AWCheney’s Forum On Immigration

The City of Lost Girls: Femicide In Latin America

One of the videos that I featured on my last post, The Merida Intitiative, was “The City of Lost Girls,” a shocking indictment of not only Mexican law enforcement, but a deadly culture of corruption which is re-created in many forms throughout Mexico, and runs up through the highest levels of government…and tends to prey upon the Mexican citizens, particularly the poor, with impunity. No one, however, is totally immune. Because few people have viewed that particular post, I decided to repeat it here and give the subject greater coverage:

This film was shot in November of 2003 in and around the city of Juarez, Mexico in the Mexican State of Chihuahau, formerly known as El Paso del Norte. The estimated numbers of dead girls/women, most between the ages of 16 to 23 (although an average age of 16 has been cited) has ranged from 380 to 550 since 1993…and there are still an estimated 4000 girls and young women missing in this area (Amnesty International’s estimates are far lower than those of the local citizens). A great deal of attention has focused on the problem in Juarez, given its proximity to El Paso, Texas, as well as the large number of “NAFTA” factories which have located there. As a matter of fact, the draw of these factories for young women seeking work is often attributed as a major reason that this area provides such a fertile hunting ground for the predators who are perpetrating these crimes.

Excerpt from Amnesty International report from 2006:

“Since 1993, almost 400 women and girls have been murdered and more than 70 remain missing in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua, Mexico. All the evidence seems to indicate that these young women are chosen by their killers because they are women who have no power within Chihuahuan society, itself characterized by high crime rates and public insecurity due to the fact that drug trafficking and organized crime operate in the area. The women are often workers from the maquilas, or export factories, set up by the multinational companies that control the economy of Ciudad Juárez as well as waitresses, workers in the informal economy, or students. Many of them live in poverty, often with children to support. They are women who have few options but to travel alone on the long bus journeys that take them from the poor suburbs surrounding Ciudad Juárez to their place of work or study.”

The greatest difficulty in attempting to determine the TRUE numbers of dead and missing girls is a direct result of the corruption of the state authorities in Juarez and Chihuahua, who are believed by most to actually be complicit in not only the cover-up, but the crimes themselves.

“Critics say investigations have ground to a halt because of corruption, incompetence and witness intimidation. Activists say what is going on in Juárez is a national outrage. And when the FBI was brought in to help at times, Chihuahua state officials rejected its findings. Former FBI profiler Robert Ressler believes at least one of the killers has access to both sides of the border.”

Since the initial video, considerable international attention has focused on the plight of the women and girls of Juarez, with the commensurate pressure applied to the Mexican government. Some investigation and reforms of local government corruption have been attempted, but accountability is still very low on the government’s agenda.

“Viewed as test cases for both the state and federal governments, Amnesty International and other activists are monitoring authorities’ actions in punishing former and current government officials identified as engaging in negligent and even criminal behavior in previous murder investigations. So far, none of the 130 Chihuahua state authorities deemed negligent in reports by former federal prosecutor Maria Lopez Urbina have been punished. Several of the officials argued they were just following orders, but no known investigation of their superiors is underway.”

Although the femicide in Juarez has stirred considerable attention from the international community and the media, the practice is very common throughout Mexico…as well as many other Latin American countries. As a matter of fact, Juarez is FAR from the worst:

“(Femicide) is not only present in Ciudad Juarez and most of Mexico, it’s a regional problem,” warns Marimar Monroy, a representative of the non-governmental Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights and one of the delegates to the IACHR.


“Incomplete murder rates cited in the NGO report mention 373 murders of women in Bolivia from 2003 to 2004, 143 in Peru during 2003, and more than 2,000 in Guatemala. In Colombia , a woman is reportedly killed every 6 days by her partner or ex-partner. Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City , Mexico , two cities where the femicide trend was first widely noticed, have suffered the murder of more than 500 women from multiple causes since 1993, according to press and other sources. Dozens more remain missing.”

As noted, these are “incomplete murder rates,” according to a report issued in 2006. According to the same report:

“Guatemala: Ciudad Juarez South
Angelica Gonzalez, a member of Guatemala’s Network to Oppose Violence against Women, says more than 2,400 women have been murdered in Guatemala since the year 2000. Killings have occurred throughout the Central American nation, with most concentrated in and around Guatemala City, Escuintla, and San Marcos, a department bordering Mexico. Despite the establishment of a special prosecutor’s office for women’s homicides, statistics compiled by WOLA indicate the slaughter is worsening. According to Adriana Beltran, more than 300 women were murdered in 2003, 527 in 2004, and 624 in 2005. Often portrayed in the press as faceless statistics, the victims had names and lives like Claudia Isabel Velazquez, a 19-year-old law student raped and shot to death, or 15-year-old Maria Isabel, a retail shop employee who was found raped with her hands and feet bound together with barbed wire.”

