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Cynthia L. Bejarano - Las Super Madres de Latino America: Transforming Motherhood by Challenging Violence in Mexico, Argentina, and El Salvador - Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 23:1 Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 23.1 (2002) 126-150

Las Super Madres de Latino America
Transforming Motherhood by Challenging Violence in Mexico, Argentina, and El Salvador

Cynthia L. Bejarano


I saw them in silence shout, there is no other way in which to protest, if they said something more, just a little more, another woman would be tortured with certainty. They dance with the dead, they who no longer are here, invisible ones, they don't cease to dance.

Sting, "Ellas Danzan Solas," Nada Comp El Sol

This essay examines the role Latinas have had in collectively resisting state violence and control through their roles as mothers of desaparecidos, the "disappeared." Although Latinas throughout the Americas are known to be activists in social movements and have protested forms of state control imposed on them as citizens for decades, this role of Latinas as mothers and resisters of state control has not been fully researched. Historically, Latina mothers' responsibilities and assigned roles are strictly placed within the confines of the home and the workplace, and they are forbidden by gendered norms and standards of citizenship to use their status as mothers for anything other than the proper rearing of their children. Yet, the treatment of their children's bodies as disposable and their children's ultimate deaths prompted these women to challenge state institutions of power and violence against its citizens.

This paper explores the transformation of gendered citizenship into forms of resistance by Latina mothers of "disappeared" young women in Juarez, Mexico, while comparing their activism with the activist motherist groups in Argentina and El Salvador. 1 The madres (mothers) in each country acted collectively to transfer empowerment from the private sphere of citizenship reserved for mothers and housewives to the public sphere of motherist activism. Activist mothers who have previously been researched and who are discussed throughout this paper are the highly publicized Madres de la Plaza de Mayo in Argentina and the motherist group CoMadres in El Salvador. 2 Much less has been written on the mothers of female maquiladora (foreign-owned factory) [End Page 126] workers whose daughters have been tortured and killed in Juarez, Mexico, and who have organized to demand some acknowledgment of their daughters' deaths from local authorities.

My motivation for writing about Latina motherist activism is twofold. First, I am a fronteriza, a woman raised on the U.S.-Mexican border near Juarez, Mexico, who is both directly and indirectly affected by this border violence as a young Latina/Chicana/Mexicana committed to social justice and change. Second, I am concerned with the violent and oppressive social, cultural, and economic abuses and constraints imposed on the subaltern communities I come from, especially against Latina/Mexican women, young and old. For these reasons, I have engaged in this research and triangulated these three countries and motherist groups to give evidence of the violence taking place against women in Latin American countries. More specifically, I focus on the U.S.-Mexican borderlands where the transnational nature of this area and the obsession on both sides of the border with globalization, competition, and the border talk of nafta, maquiladoras, and similar destabilizing and nonsymmetrical border practices have had a negative impact on marginalized "brown people." As Chicana/o studies scholar Arturo Aldama explains:

Market driven simulcrums celebrate the transnational movements of capitalist investment and development as the alchemy of globalization, and mask and ignore the further stratification, disempowerment, hyper-exploitation, and increasing abject poverty of subaltern communities, peoples (especially women and children), and bodies who produce, harvest, and assemble goods consumed on the global market. 3

As a Chicana feminist, I see these communities as extensions of myself and want to expose the underbelly of "the new era of globalization and progress," veiled in the maquiladora industry, which is acted out—unintentionally or not—through the exploitation and killings of young brown women, while highlighting the "organic" leadership powers emanating from subaltern/colonia (shanty town) communities through the mothers of these disappeared young women. As Norma Alarcon, a Chicana feminist, professor, and scholar explains:

For Chicanas, the consideration of the ideological constructions of the "noncivilized" dark woman brings into view a most sobering reference point: the overwhelmingly majority of the workers in maquiladoras, for example, are mestizas who have been forcefully subjected not only to the described processes [of monotonous and storelike work and subordination] but to many others that await disentanglement. Many of those [End Page 127] workers are "single," unprotected within a cultural order that has required the masculine protection of women to ensure their "decency," indeed to ensure that they are "civilized" in sexual and racial terms. 4

I conducted interviews in Juarez, Mexico, with a photojournalist/activist who was covering the killing of the maquiladora workers there. We interviewed human rights activists and founders of organizations established to help the families of the slain young women, the mother and daughter of a maquiladora worker who was raped and killed, and other writers/scholars/ journalists who have committed their time and investigations to these atrocities. I coupled these interviews and day trips to Juarez with a secondary analysis of readings on motherist groups in El Salvador and Argentina to offer a comparative overview of these forms of activism and resistance, to better understand this phenomena plaguing Latin/a America. I also had conversations with two desaparecidos from Argentina and El Salvador. 5

State Control, Violence, and Disappearance

Latin American countries are notorious for their military coups carried out through campaigns of violence, terror, and control imposed on citizens believed to be subversive or merely disposable. 6 More than 100,000 people have been killed in Argentina, El Salvador, and Mexico within the past three decades; a large majority were young adults. 7 Approximately 30,000 Argentineans were killed between 1976 and 1983 during the "dirty war"; 8 more than 80,000 Salvadorans died, and 7,000 more were disappeared during the U.S.-backed civil war between 1979 and 1992; and more than 200 young women have been killed between 1993 and the present in Juarez, Mexico, by a faceless predator(s) who has raped, tortured, and killed young, innocent women. 9 The majority of these people have been given the status of desaparecidos, meaning they have not been physically found. 10 Disappearances include the abduction and kidnapping of men, women, and children who were subsequently electrocuted with cattle prods, starved, and physically and mentally tortured. Often, desaparecidos have had their faces and bodies burned and destroyed, their skulls crushed, and their fingertips removed, in order to make identification of the bodies virtually impossible. 11 The torturers—the paramilitary, police officers, and government officials—have often hidden their identities by blindfolding the people kidnapped or by placing a hood over their heads, which has contributed to their psychological torture and attempt to disconnect the individual from the outside world. 12 The state has accused students, teachers, professors, labor union organizers, and simply poor people of being [End Page 128] dissidents, giving the state a "legitimate" reason to remove them from their homes, families, and workplaces. People who fought for democracy in Argentina and El Salvador were thus viewed as attacking the nation, and citizens were inundated with images of these generally young citizens as subversives. While these struggles against the state and the elite that maneuvered it were taking place in both Argentina and El Salvador, a different situation unfolded in Juarez, Mexico.

