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Making a Killing

Femicide, Free Trade, and La Frontera

Edited by Alicia Gaspar de Alba, with Georgina Guzmán

Publication Year: 2010

Bringing together diverse perspectives, including feminism, Marxism, critical race theory, semiotics, and textual analysis, this is the first anthology to focus exclusively on the murders of more than five hundred women and girls in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

Published by: University of Texas Press

Series: Chicana Matters

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

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Alicia's Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I would like to express my gratitude to the University of California–Los Angeles Committee on Research and the Institute for American Cultures for several years of support for this project. Originally, this was going to be a compilation...

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Georgina's Acknowledgments

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pp. xi

I would like to thank Profe Alicia Gaspar de Alba and all the contributors for entrusting me with their very important work. My heart especially goes out to Eva Arce and Paula Flores, who are incredibly strong and courageous mothers...

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Introduction: Feminicidio: The "Black Legend" of the Border

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pp. 1-21

Just because I published a novel called Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders (2005) does not mean the Juárez murders are fiction. Since May 1993, over five hundred women and girls have been found brutally murdered on the El Paso/Juárez border, and thousands...

Part One: Interventions

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pp. 23-153

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Chapter One: Accountability for Murder in the Maquiladoras: Linking Corporate Indifference to Gender Violence at the U.S.-Mexico Border

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pp. 25-61

The “maquiladora murders” have become a popular subject for writing and activism by feminists, as well as the inspiration for numerous forms of art, literary fiction,¹ commentaries,² international conferences,³ movies,⁴ and marches⁵ on both...

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Chapter Two: Poor Brown Female: The Miller's Compensation for "Free" Trade

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pp. 63-93

At the end of Desert Blood, my novel about the Juárez femicides, Ivon Villa, the protagonist and amateur sleuth, asks herself the foregoing questions, concluding that the real criminals are not just the perpetrators of the crimes...

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Chapter Three: Ghost Dance in Ciudad Juarez at the End/Beginning of the Millennium

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pp. 95-119

Since 1993,¹ the crimes in Ciudad Juárez have made the city an obligatory news story in the world’s top newspapers.² On the one hand, there are the serial murders of hundreds of young women together with a series of kidnappings, disappearances...

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Chapter Four: Gender, Order, and Femicide: Reading the Popular Culture of Murder in Ciudad Juarez

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pp. 121-153

Lilia Alejandra García Andrade was last seen at 7:30 pm on February 14, 2001, by her coworkers as she walked toward an abandoned lot next to the maquiladora where she worked in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The seventeen-year- old mother of two crossed...

Part Two: ¡Ni Una Mas!

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pp. 155-242

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Chapter Five: Binational Civic Action for Accountability: Antiviolence Organizing in Ciudad Juarez/El Paso

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pp. 157-181

Since the early 1990s, civic activists in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas, have been gaining ground in raising awareness of and bringing attention to the femicides—the hundreds of unsolved murders of girls and young women...

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Chapter Six: The Suffering of the Other

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pp. 183-199

Th e pervasiveness of femicide in Ciudad Juárez is a complex problem, and many groups of perpetrators are involved. As such, there are many manifestations of injustice to analyze. In this chapter, I want to examine the injustice through another...

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Chapter Seven: The V-Day March in Mexico: Appropriation and Misuse of Local Women's Activism

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pp. 201-210

The V-Day march, presumably a protest against the murder of over three hundred young women between 1993 and 2003, was not only a belated response to gender violence on the border, it was also, I shall argue, an appropriation and misuse...

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Chapter Eight: Femicide, Mother-Activism, and the Geography of Protest in Northern Mexico

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pp. 211-242

“This silence terrifies me,” said Esther Chávez Cano, the director of Casa Amiga, a rape crisis center in Ciudad Juárez, the city that borders El Paso, Texas.¹ The silence she refers to is the quiet surrounding the ongoing violence against women in northern...

Part Three: Testimonios

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pp. 243-277

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Chapter Nine: "The Morgue Was Really from the Dark Ages": Insights from a Forensic Psychologist

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pp. 245-253

As a professor of criminology, my area of research is serial murder in different countries. In 1999, I was invited to go to Ciudad Juárez to lend my knowledge and assistance to the state judicial police there. I was also allowed to take some students...

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Chapter Ten: "We'll See Who Wins"

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pp. 255-261

My daughter worked helping the mothers of missing and murdered women. She helped in any way she could, making punch at Christmas or things like that. She would often say, “Poor mothers. They must be suffering so much for their missing...

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Chapter Eleven: "The Government Has Tried to Divide Us"

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pp. 263-267

In my daughter María Sagrario’s case, a presumed suspect has now been apprehended. Two years ago, in February 2005, José Luis Hernández Flores was charged with killing my daughter. Th is April marked a year since he’s been sentenced...

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Chapter Twelve: Las Hijas de Juarez: Not an Urban Legend

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pp. 269-277

In 1999, I started hearing stories of the disappearances of girls in the border town of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. I would hear these stories from family members and blow them off as being part of another urban legend, like the infamous...

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Afterword: Goddess Murder and Gynocide in Ciudad Juarez

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pp. 279-294

The cover of the program for the 2003 “Maquiladora Murders” Conference at the University of California, Los Angeles, focusing outrage on the ongoing rape, torture, and murders of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juárez, features original art...

Appendix A: Selected Bi-national Timeline of the Juarez Femicides

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pp. 295-297

Appendix B: The Juarez Femicides in Print, Film, and Music: A Partial List

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pp. 298-300

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 301-305


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pp. 307-314

Reprints and Permissions

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pp. 315

E-ISBN-13: 9780292784703
E-ISBN-10: 0292784708
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292722774
Print-ISBN-10: 029272277X

Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 40 b&w photos, 1 figure, 3 tables
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Chicana Matters

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Homicide -- Mexico -- Ciudad Juárez.
  • Women -- Crimes against -- Mexico -- Ciudad Juárez.
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