A frightening element of this culture of “Machismo” was touched upon in the previous link to the Global Politician report (source of previous quotes) from 2006, “Femicide On the Rise in Latin America:”

“At the same time, killers now frequently jump borders. Jose Manuel Torres Yake, a Peruvian national, was arrested in Hiroshima , Japan , last year for raping and murdering a 6-year-old girl. The suspect had a previous criminal record in Peru for raping two other minors.”

A single example among a multitude. In fact, this is particularly a problem for the United States because of our porous shared border with Latin America, and the seeming lack of enforcement of our laws which gives the appearance to these multitudes that our own authorities will likely be as indifferent to these crimes as the authorities in their home countries:

From the article by Dr. Deborah Shurman-Kauflin (expert criminal behavioral profiler specializing in serial crimes of a sexual nature) for the Violent Crimes Institute, “Importing Violence: The Danger of Immigration from Violent Cultures.”

“Over the past several years, the U.S. has seen a large influx of immigrants, both legal and illegal, from countries whose values are opposed to the rights guaranteed by the U.S. constitution. Specifically, there are large numbers of immigrants coming from countries that are misogynistic. These societies accord women little to no rights, and the idea of violence committed by men against women and children is not unusual.

First, take the concept of ‘rapto.’ This comes from Mexico where in some areas, it is socially acceptable for a man of any age to abduct a female of any age as long as long as he intends to marry her...”


“The fact is that South American male attitudes toward females are often archaic and misogynistic. Thus it is not surprising that the U.S. is seeing more attacks against women and little girls committed by these immigrants.”

Although the number of victims seem small in these Latin American countries relative to the crime in our own, one must consider how relatively small the populations of these nations are to our own; the accepted customs demeaning the value of women; and the societal acceptance of violence against them…all of which suggest femicide to be a disturbing element of their very culture:

“In a country of 14 million people with one of the worst murder rates in Latin America — 427 people were killed in January alone — Guatemalan authorities are quick to blame gang violence and prostitution for the unsolved crimes involving both men and women.”


“Gang violence is certainly one factor in the killings — some victims have been young women who refused to join gangs or tried to leave them. But families of students, domestic workers, and other victims with no ties to gangs or the sex industry blame a culture of impunity in which police often fail to investigate slayings and killers believe they will go free.

Guatemala’s culture and laws may also encourage the devaluation of women’s lives. A man who rapes a minor can escape punishment by marrying his victim if her father consents. Domestic violence cannot be prosecuted unless signs of injury are still apparent 10 days later. Marital rape is not a criminal offense. A law empowering men to prohibit their wives from working outside the home was revoked only in 1999.

According to the Public Prosecutor’s files, though more than 1,500 women have been slain since 2003, only 14 cases have ended in a prison sentence.”


August 23, 2008 10:14 pm - Posted by | Latin America | , , , , , , , ,


  1. It’s probably my speakers, but for me, the audio was virtually unintelligible, so i did a google search on the subject. Amazing, but then again, in consideration of such abject poverty, I guess it’s not really so amazing.

    Those who speak of poverty in this country, having never visited a third world country, have absolutely no idea…and Mexico is not a poor country; it’s a very corrupt country…and Mexico is just one country. Consider Central America, Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia and Europe. Tragic situations all around the world.

    What is the answer? I do not believe that we can either feed or “save” the entire world. [All of this reminds me of the Right Reverand Jeremiah Wright…in my estimation, he shouldn’t be “damning America”; he should be thanking his lucky stars that he was born in this country and IS an American…oh, and btw, the same for Barack’s lovely Michelle.]

    As long as our southern border leaks like a sieve, the Latinos of the south will continue their escape…and just how long can we continue to support them without succumbing to their level of poverty, socialism, and corruption.

    $1.4B over three years really isn’t a lot to give Mexico, but money is not what the government needs. Mexico needs a “house-cleaning.”

    Comment by freedom | August 25, 2008 4:42 pm | Reply

  2. $1.4 billion may not seem like a lot, freedom…unless you consider that it’s going to supply and train some of the most corrupt and dangerous people of the Mexican government. I’m sure that they’ll be able to parlay that into considerably more when they use that equipment and training to provide more professional support for the drug cartels to terrorize our own people, particularly along our border.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 26, 2008 7:24 am | Reply

  3. What is the solution? I see only one and that’s securing our southern border.

    Comment by freedom | August 26, 2008 7:45 am | Reply

  4. The reason that our border cannot seem to be secured, freedom, is because our Executive Branch and the majority of our Congress have no genuine interest in seeing it closed. Unfortunately, neither of our heirs apparent to the White House have any interest in that either.