For nearly a decade, young, innocent women in Juarez have fallen prey to a person or group of persons who have kidnapped, tortured, raped, killed, and buried them in shallow desert graves on the outskirts of the city limits. The women were between the ages of ten and late twenties, and were typically petite with dark skin and long dark hair. 13 Their only crime was their vulnerability. They had no protection or escort to walk them to and from work (usually from maquiladoras) or school. 14 Like the desaparecidos from Argentina and El Salvador, they have often been portrayed as "deviants" and have been accused of being women of the streets involved in prostitution and drug trafficking. In defense of the maquiladoras, Robert Urrea, president of amac, a trade organization that represents American factories in Juarez, accusingly asks: "Where were these young ladies where they were last seen last? Were they drinking? Were they partying? Were they on a dark street? Or were they in front of their plant when they went home?" 15 The blame is often placed on the young women, questioning their scruples and integrity as respectful young ladies and reinforcing the ways in which women living outside of culturally prescribed roles are blamed for the violence they sustain. The maquiladora industry remains untainted by these women's deaths, and the companies' "popular" names are preserved and protected, even as they continue to deplete the lives and skills of those who perform at superhuman capacities to produce goods for a consumer society. Devon Peña, an activist and scholar researching worker struggles and resistance in Juarez maquiladoras, interviewed an obrera (worker) who explained, "You ask if my life is a struggle. You would do better to ask why the struggle is my life." 16 This struggle to survive moves beyond the walls of the maquiladoras, even penetrating the buses and vans that transport these young women to and from work.

Indeed, Juarez officials and police have concluded that a group of men working for maquiladoras as bus drivers abducted, raped, and killed between fifteen and twenty of these young women. However, some family members and advocates believe that the local police and officials could be somehow conspiring in these atrocities as well or failing to answer the families' demands for further investigations. For example, Guermilla Flores Gonzalez, the sister of one of the disappeared woman and cofounder of Voces sin Echo (Voices without [End Page 129] Echoes), which disbanded in the summer of 2001 due to interorganizational conflicts and the apathy of local officials and citizenry, explained:

We got together with Laza de Servicios Humanos [Human Services] to protest the disappearances at the international bridge. However, nothing has been done. The authorities do not listen. We go to them and they don't throw us out because there are many of us, but then, they don't do anything to help us either. Everything remains the same, women continue disappearing. 17

Several of the young women have been found with their faces and skulls crushed in an attempt to make identification difficult. Some were found with bite marks all over their bodies, particularly on their breasts, which were nearly bitten off or burned among other things. 18

All of the desaparecidos, regardless of where they were from were horrifically killed and their voices were silenced. The haunting of their children's lives led the madres of these young women to challenge the actions of governments and their soldiers, police, and collaborating citizens. With much anger and ammunition in the form of relentless questions, the madres of Argentina and El Salvador went to police stations and military offices inquiring about their children; likewise, the mothers in Juarez pleaded in front of police stations to know who killed their children. Mothers walking the streets with posters and banners, hand in hand, demanded to know what had happened to their children, penetrated the public sphere, and transformed prior gendered notions of citizenship into the evolution of maternal citizenship.

Penetrating The Public While Transforming Maternal Citizenship

Don't ask for my name or if we ever met. My life is over yet you've taken up my claim. I live not. Just the same you'll find in all you try that I live on in my friends. My hand in yours held high when you shout so do I to make my dream come true. And for as long as you stand firm I will not die.

Aquí y Ahora con Theresa Rodriguez, a Latino/a television news program. 19

There are many different faces of motherhood: The face of the "good" mother is, as Betsey Wearing explains, "always available to her children, she spends time with them, guides, supports, encourages and corrects as well as love[s] and care[s] for them physically. . . . A 'good' mother is unselfish, she puts her children's needs before her own." 20 The women of the disappeared in Argentina and El Salvador redefined "good mother" to include the very loving and [End Page 130] caring manner they had when they showed their support for their children by taking on their struggles against the state, even long after their children had disappeared. The mothers in Juarez also demonstrated their love by making local officials respond to their pleas for acknowledgment of their daughters' disappearances and their requests for investigations that were idle. Yet, when Latina mothers spoke and acted from this position with the intentions of being a "good" mother, they were often criticized for their politicization. In fact, these women were perceived as part of the problem, "good" mothers who had turned "bad," deviant mothers who raised subversive children acting against state control and ideologies. As Wearing notes, "The focus of the dominant ideology of motherhood, and the related expectation that individual mothers will take full responsibility for their children, means that when there is a problem with a child, the individual mother's mothering practices are subjected to critical scrutiny." 21

Another face worn by these mothers was that of mater dolorosa, the mother of sorrows. 22 They wore pain and agony on their faces and bodies, reflecting the loss of their children and attracting supporters worldwide. According to Sara Ruddick, the mater dolorosas, "elicit the sympathies that mourning tends to elicit but in a context in which passive or sentimental witness becomes difficult. This dissonance is most politicized when the representatives of suffering are disobedient to their own state or social powers." 23 These grieving mothers held their motherist group and supporters together through their loss and pain, igniting their strength to become the protectors of their children's memory. "The role of mother was attractive, not because it was 'natural,' but because it was viable and practical," according to Diana Taylor. "It offered the women a certain legitimacy and authority in a society that values mothers almost to the exclusion of all other women." 24 The images of good/bad mothers as protectors of life and truth, and sorrowful mothers who held their hearts in their hands and the hauntings of their children's voices in their own, characterize las madres de los desaparecidos. Utilizing the roles of motherhood as forms of resistance was extremely important in their successes. These images of motherhood questioned the place of mothers as gendered citizens. Traditionally, "good" mothers were protectors of their children, but only so far as the parameters of playgrounds and the streets of their neighborhoods—never against the ubiquitous state and its assassins. As activist mothers, however, they acted and engaged their maternal citizenship in the public sphere. Although mothers were considered citizens prior to their activism in the political arena, they were "silent" citizens expected to remain passive about larger political issues. As Judith Stiehm explains, "Women like the poor of every country . . . are often invited to participate as ratifiers. However, their full participation, as representatives of the people, is not desired. The exclusion is deliberate." 25 [End Page 131] Las madres cloaked themselves in the vernacular and genre of the political world. Sallie Westwood and Sarah Radcliffe state,

Women in Latin America have confronted repressive state machineries as mothers seeking missing children who have "disappeared" . . . in doing so they lay claim to their part in the nation and to their rights as citizens using the language of the state by reclaiming and thereby transforming it into a series of demands. 26

Their demands were presented through collectives of mothers organizing under the auspices of motherist-based groups.

