In the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, it is not a safe time to be a woman. Girls between 10 and 25 disappear, often in broad daylight. The people call them Las Muertas de Juarez (The Dead of Juarez) and feminicidios (femicides). Their kidnappings or murders are not investigated. The local government’s response was, “They asked for it.”
According to Mexico’s official statements, as few as 28 women had been slain by 2005. By the same time, Amnesty International estimated nearly 400 deaths. A local newspaper recently estimated the death toll around 800, but other local sources have suggested more than 5,000. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported,
“The victims were generally reported missing by their families, with their bodies found days or months later abandoned in vacant lots, outlying areas or in the desert. In most of these cases there were signs of sexual violence, torment, torture or in some cases disfigurement.”
Several arrests were made in the 1990s, but with 15,000 casualties to Mexico’s drug war last year, the government has made no effort to stop the ongoing masacre of the women of Juarez.
Photographer Maya Goded, a Mexican national, has spent ten years chronicling the lives of marginalized women in her country, from the victims of Juarez’s blood sport to the prostitutes of La Merced. Her award-winning exhibition is on display at UCR’s Califonia Museum of Photography until April 16th.
UCR/California Museum of Photography
3824 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501