    In addition, we now will have the thousands of miles of open highway (NASCO) which, for all intents and purposes, offers thousands of miles of additional border…because we will not own the highway that will cut through the heart of our country.

    Until the general public awakens to the fact that, due to the complacency and general inattention of the electorate, we now have a form of representative democracy which is neither representative nor a democracy. The majority of our elected officials (not all)are only serving their own self-interest, and if that involves selling our country piece by piece to the highest bidder in this global market…so be it. It does not always require bloody revolution to perpetrate a coup, nor does it always require military troops to commit an invasion of another nation.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 26, 2008 5:27 pm | Reply

  5. I left out the most important aspect of what is, in my opinion, the why and the solution.

    The people of our country are not inherently unwelcoming to immigrants…almost ALL of us in this country were either immigrants or hail from immigrants, as has often been pointed out. The difference between this massive flow of illegal immigrants, and the others from our history, is that our progenitors, whether legal or not, did NOT come to this country with the idea that they were going to remake us in their own image; that they could bring the culture of lawlessness, which many had fled, with them; and that they could force OUR culture to assimilate into their own, rather than assimilating into ours as had their predecessors. The reason?…our government’s headlong rush into globalization from the perspective of personal greed.

    Is it really any accident that the apparent unimpeded flow over our borders has been increasing by leaps and bounds in the years following the full implementation of NAFTA? Is it surprising that the rise of violent, Latino gangs has gone national since the appearance of “sanctuary” policies where crimes committed by illegal aliens are treated under a different, far more lax, standard than if they were committed by a citizen of this country, because doing otherwise would send out the clarion call of “profiling” and “racist?” Is it any accident that, as these policies proliferate and become more obvious, that the flow of illegal aliens grows geometrically, and threatens the very fabric of our nation?

    Our laws MUST be strenuously enforced, for the protection of both the citizens of this country AND those immigrants who come here seeking a better life than they left, not an easier one. ALL laws must be enforced equally, whether it be against the accessories to the crimes being committed (employers), or those committing the crimes themselves. We must once more become a nation of LAWS and individual rights, where ALL are enforced…not under a double standard accompanied by a smile and a wink. When this happens, and it becomes known south of our border, the flow will be staunched and those choosing to come here will once more be coming to the United States of America in search of a better life as AMERICANS and U.S. citizens. THEN we can take a look at immigration reform.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 26, 2008 6:15 pm | Reply

  6. AWC,

    Do you NOW believe what just came out of your finger tips? ( you were searching for a reason)

    Are you at stage ONE trying to justify (denial)?

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 26, 2008 10:55 pm | Reply

  7. Huh? Red Dawn, you’re going to have to explain that comment. I don’t believe that I’ve ever been accused of being “in denial” in my life!

    Comment by AWCheney | August 26, 2008 10:58 pm | Reply

  8. Our laws are outdated to some and protected by the other.
    That argument will NEVER change.

    When speaking SOLELY of the immigration debate, I see the same arguments apply as if it were about abortion, etc. ( same SCRIPT-fill in the blanks)

    ALL arguments CHANGED when it comes to the patriot act, etc….

    This is the snuff that I do not understand, but as you look/research, as I did, you find out this is all happening underneath our noses/eyes…a little to late.

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 26, 2008 11:15 pm | Reply

  9. I have long held the views that I previously espoused in my comments, and made similar comments in the past on other blogs. When I started this blog, I promised that I would try to reserve my opinion for the comments section because I wanted to systematically lay out the facts for all the people who DO happen to be in denial. I feel that I’m at that stage in my posts where people should be seeing that of which I have been aware for far too long.

    What I have presented in my posts are the facts, sourced and properly attributed…and indisputable. We are standing at the abyss folks…and teetering on the edge.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 26, 2008 11:23 pm | Reply

  10. AWC,

    Shake, rattle and roll ( but a NEW meaning!)
    I knew it! I knew you were a FACT seeker and you just gave ME COMFORT.m( you witnessed my genesis to all this snuff)

    That said above, what can we do? Nothing?-( I would say nothing) Ignorance is bliss? I do see the research, time and frustration that you put in and SHARED on anti.

    This is NOT a black/white, legal/illegal situation.
    I can go on and on, I am just exhausted to all the arguments that come and go.

    What can anyone do, when you can’t even get out of the he/she said bs, to START communication.