Motherist Groups in Argentina, El Salvador, and Mexico

State powers in Argentina, El Salvador, and Mexico were eventually placed in the spotlight and accused of the deaths of several visionary young people. In Juarez, residents allude to the state's apathy to the situation and in community circles voice concerns about police and military involvement in deaths. Las madres have advanced such concerns by becoming inquisitors of the state, questioning and accusing it through their very public confrontations, beginning with the well known Madres de la Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. 27

Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo organized in Argentina as a result of the military coup and subsequent reign of terror between 1976 and 1983, during which people were killed for their political beliefs. Some of these people were considered by the government to be "dissidents" who preached communism, although most had never been politically active. The mothers of these "subversives," who were often kidnapped from their homes without a moment's notice, would rush to police stations and local officials' offices but would leave with little or no information on their children's whereabouts. Slowly, the mothers began to organize, realizing that they were not alone and were members of a group confronting the same nightmare. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo was organized by fourteen mothers who had their children and even grandchildren disappeared—plucked from their beds in the middle of the night—and never seen again. The group has since grown to several hundred members and thousands of supporters. To this day, they can be seen marching in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires every Thursday afternoon at 3:30 P.M. 28 Tragically, twelve mothers themselves were disappeared, including the founder of Las Madres, Azucena de Vicenti. 29

The mothers' political work expanded to include human rights violations against indigenous people, law and policy making, and, of course, the continued search for the children and assistance of those families who were left behind [End Page 132] . The madres seemed to mobilize the maternal citizenship of other Latina mothers and served as models for other mothers whose children had been killed to unite and make their states culpable for the deaths of their children. One of these was El Salvador's motherist group Committee of Mothers and Relatives of the Political Prisoners, Disappeared, and Assassinated in El Salvador "Monseñor Romero," the CoMadres. 30 CoMadres is an organization created under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Monseñor Romero in 1977 by the mothers and wives of people who were targeted as "guerillas," dissidents, and merely innocent people in El Salvador during the civil war between 1979 and 1992. CoMadres first began with a group of nine women who were searching the morgues, military barracks, jails, and the body dumps in 1975 for their children. 31 In 1977, when the organization was officially created, a cofounder of las CoMadres stated: "In the beginning of our struggle, it was an individual problem. But one began to discover that there were others in the same situation, and we realized we couldn't be isolated, that our struggle had to be collective." 32 The main difference between the CoMadres and Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo was that the women in El Salvador were mostly campesinas, peasant rural workers, as opposed to middle-class workers like the majority of mothers in Argentina. 33 One unique aspect of the CoMadres is the inclusion of mothers of soldiers who have been forced to join the Salvadoran army, which made routine forced recruitments of very young men. If they refused to join the army, they were called "guerillas" and assassinated. 34 Young people were killed for their political views or because they were poor and unable to hide from the military. One CoMadre described the discovery she made of her murdered nephew and son like this:

We found [in these mass graves] people without eyes, without tongues, without hands, people without heads. And in a place called La Montanita, in San Vicente, we found twenty craniums and skeletons. In the open, were the animals—the vultures, the pigs, the dogs—who had torn apart the cadavers and were eating them. But from the craniums we knew that there were twenty cadavers. 35

The CoMadres seem to have had many more personal attacks from the military then did the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, but both groups were brutally scrutinized and violated by their state governments. There are 550 members of CoMadres today with 50 full-time workers in their offices. 36 They have broadened the scope of their organization's objectives to include human rights violations against all people, including domestic violence, and other issues like education and job training. Their focus is beginning to concentrate on the violations of women, something that the groups in Juarez, Mexico, are rigorously investigating. [End Page 133]

Voces Sin Echo is an organization founded by the mother of a slain maquiladora worker with the help of another mother and daughter whose daughter/sister was tortured, raped, and killed as she left her job at a maquiladora. The organization began in 1998 with the participation of eight other families whose daughters, sisters, and mothers were also killed. The second group located in Juarez, established earlier in 1983, is El Comite Independiente de Chihuaha Pro Defensa de Derechos Humanos (The Chihuahaun Independent Committee of the Defense for Human Rights), or cich as it is more popularly known. Headquartered in San Jose, California, cich is part of a national and worldwide human rights organization. Like Voces Sin Echo, cich is a nonprofit organization that has no local political or religious ties. Both organizations' members come from diverse political and religious backgrounds, but share a very poor, lower-class standing and lack social and political clout. The cich voices grievances against all human rights violations in Juarez, including police brutality, inhumane conditions for the obrera/os, poor living conditions for people in colonias, racism and discrimination against indigenous people, and violence against women. They include in their agenda the defense of their daughters' good names and their memories of the disappeared young women, and they have made these killings their first priority.

Voces Sin Echo is solely committed to addressing the disappearances and [End Page 134] killings of the young women and demands that the state take a more aggressive stance in finding their murderers. These two organizations are not "motherist groups" per se, because they also involve a few men, daughters, and other family members. However, mothers are the most visible and devoted members of these two organizations. Voces Sin Echo marks its beginning from April 26, 1998, when Guillermina Gonzalez Flores's sister, Sagrario, disappeared and was raped, tortured, killed, and buried in the desert mesa, approximately half a mile from her home in the Colonia de Anapra in Juarez.

The women like Sagrario, many of whom were maquiladora workers, were left in shallow graves on the outskirts of Juarez. In December of 1999, a thirteen-year-old maquiladora worker who escaped with her life positively identified a maquiladora bus driver as one of the rapists and murderers of several female maquiladora workers. 37 Although women's bodies continue to be found, police have virtually ended their investigations. Several theories about who is responsible have circulated in the past seven years, ranging from a gang of men who are killing women in retaliation for their having higher rates of employment to a sole serial killer who likes to witness young Mexican women raped or rapes them himself. Other theories, which some of the victims' families seem to give credence to, are that wealthy officials and the Juarez police are somehow involved. Judith Galarza from cich states, "I don't believe in the perfect crime," implying that the police were not investigating these cases aggressively enough. Police say that they do not have enough evidence to follow through with the cases, and for this reason the families feel that police and local officials are somehow involved. 38 In this sense, they are being punished by the state for being poor and having to work in dangerous environments.

