Wave of Violence Swallows More Women in Juárez, Mexico
First, there were just a few bones and body parts, found in a valley beyond the sprawl of this wild city. At least four women had been killed and dumped, the authorities said. Then, in the same area, investigators made another discovery early this year: a dozen more dead women and girls.
Most disappeared in 2009 and 2010, and when last seen alive many were teenagers, good students with bright smiles of possibility. In death, however, they have become apparitions.
Idalí Juache’s mother still insists her daughter is missing, though the police linked her DNA to cranial fragments in the valley’s grave. Elvira González said she felt what seemed like her daughter’s spirit at home, before finding out she had been dumped in the grave.
“I never believed this was how she would be brought back to us,” Ms. González said, fighting tears in her modest kitchen. “I always believed she’d be given back to us alive.”
Ciudad Juárez became infamous for a wave of attacks beginning in the 1990s that left hundreds of women dead over the course of a decade.
International attention moved on, but the killings have continued, with a second wave even larger than the first. Even as overall violence here declines, new clusters of slain women are continually being discovered.
Roughly 60 women and girls have been killed here so far this year; at least 100 have been reported missing over the past two years. And though the death toll for women so far this year is on track to fall below the high of 304 in 2010, state officials say there have already been more women killed in 2012 than in any year of the earlier so-called femicide era.
This time, though, the response has been underwhelming. “People haven’t reacted with the same force as before,” said Gustavo de la Rosa, a human rights investigator for Chihuahua State. “They think it’s natural.”