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 26, 2008 11:38 pm | Reply

  11. The people must be awakened to what is going on around them! Their attention must be diverted from the newest “toy” and newest technology to that which is TRULY important…our liberty and that of our progeny. We must become more selective in our elected officials and not simply allow them to feed us whatever pablum they choose…and hold their feet to the fire. We must return to a Constitutional Representative Democracy where the PEOPLE speak, and the government follows, without equivocation. We must once more respect those protectors who have been charged with the defense of our liberty…our military personnel.

    The list could go on and on, but the bottom line is that THIS IS OUR COUNTRY, the “land of the free and the brave,” which is something that recent generations seem to have forgotten. We do not belong to Mexico or Latin America; we do not belong to the United Nations or to multi-national corporate robber barons; we do not belong to bureaucrats or politicians who feed off the industry of our taxpayers…we do not belong to the world. We belong to OUR nation, where freedom and the rights of the individual have served us well, and provided a beacon of hope to people of all nations who have felt oppressed and ill-used by their own governments and societies. We need to, once more, find our backbone and stop succumbing to fear of losing that which we have because, surely, we have already lost much and are on the brink of losing everything that makes us what we are. We need to stop being a nation of wimps and once more find that strength of character that built, and rebuilt this nation, every time that strength temporarily weakened. We need to take back our country.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 27, 2008 12:03 am | Reply

  12. How do you propose taking the country back? By votes?
    I am watching the “historical event” tonight and see the pump of emotions of MLK’s dream 45 YEARS ago! Did MLK’s dream envision, the outsourcing, the debt,etc., the nightmare that this country faces today?

    IF he were alive and witnessing, would he like how his dream is marked ( MARKETED) for votes?
    There is so much going on in OUR nation (and the world) I think it is a smack to use his speech only because Obama is not white??

    I watched MLK’s son speak, but what is Obama’s CHANGE that we can believe in?

    As far as McCain, not impressed either.

    I know, I ask alot of questions.

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 28, 2008 7:26 pm | Reply

  13. Nothing this big or important happens overnight, Red Dawn. People need to be made aware that this is not a Democrat v. Republican thing (both political parties are equally complicit). This is a situation where good people in both parties (and there are good people) need to unite to clean up their own house…or unite in a third house to overwhelm the other two. I do not advocate violence, despite the fact that there will be at least four years of Hell before anything substantial can be accomplished. The thing is, people must do their “waking up” NOW, because there is no time to lose.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 28, 2008 7:43 pm | Reply

  14. Still watching the show, lol and I wonder how much they paid Sheryl Crow for the use of her song she just preformed, “Change”. Everything is marketing. On a serious note, I know she supported Hilary, so I could assume she is a democrat. Again, that is not doing any party good to be LOYAL when questions need to be asked of what is advocated.

    I know that I am across the board to what I believe and support. I go by heart and add that I rebel against the grain of materialistic STUFF that makes a person. I fall FAR away from being categorized in any situation which I beleive allows me to be HUMBLE to sympathize with anything that comes my way. 🙂

    I like you do NOT advocate violence, vigalantism, or anything of the sorts.

    BUT when you say

    “The thing is, people must do their “waking up” NOW, because there is no time to lose.”

    I agree but ( thinking of something that would not be considered a cuss word) DANG, if it has not been happening for a long time now, that by the time people wake up,it’s too late.

    Why has our constitution been chipped away? To PREPARE for people to wake up? Kinda how I see it……

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 28, 2008 7:58 pm | Reply

  15. That’s always a danger, Red Dawn…we’ve been far too fat and happy for far too long in this country. It is complacency which leads to situations like this so, hopefully, as things are growing more difficult, more and more people are waking up.

    I’ll tell you one thing though…bringing in millions of people (illegal aliens) who have no concept of what it is that we are trying to protect is the worst thing we can do, under the circumstances. The pro-illegal lobby either realizes that and it fits into their agenda…or they will awaken to the fact that what we are battling here has NOTHING to do with NOT wanting people of other races in this country. We are trying to save this country, not only for ourselves, but for their future as well. If they are not interested in saving this country for the future, then they don’t want what this country has to offer…and they should go back to their own.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 28, 2008 8:27 pm | Reply

  16. Here is a wake up call:
    I even called my broker to advise me about my money as I saw this as a red flag. He told me he was unaware and quoted all kinds of supportive/positive ( PROJECTED) data.

    With skepticism, I listened to him, as I am sure his job is to convince/COMFORT people like me to invest. He also stated that the market always rebounds and I am young enough to go through a struggle and if I were over 60, he would give different advice.