The mothers and other family members of the victims have called for a full-fledged war in "arms" against the local officials and police of Juarez. I asked Paula Flores Bonilla, mother of Sagrario Gonzalez Flores, and her daughter, Guillermina, if they were afraid of the police and local officials, but Guillermina said, "Not really; they haven't scared us or done anything to us to keep us quiet." Mrs. Bonilla quickly added, "The name of our organization says it all!" meaning their voices are never heard and are without echo; the police fail to listen to their pleas for help. The mothers and other family members are fighting a struggle latent with class oppression that remains hidden behind definitions of the crimes as acts of random violence or as the work of a group of mindless, murderous men. As Judith Galarza from cich adamantly states:

In Chiapas, it is a political struggle and over here [Juarez] it seems like it is not political, but it is. It is the same thing with the police, the mayor, the politicians; they are criminals, and we have the same objectives with them like the struggles in Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chiapas. This is a way to subdue [End Page 135] the people, a way of scaring women from going out into the streets . . . a dirty war. . . . This did not begin in 1993, but it began in the industry of the maquiladoras. 39

Strategies of Mobilization aAnd "Nonsubversive" Icons

You chose white because you refuse to mourn. Your scarves illuminate . . . your panuelos carry the wisdom of the household, of two hands becoming twelve . . . wherever the politicians and their henchmen gather, you stand before them, your white scarves a mirror before their averted faces.

Marguerite Guzman Bouvard, Revolutionizing Motherhood: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo

The ingenuity of the mothers of Argentina, El Salvador, and Mexico in thinking creatively about the strategies they would take into the public sphere enabled them to transform their homes, neighborhoods, and other social spaces into physical locations of change. These spaces became the stage where they could display their multiple motherist faces in defiance of injustice. As las madres of Mexico, Argentina, and El Salvador carved out these spaces for themselves in the public sphere, they blurred the lines of gendered discourses of citizenship and gendered public politicization that had dictated their private lives for so long. 40 Public spaces were transformed into locations of resistance and the mothers' voices filled these spaces as they used every means possible to draw attention to their cause. Violence almost always followed a march, protest, sit-in, or rally. For example, in 1987 the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo marched in protest against a mass of reconciliation for members of the armed forces that was to be followed by a military parade; in consequence the mothers were attacked with chains and clubs by security forces. While demonstrating at the Plaza weeks later, they were attacked by mounted police with nightsticks. 41 They nevertheless remained headstrong and fearless of the police, though their lives were always in jeopardy. Hebe de Bonafini, the leader of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, explained, "Fear is a prison without bars. . . . It is the worst jail because it doesn't let you think." 42 As the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo moved to public spaces and displayed their private selves in these spaces, the police attempted to stomp out their displays of "defiance."

The same situation developed in El Salvador. Following marches and protests, warnings were made to the CoMadres and were conspicuously displayed in public spaces by right-wing forces. Some of the CoMadres and their advocates were eventually disappeared from their homes, were tortured, raped, and sometimes released. Membership of the CoMadres reached 700 at [End Page 136] one point, and of this number, approximately 48 CoMadres were captured, raped and tortured, 3 are still missing, and 5 were assassinated. 43 Alicia, a member of CoMadres, elaborated: "The death squads captured a compañera [friend], Maria Ophelia Lopez. She was detained, tortured and raped. She was tied down by her hands and feet and burned with cigarettes. Every time they showed her a photo of a different CoMadre and asked if she knew them. When she replied no, they would torture her." 44

The practice of raping women protestors was common in both El Salvador and Argentina. It was a strategy regularly used in wars to taint the women who were considered deviant and disobedient. They had lost their status as "good" mothers and were viewed as "subversive whores." Zillah Eisenstein explains, "The body's power—its intimacy, its creativity against systems of power, its physical dignity and integrity—is also its vulnerability. We can feel our body as we can feel nothing else. . . . The vulnerability inside our strength is why rape is so brutalizing." 45 The act of rape has yet to extend to the mothers in Juarez, but the violations against women's bodies were visibly displayed on their daughters' cadavers as they were found strangled, raped, tortured, and burned. And still those behind these blatant killings go unpunished. Las madres, however, continue to demand justice.

Charles Bowden, an author and journalist who worked with photojournalists from Juarez, documented the injustice that persists in Juarez. His book, Juarez: The Laboratory of Our Future, portrays powerful images of the surplus of violence and poverty plaguing Juarez. One picture captures seven mothers standing in front of a local government office, holding a banner with their daughters' names on it—all were maquiladora workers. The banner states: "Los Familiares de las Senoritas: Elizabeth Castro, Silvia E. Rivera, Olga A. Carrillo, Adriana Torres, Angelica Marques Demandamos Justicia [The families of the young ladies . . . demand justice]." 46

The mothers involved in Voces sin Echo and cich continue to march, protest, and make signs with their daughters' names on them. They also conduct "sweeps" in the desert at least twice a month to look for more young women's bodies and have pressured the police to establish a small station in their headquarters where information can be collected on the disappearances. Galarza mentioned that the pictures of the young women that hang in the police walls placed there by cich are torn off the walls when they return to the station the following day. They now take shifts to stand guard at the station. 47 The mothers of the murdered women can still be seen walking the streets of Juarez in protest, demanding answers. Although these mothers do not belong to a motherist group per se, they are the most visible protestors within human rights and women's organizations in Mexico. Like the mothers in Argentina [End Page 137] and El Salvador, the police, officials, and even the maquiladora industry in Juarez try to blame the mothers for having raised "muchachas de la calle [girls from the streets]," and thus the blame is shifted from the state and its conditions of social and economic poverty to the mothers. The women's mothers are told that their daughters led una doble vida (double lives) and were involved in drug trafficking, prostitution, and frequenting of bars, or ran off with their boyfriends, a common tactic used by officials to deflect any responsibility from themselves. 48

The victims' families are poor so their grievances are of no concern to the local officials and police who simply place the blame on the mothers or on other suspects. Juarez police want to find culpable the men they have already imprisoned for many of the women's deaths. Many critics believe those men are merely scapegoats. In response, women have begun to organize more and have held protests even during the time of local elections, when candidates were making promises to bring the murderers of the daughters to justice in Juarez. Public demonstrations like these have been successful for the mothers in all three countries because they gained the exposure as mourning and protective mothers, and as buscadoras (searchers) for their children seeking public support. Voces sin Echo went so far as to paint crosses on lightposts throughout downtown Juarez last year, in remembrance of the slain girls. Adriana Candia, a former journalist and scholar who coauthored a book about these killings, explained that the group had not received permission to do this but were not stopped by officials from doing so. Lightposts with indelible pink crosses now line the streets of Juarez.

