area believe they are connected to the crimes. The Mexican federal government has since taken over the investigation, but there has been little real progress. An Argentine forensics team was even brought in to help in the investigation.

The Violence Continues

The killings have continued, although in recent years there have been more male bodies dumped in the desert and it is assumed that more and more murders are drug-related.

There are many theories concerning the killings, including include serial killers, gang violence and domestic abuse. Rumors abound about Satanic cults, snuff film producers and international organ traffickers. Most experts believe that if it is the work of serial killers, several may be involved, because the “signatures” are different.

Most unnerving of all the theories may be the belief that the killings continue to happen because they have not been solved. In other words, killers commit their crime and dump the evidence in the desert because they assume they can get away with it: theirs will be but one more crime on a growing list that has yet to be solved.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Mexico: History and Politics of Mexico, Teotihuacan History, Porfirio Diaz, Juan Rulfo, The Mexican Revolution, Oaxaca History, The Aztec Sun Stone, Subcomandante Marcos, Emiliano Zapata and Who Killed Luis Donaldo Colosio?.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
08 Apr 2009

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