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Primary Materials ● Antígona: Las voces que incendian el desierto (Antigone: The Voices That Ignite the Desert) by Perla de la Rosa (play, 2004) ● Lomas de Poleo by Edeberto Galindo (play, 2002) ● Backyard: El traspatio, directed by Carlos Carrera, written by Sabina Berman (film, 2009) ● Zapatos rojos (Red Shoes) by Elina Chauvet (art installation, 2009–13) ● Ánima sola (Lonely Soul) by Alejandro Román (play, 2010) ● Mi cabello por tu nombre (My Hair for Your Name) by Elina Chauvet (performance art, 2014) ● Memorial by Lorena Wolffer (archival performance art, 2015) ● 21,000 princesas (21,000 Princesses) by Ave Barrera and Lola Horner (mixedmedia book, 2015) F or more than two decades, scores of women have met violent deaths in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, which lies just across the border from El Paso, Texas. The most sensational cases involve victims who disappear and are murdered, mutilated, and abandoned in the desert. Journalist and academic Alice Driver writes that it is impossible to pinpoint when these murders, often called “femicides” or “feminicides,” began and how many women and girls have 12 Feminicide Expanding Outrage: Representations of Gendered Violence and Feminicide in Mexico Dana A. Meredith and Luis Alberto Rodríguez Cortés 238 Dana A. Meredith & Luis Alberto Rodríguez Cortés been killed.1 Noting local officials’ failure to systematize death counts, she cites statistics kept by private citizen and scholar Julia Estela Monárrez Fragoso, who recorded 1,481 feminicides in Juárez between January 1, 1993, and November 15, 2012. Of these deaths, Monárrez Fragoso considers 217 the result of familial violence, 233 the result of sex crimes, and 706 the result of organized crime (Driver 5). Like many others who have attempted to locate the cause of this gendered violence, Stephen Eisenhammer suggests a strong connection between the murders and Juárez’s long embrace of neoliberalism.2 From the Border Industrialization Program of 1965, which aimed to make the region into a zone of manufacturing for export, to the boom in foreign-owned factories, known as maquiladoras, that accompanied the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, Juárez has long attracted poor, young, often female internal migrants looking for work (Eisenhammer 103–4). Living in a city powered by trade laws that favor corporations over in­ dividuals, these women find that many other laws are not enforced, especially in the geographically isolated, undeveloped parts of the city where they live. Melissa Wright has studied how such women fall victim to what she calls the “myth of the third world disposable woman.” According to Wright, a young woman of Third World origin over time comes to “personify the meaning of    hu­ man disposability”and, having become “a form of industrial waste”as her body’s capacity to perform manual labor is depleted, she is free to be dumped (“Introduction ” 2). Wright examines this process at work in a Juárez maquiladora, where managers and engineers monitor the various body parts of women— their wrists, fingers, backs—as they work in order to “extract valuable labor from them while determining that these women are worth little value in and of themselves” (17). As their bodies become less able to perform demanding factory work, and thus devalued by the very jobs that have drawn them to Juárez, these women become easy prey in a city where police often fail to investigate crimes and courts rarely prosecute criminals (Driver 12).The use of misogynistic, patriarchal discourse by police and other officials to discredit these victims has also been well documented.3 Such rhetoric includes the ever-popular tactic of conflating all women acting independently in public with the most well-known representative of the “public woman,” the prostitute, by accusing murdered and disappeared women of having led “double lives”that contributed to their deaths (Weiner 292).It is clear,then,that Juárez’s feminicides are the result of economic forces working not in isolation from but rather in concert with a complex web of social,political,and cultural factors. Feminicide 239 The high rate of domestic-based feminicides also attests to the confluence of elements behind this violence. In her analysis of 494 Juárez feminicide victims recorded between 1993 and 2007 in the Feminicide Database at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Monárrez Fragoso classifies 115 of the cases as systemic sexual feminicides (those involving kidnapping, sexual violence, torture, murder, and the abandonment of bodies) and 150 of the cases as intimate...


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