Common materials found within the mothers' homes were also politicized; momentos have been removed from the sanctity of the home and displayed in public stages. 49 The symbol of Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo are the kerchiefs they wore around their heads with the names of their children and the dates of their disappearances. Ruddick states:

As kerchiefs they wore diapers embroidered with the names of many disappeared children. They walked with photographs of their own children around their necks. These photographs belonged in a common family room or bedroom. Tokens of childhood, they were meant to capture events and stages of lives of children meant to live. Now these records of life are suffused with terror and policies of death. 50

Like the mothers in Argentina, the CoMadres also transcended the image of motherhood and la madre mater dolorosa by wearing black dresses signifying affliction and white scarves representing peace, an idea they adopted from a motherist group in 1922. 51 The CoMadres also used photos and banners of [End Page 138] [Begin Page 140] their loved ones with strong messages against state-sponsored violence as did las madres in Argentina. These household tools of activism became the signature forms of action for las madres throughout Latin America. The eeriness of haunted and tormented people traveled home with those who saw them. Avery Gordon describes the use of photographs:

The mothers transformed the docile portrait or, in the case of the photocopies, the disembodied mechanical reproduction of a bodily organ into a public punctum. The prickly detail that triggers the presence of the blind field, these photographs have specific reference: They have been here once. They should be here now. Where are they? And they personified the missing person, the figure around which the banal and the singular power of the state to repress converged. 52

These photos capture the youthfulness and innocence of several of the young desaparecidos who were fighting for a "better" and more "just" Argentina and El Salvador. Photos also capture the beauty of young Mexican women from Juarez, Mexico, in their quinceañera (fifteenth birthday) dresses or their school uniforms, posing with groups of friends, or even holding their own young children. The mothers' humble attire, their photos, and single candles are doubly powerful because they come from the inner sanctum of the home. When combined with the use of a kerchief worn by the mothers over their heads or a banner with the names and faces of their children, the impact is insuperable. 53

This insistence upon the celebration of life has also been exhibited through the production of altars. Home altars are extensions of a mother's devotion to the desaparecidos intended to keep their memories alive. Kay Turner explains women's uses of altars:

A woman's personal altar evokes her particular—her intimate—relationship to the divine, human, and natural realms. There she assembles a highly condensed, symbolic model of connection by bringing together sacred images and ritual objects, pictures, mementos, natural materials, and decorative effects which represent different realms of meaning and experience—heaven and earth, family and deities, nature and culture, Self and Other. 54

Although not all the mothers may have paid homage to their children's memories through altars, it is apparent that personal belongings and objects reflective of home altars were used during their public performance of resistance against the state. 55

I was fortunate enough to view a home altar built for a disappeared daughter by a grieving family in Juarez. Sagrario Gonzalez Flores's family has a picture [End Page 140] sixteen by twenty inch picture of her hanging in their humble living room, and in the corner they have constructed an altar. A pink, laced wall plaque pays tribute to Sagrario above a small table covered by a hand-woven lace tablecloth and two crucifixes, a Valentine momento and card, a stuffed animal of the cartoon character Tweety Bird, a lit white candle, and artificial daisies, carnations, and roses in two vases flanking a framed picture of her. Their private and remote home located in a shantytown in the middle of the desert is thus transformed into a political arena when people all over the world witness the state of trauma and horror experienced by this family through media accounts. A mother and daughter changed the face of gendered citizenship when they invited outsiders into their half constructed, cinder-block home, where chickens wander in and out of the front door. The sacred altar to Sagrario has been given life through Voces Sin Echo, the organization that inspired Sagrario's sister and mother to become activists. Through Voces Sin Echo, the sacred altar transcended the private sphere and became a public image, an icon of the murdered daughter and an affirmation of her mother's transformation into a public citizen/activist.

The media has provided the vehicles for conveying the mothers' messages from Argentina, El Salvador, and more recently from Juarez, creating international support and exposure, which in turn has helped to advance the goals of exposing state violence and control in those countries. Television has thus become an extension and "an apparatus of justice." 56 By immortalizing the mothers, video documentaries and news segments have proved to be a productive and effective means of transporting mass information on the disappearances of thousands of people.

Just as the image of the mater dolorosa was utilized with the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo and las CoMadres, so is the image of the mourning mother used in Juarez. The U.S. news show 20/20 dedicated a segment titled "Silent Screams in Juarez" to the killings in Juarez as did the Latino based news show Aquí y Ahora con Theresa Rodriguez with a story called "La Ciudad de Muerte." Both highlighted the image of the mater dolorosa through Paula Flores Bonilla, Sagrario's mother, shown walking through the campo santo (cemetery), carrying flowers to her daughters grave as she cried and threw herself over the simple cross marking her daughter's grave site.

On the 20/20 segment, Paula said,

They [police] didn't let me see my daughter. I only saw her in a plastic bag. That's why I still cannot accept that my daughter is dead. I never even saw her body. . . . We have more daughters, and they work at the factories. I'm always worrying that they're in danger. I watch them leave, and I don't know if they will return. 57 [End Page 141] [Begin Page 143]
Irma Perez, another mother who was interviewed on Aquí y Ahora con Theresa Rodriguez, said that her daughter's bones were delivered to her in a bag, and she was told that they were unable to adequately test the bones of her daughter to guarantee her identity because the bones had badly deteriorated. 58 Like many other mothers in Juarez, Perez was also told by police prior to the delivery of her daughter's remains that her daughter had probably run away from home with her boyfriend and that she was leading a double life.