    I told him of my concerns that this is an atypical situation and(taboo)he touched on the depression era and tried to say that it will never happen again ( ummmm).
    He told me to leave my investments where they are at.
    They remain, but from what I gathered of him, he is going on faith (or job) heard itin his voice. ( my opinion of course)

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 28, 2008 8:49 pm | Reply

  17. You read my article on the Amero, right? Well, my advice is to get your investments into off-shore stocks and unload your American dollars (convert to more stable currency). In other words…you’re right.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 28, 2008 9:09 pm | Reply

  18. I don’t know how to do that(if your willing please help). I asked my broker for other options and hence the story he gave me. How do I do this without being ripped off? Where do I start?

    The OTHER question is: If I,/we/all do this where is America headed? ( or CURRENT) This is the MONEY question! And WHY are we at this BRINK?

    And YES, I have read EVERYTHING you have posted and YOU have found facts,the same ones I have uncovered and just did not not know how to express it, as everyday there is something new! I am just very, very GREATFUL that someone I consider trustworthy is on the case, which makes me not feel like ALONE and not the ONLY one looking like the crazy conspiracy goon. 🙂


    I don’t care what they call me, I have always been accused of having a plan B. IS that so bad? 🙂

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 28, 2008 9:31 pm | Reply

  19. That’s what we’re up against…proving to people that, as I’ve said before, none of this is crazy conspiracy theory.

    Insofar as your investment, I’m emailing you.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 28, 2008 9:39 pm | Reply

  20. Thanks for the ( future email) help. I just hope as others read, they will start to scratch their head as I am sure their GUT knows something is DIFFERENT!
    Speaking of CHANGE ( lol!) it is always uncomfortable but I would say that it is better to ADMIT that there is already a change taking place. Let’s ask WHY instead of WHEN, WHAT, WHERE and HOW! Why is the first question 🙂

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 28, 2008 10:06 pm | Reply

  21. Ya know, the unfortunate thing is that while we talk to each other about all kinds of issues, millions and millions have no idea whatsoever what is going on in any respect of national security and social issuesv — the words of apathy and complacency keep ringing in my ears.

    Our representative democracy, which is so dependent upon people paying attention to the news is broken because there is very little “news reporting” these days, it has been replaced with “editorialized news.”

    The upcoming election will be very telling do the American people want a socialist country or a capitalist country…or do they know the difference?

    Comment by freedom | August 30, 2008 7:29 pm | Reply

  22. Freedom,

    You bring up a good point. It is also interesting to see who owns the media. I guess this is why blogging has become so popular. However, just like the good old days of free TV, I am sure the surfing of the internet will be changed just like cable and will have to subscribe to sites.

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 31, 2008 11:25 am | Reply

  23. Or even satellite radio…

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 31, 2008 11:26 am | Reply

  24. I don’t disagree at all, Red Dawn, but why do you suppose that is, i.e., have to “subscribe” to the internet. I know there are plenty who wish to “tax” internet access….:(

    Comment by freedom | August 31, 2008 5:48 pm | Reply

  25. I don’t so much mind having to “Subscribe” to a particular website or service, much like cable TV or satellite radio, but governmental “taxing” use of the internet is an entirely different story. They just can’t seem to get enough tax dollars can they?

    Have you ever thought about the irony of the technology we have in government now….computers instead of file cabinets, DVDs instead of movie reels and so on, yet, the government continues to need larger and more buildings.

    …and they need tax dollars to build those buildings…:( Where will it ever end??

    Comment by freedom | September 1, 2008 6:24 am | Reply

  26. Freedom,

    Taxing the internet is more probable. When I said subscribing, I could see it as in time usage such as cell phones. They would be able to make more money, control and censor. A person would only be able to search what they can afford-SAD

    You bring up another good question as far as the building. I have not thought of that.

    Slightly off topic, your question(“where will it end?”) made me think of this article about tolls and infrastructure:

    Comment by Red Dawn | September 1, 2008 11:03 am | Reply

  27. I agree, we ARE off-topic Red Dawn, but having read your NY Times piece — painful as it was to register with the NY Times — all I can say is, “there are things that the government can do best (I think) so the government should do them; likewise, there are things that business can do best, so government should be smart enough to recognize what those things are and let them do those things.”

    Comment by freedom | September 1, 2008 4:21 pm | Reply

  28. […] Learn More. […]

    Pingback by Killers on the Loose « Female is an Ism. | July 21, 2010 10:36 am | Reply

  29. Pretty good job. I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say, I love browsing your blog posts. In any case, I will subscribe to your feed, I hope you write again!

    Comment by Inabeabrirm | March 11, 2011 5:28 am | Reply

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