Judith Galarza, the spokesperson for the group cich, has been interviewed by worldwide media organizations from an attorney's office in Juarez. Her sister Leticia Galarza Campos was a member of La Liga Comunista 23 de Septiembre, a communist youth group in Mexico City, and was politically disappeared on January 4, 1978, and the media explosure has increased the amount of attention the world has given to the killings in Mexico. 59 Las madres in Argentina used a full-page newspaper ad listing the names and political identification numbers of 237 mothers of the disappeared in La Prensa, a popular Argentine newspaper. The madres pitted their maternal authority against the military's abuses of power. They also created a newspaper simply entitled "Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo" and subsequently received death threats and had their offices sacked and documents and awards destroyed. 60 Like the madres in Argentina, las CoMadres also received death threats after publishing information in newspapers about the state's atrocities. Their offices were also ransacked. Bombings took place in the offices in 1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, and 1989 that injured women hurt and destroyed documentation. 61

Latinas are expected to enact their citizenship in their roles as wives and as mothers raising respectable citizens of the state. Las Super Madres of Latino America, in their confrontation with authoritarian states over the disapprearances and deaths of their children, threw off these gendered standards of citizenship assigned them and transformed their roles as mothers into motherist tools against death and oppression. Las Super Madres developed new tools of resistance through the display of objects, photos, and icons, and, claiming a maternalist position, they exposed those complicit or responsible for the atrocities to the scrutiny of the world.

The most recent developments in the Juarez murder investigations in early 2002 indicate that nearly three hundred women have been killed since 1993. Although this figure includes victims of domestic violence and other violent deaths, many of these women were, in fact, maquiladora workers who were disappeared as they traveled to and from work. On November 8, 2001, eight more women's bodies were found in an area where local police and soldiers were known to set up makeshift camps. The murdered women had been strangled and strategically placed one hundred feet apart in a ditch near a frequently [End Page 143] used road. Shortly afterward two bus drivers were arrested for the eight murders and sent to jail, even though the men claimed the police tortured them to confess to these atrocities. The bus drivers' involvement in the crime, in the eyes of victims' families, remains dubious. The victims' families and women's rights organizations remain outraged and continue their ongoing struggle for answers and justice.

Recently, Mexican president Vicente Fox ordered federal investigators to take over the investigations in Juarez and has sought the assistance of the FBI in furthering investigations. Unfortunately, the group Voces Sin Echo is now disbanded, and as of early 2002, the victims' families remain without an advocacy group exclusively dedicated to the capture of the women's murderers and to stopping gendered violence in Juarez, Mexico.


Cynthia L. Bejarano, a native of southern New Mexico and the El Paso-Juárez border, is an assistant professor of criminal justice at New Mexico State University. Her publications and research interests focus on border violence and race, class, and gender issues and Latino youths' border identities in the Southwest.


I would like to extend thanks to Professor Arturo Aldama at Arizona State University for his insight, mentorship, and persistence with aiding me in the development and growth of this paper. Also, thanks to Jolan Hsieh, who inserted the pictures in this text. Most importantly, thank you to the families and activists of Juarez with whom I spoke.

1. I use the term "motherist groups" to depict grassroots activist groups whose members are exclusively or almost entirely mothers. I first encountered this term in Sara Ruddick's article, "'Woman of Peace': A Feminist Construction," in The Women and The War Reader, ed. Lois Ann Lorentzen and Jennifer Turpin (New York: New York University Press, 1998), 213-26. I do not know, however, if she coined the term.

2. This paper does not mean to privilege one motherist group over another. For more on Latina motherist groups, refer to Elvia Alvarado, Don't Be Afraid Gringo: A Honduran Woman Speaks from the Heart, ed. Medea Benjamin (San Francisco: Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1987). Alvarado speaks of a "Mother's Club" she joined sponsored by the Catholic Church to fight for land reform and the disavowal of the Church when the women appeared to become too "political." Alicia Partnoy, ed., You Can't Drown the Fire: Latin American Women Writing in Exile (Pittsburgh pa: Cleis Press, 1988) includes short stories and poetry by mothers who lost their children to state violence and other women forced into exile from their home countries. Mary Pardo's work on the Los Angeles motherist group the Mothers of East Los Angeles (mela) offers still another understanding of grassroots politics among Latina mothers in the United States ("Mexican American Women Grassroots Community Activists: Mothers of East Los Angeles," Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 11:1 [1990]: 1-7).

3. Arturo Aldama, Disrupting Savagism: Intersecting Chicana/o, Mexicana/o, and Native American Struggles for Representation (Durham nc: Duke University Press, forthcoming), 56.

4. Norma Alarcon et al., Between Women and Nation (Durham nc: Duke University Press, 1999), 69.

5. My sincerest gracias go to the numerous people who assisted me with this project, and their sharing of personal experiences, hardships, and knowledge. Un mil gracias to Julian Cardona, photojournalist and activist whose work is displayed in Juarez: The Laboratory of Our Future (New York: Aperture, 1998) and who allowed me an interview and drove me tirelessly in Juarez to conduct interviews; Judith Galarza, organizer of El Comite Independiente de Chihuaha Pro Defense de Derechos Humanos (cich) in Juarez, Mexico; Guillermina Flores and Paula Flores Bonilla, the sister and mother of Sagrario Gonzalez Flores who helped to establish Voces Sin Echo; Ester Cano Chavez, activist and founder of Grupo 8 de Marzo and the first women's shelter, Casa Amiga, in Juarez, Mexico; Vicki Caraveo, human rights activist and leader in Juarez; Alicia Partnoy, a desaparecida que tuvo aparicion con vida and academic scholar who engaged with me in a short but inspirational and informative conversation during a guest lecture at Arizona State University; to Santos, a Salvadoran desaparecido who shared his story of torture and whose life was spared only because a Salvadoran death squad threw his body in a dump, believing that he was dead. I hope you made it safely to Mexico City and received medical assistance to heal your body and "cabeza" as you say; and finally to mis amigas queridas, Adriana Candia, Isabel Velazquez, and Guadalupe de la Mora, three of seven authors of the book El Silencio que la voz de todas Quiebra, for their awesome recuerdos of the young maquiladora women who were killed. Special thanks to Adriana for driving me around Juarez and our adventures crusando el puente para este lado de la frontera and for tolerating the disfavorable treatment of ins agents toward us.

6. The globalization of the economy since the late sixties is culpable for further debilitating thousands of people struggling for economic reform and social change in Argentina, El Salvador, and Mexico. Alicia Partnoy, a desaparecida from Argentina, a human rights activist, and professor in the United States, explains in the preface of her book, You Can't Drown the Fires, "Desperate oligarchies and multinational corporations resorted to their local military to curtail the social transformations that jeopardized their interests" (13). Diana Taylor states in her Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina's "Dirty War" (Durham nc: Duke University, 1997), "The crisis [dirty war] resulted from Argentina's entry into the global economic market; thus it is very much a product of a broader agenda, indeed 'our' imaginary and 'our' global economic system" (xi). For further discussion of globalized economic efforts on the border, see Devon G. Peña, The Terror of the Machine Technology, Work, Gender, and Ecology on the U.S.-Mexico Border (Austin, Texas: cmas Books, 1997); and Altha J. Cravey, Women and Work in Mexico's Maquiladoras (New York: Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1998).

7. This number does not include those who have been killed in other Latin American countries or those currently being killed as a result of the civil war in Chiapas, Mexico, and other southern Mexican states.

8. The concept "dirty war" was used to depict the undisclosed civil war taking place between the Argentine army and right-wing groups against the poor on one side and left-wing supporters of reform on the other. It was intended by junta leaders of the army—generals in charge of thousands of murders of Argentineans—to characterize Argentineans who disagreed with the military coup as being "dissidents" and conspiring against the government. They were portrayed as subversives working to undermine the military coup in 1976. The dirty war was expected to thwart subversive tactics by common people whom leaders of the military forces accused of instilling chaos, communists ideologies, and antinationalist sentiments in the general population. Marguerite Guzman Bouvard contends in her Revolutionizing Motherhood: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Wilmington de: Scholarly Resources Inc., 1994), that those opposed to the coup were accused of wanting to strip the country of its "harmony and unity" in a right-wing religious crusade to save the country of radical thought (23). The ultimate goal was to compel all people, by force and persuasion, to uphold a conservative national identity and patriarchal ideology.

In another sense, the term "dirty war" was used as a critique of the military and police as a civil war acted out on innocent people. It is called the "dirty war" by people writing about the carnage that the government, the leaders of the military coup, police, and death squads wreaked on the innocent people of Argentina. Human rights activists, writers, and victims' families of this "dirty war" have reclaimed the name to denounce the acts of violence between 1976-1983 and thereafter.

9. See Taylor, Disappearing Acts; Lynn Stephen, Women and Social Movements in Latin America: Power From Below (Austin: University of Texas, 1997); and Judith Galarza, interview with author, January 8, 1999, Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.

10. Grace Paley offers this definition of a desaparecido: "'The disappeared' refers to people who have been kidnapped by government security forces or death squads and whose whereabouts, and very survival, remain unknown to family members, friends or co-workers" (A Dream Compels Us: Voices of Salvadoran Women [Boston: South End Press, 1989], 23).

11. Eric Stener Carlson, I Remember Julia: Voices of the Disappeared (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996).

12. See Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997); and Carlson, I Remember Julia.

13. Most of the people disappeared in Argentina and El Salvador were also young, ranging in age between sixteen to thirty-five (Gordon, Ghostly Matters; and Stephen, Women and Social Movements in Latin America).

14. Maquiladoras are off-shore production factories found throughout the northern border region of Mexico and the United States. These companies sprouted in northern Mexico after the Border Industrialization Program began in 1965, providing incentives to U.S. corporations interested in relocating their plants on the border (Cravey, Women and Work in Mexico's Maquiladoras, 98).

15. John Quiñones, "Silent Screams in Juarez," 20 /20, abc News, New York, January 20, 1999.

16. Peña, The Terror of the Machine Technology, 6.

17. Guillermina Flores Gonzalez, interview with author, October 25, 1998, Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.

18. See Quiñones, "Silent Screams in Juarez"; and Theresa Rodriguez, "La Ciudad de Muerte" ("The City of Death"), Aquí y Ahora con Theresa Rodriguez (Here and Now with Theresa Rodriguez), Telemundo, February 19, 1999.

19. Rodriquez, "La Ciudad de Muerte."

20. Betsey Wearing, The Ideology of Motherhood: A Study of Sydney Suburban Mothers (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1984), quoted in Marlee Kline, "Complicating the Ideology of Motherhood: Child Welfare Law and First Nation Women," in Mothers in Law: Feminist Theory and the Legal Regulation of Motherhood, ed. Martha A. Fineman and Isabel Karpin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), 119-20.

21. Wearing as quoted in Kline, "Complicating the Ideology of Motherhood," 124. A. I. Griffith and D. E. Smith "Constructing Cultural Knowledge: Mothering as Discourse," in Women and Education: A Canadian Perspective, ed. J. S. Gaskell and A. T. McLaren (Calgary: Detslig Entrprises, 1987), 87-104.

22. For further reading see Ruddick, "'Woman of Peace': A Feminist Construction"; also see Diana Taylor, "Making A Spectacle: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo," in The Politics of Motherhood: Activist Voices From Left to Right, ed. Alexis Jetter, Annelise Orleck, and Diana Taylor (Hanover nh: University Press of New England, 1997).

23. Ruddick, "'Woman of Peace,'" 216.

24. Taylor, "Making A Spectacle," 193.

25. Judith Stiehm, "Women and Citizenship: Mobilization, Participation, Representation," in Women, Power, and Political Systems, ed. Margherita Rendel (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1981), 54.

26. Sallie Westwood and Sarah Radcliffe, "Gender, Racism, and the Politics of Identities in Latin America" in Viva: Women and Popular Protest in Latin America, ed. Sallie Westwood and Sarah Radcliffe (New York: Routledge, 1993), 16.

27. Stiehm, "Women and Citizenship," 62.

28. See Bouvard, Revolutionizing Motherhood.

29. Taylor, Disappearing Acts.

30. The Spanish term is used between the mother and godmother of a child and is also a term of endearment between very close female friends. The acronym may have also meant a sense of these mothers caring for one another and the shared loss of their children as if they were all godmothers of one another's children.

31. Stephen, Women and Social Movements in Latain America; and Jennifer Schirmer, "The Seeking of Truth and the Gendering of Consciousness: The CoMadres of El Salvador and the Conavigua Widows of Guatemala," in Radcliffe and Westwood, Viva, 30-64.

32. Schirmer, "The Seeking of Truth," 32.

33. Refer to Stephen, Women and Social Movements in Latin America.

34. See Schirmer, "The Seeking of Truth."

35. Schirmer, "The Seeking of Truth," 39.

36. Schirmer, "The Seeking of Truth."

37. Official statistics on the number of women killed in Juarez remain ambiguous. Human rights organizations and women's organizations have reported numbers higher than those reported by local officials and the police. The official statistics of the missing women are laden with errors and contradictions. Police investigations failed to take the proper precautions to ensure the security of much of the evidence found at the crime scenes. According to Guadalupe de la Mora and Ramona Ortiz, in their book El Silencio Que La Voz de Todas Quiebra (Chihuahua, Mexico: Ediciones del azar A. C., 1999), between 1993 to 1998, at the very least 137 women were violently killed, including maquiladoras, domestic abuse victims, prostitutes, drug traffickers, commercial workers, homemakers, students, and other women whose identities and occupations were not revealed. Only 62 percent of 137 victims have been identified since 1988. Out of the 137, only 41 of the victims' occupations were identifiable: 16 worked in maquiladoras, 2 in a shoe shop, 7 were bares (worked in bars), 4 were prostitutes, 6 were students, 8 were homemakers, and 5 worked commercially. Although women are killed for a variety of reasons in Juarez, the killings continue without much investigation.

Seventy-four percent of these women were wearing pants, debunking the accusations from authorities and police that the women were dressed provocatively and "asked for trouble." Women's bodies continue to be found. In July 8, 2000, another body was found in a canal near the Mexico/New Mexico/Texas border. She was between twenty and twenty-five years of age. A previous victim was found half buried in a shallow grave in Juarez. She was eighteen years old and was found with only her blouse on. Despite evidence that the murders continue, police maintain that the murderers of these young women have been captured without offering further explanation.

38. Mexican police are known for having corrupt practices. Growing up on the borderlands near Juarez and El Paso, it was commonplace for me to hear about corrupt police in Juarez who preyed upon tourists, Juarenses (people from Juarez), and young people on both sides of the border for money. Stories of mordidas on the border are abundant. The word literally means bites, but refers to police asking for money from people who are in police custody or simply intimidating people by threatening to take them to jail. Alfredo Quijano, editor for the Ciudad Juarez edition of the Monterrey daily newspaper, El Norte, explains, "Everyone in Juarez knows the police work for the drug traffickers and that they kidnap and kill people . . . but government authorities haven't done anything about it" (Molly Moore, "On the Border, Juarez Is A City of Contrasts," Washington Post Foreign Service, December 5, 1999, A41).

39. Judith Galarza, interview.

40. Westwood and Radcliffe, "Gender, Racism, and the Politics of Identities," 19.

41. Bouvard, Revolutionizing Motherhood.

42. As quoted in Bouvard, Revolutionizing Motherhood, 249.

43. See Stephen, Women and Social Movements in Latin America.

44. Schirmer, "The Seeking of Truth," 41.

45. Zillah Eisenstein, Hatreds Racialized and Sexualized Conflicts in the 21st Century (New York: Routledge, 1996), 33.

46. Charles Bowden, Juarez: The Laboratory of Our Future (New York: Aperture, 1998), 68.

47. Galarza, interview.

48. Galarza, interview; and Guillermina Flores Gonzalez, interview by author, October 25, 1998, Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. For further references, see Debbie Nathan, who writes about la doble vida and las dos vias in her article, "Work, Sex, and Danger in Ciudad Juarez" (nacla Report on the Americas: Contested Terrain the U.S.-Mexico Border 33:3 [1999]: 24-30). Nathan writes that the police, and even the mayor of Juarez, took part in making public statements like, "Do you know where your daughter is tonight?" implying that their daughters were muchachas de la calle (women from the streets) by night and factory workers by day. The phrase "las dos vias" is a Mexican euphemism describing when a woman is sexually penetrated both vaginally and anally (25). Nathan includes the case of Alma Chavira Farel, who was strangled and raped in 1993, through "las dos vias" (25). She makes a comparison between the two phrases, and indicates that a relationship exists between the "sexualized violence against women in Juarez," and the maquila development in the area, which has caused changes within the economic and social roles of Mexican women on the border.

49. Judith Galarza from cich in Juarez states,

This is enough [police saying they can not find the murderers], it is people, well, we don't know who they are and if they are rich or if they have some connection with the police, but what bothers us is that they start to investigate the families. For instance, in the case of a recent victim of a child, they [the police] wanted to blame the grandfather and stepfather, but they had been looking for the young girl also. They [the police] may know people involved in the killings, and now, they manipulate information and blame the families (Galarza interview).

The mothers continue their fight for the truth. Galarza mentioned during our interview that she has been arrested and thrown in jail several times in Juarez for her activism, but her organization and other activists maintain strong ties with the media, which reports on their imprisonment.

50. Ruddick, "Woman of Peace," 216.

51. See Schirmer, "The Seeking of Truth."

52. Avery Gordon. Ghostly Matters, 09.

53. Westwood and Radcliffe, "Gender, Racism, and the Politics of Identities," 19.

54. Kay Turner, Beautiful Necessity: The Area and Meaning of Women's Altars (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1999), 27.

55. Through photographs and documentaries I have seen on Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, CoMadres, and women whose daughters have disappeared in Mexico, I have noted that photos and personal belongings, along with candles, are gathered in the home in memory of the disappeared, providing a "sacred space" for the loved ones no longer with the family.

56. Isabel Karpin, "Pop Justice: tv, Motherhood, and the Law," in Feminism, Media, and the Law, ed. Martha A. Fineman and Martha T. McCluskey (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 23.

57. Quiñones, "Silent Screams in Juarez."

58. Rodriquez, "La Ciudad de Muerte."

59. After pressure from international organizations, including some in the United States, state police in Juarez and three fbi profilers are investigating the murders of 180 women. Among those, 143 murders seem to fit a pattern (Associated Press, "fbi to Help Investigate Women's Murders in Juarez," Las Cruces Sun News, February 2, 1999, A4).

60. Bouvard, "Revolutionizing Motherhood."

61. Bouvard, "Revolutionizing Motherhood"; and Carlson, I Remember Julia.

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