Elevate Difference

The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border

I have always assumed that every feminist knows about the murders in Juarez, Mexico. I have been obsessed with the murders and available news reports (or lack there of) for the past couple of years. So when I saw that the first non-fiction book to be published about the Juarez femicide was coming out, I was incredibly excited to see that these events would finally be discussed in an accessible format.

As I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. I carried it with me everywhere, as these women's stories filled my head and my heart. The first couple of chapters were incredibly hard to get through. In fact, I had to take frequent crying breaks in order to read the first fifty pages. So when I started obsessively talking about this book to everyone I know, I was disappointed and dismayed to encounter the common response of "What murders in Juarez?"

And this is why The Daughters of Juarez is the most necessary and important book to come out this spring. For the past 12 years, over 400 women have gone missing in the desert of Juarez. From what is left of their desiccated bodies, medical examiners have found evidence of brutal rapes and torture of these young women. In the beginning of the crimes, most of the victims were young, poor maquiladora workers abducted on their way to or from work. As the crimes progressed and police failed to find the killer(s), more women were (and are) abducted and their bones have turned up in the desert.

This book is important for several reasons. First, these women's stories must be told in order for them to be remembered. The pervasive misogyny of these femicides must be told, because these crimes are happening in every part of the world, just under a different guise. Second, it is painfully relevant how the media has failed to pick up on this story. 400 women raped and brutally murdered, and only a few radical media sources have written a scarce number of reports about them. How can that be? What is so wrong with our society that no one cares if 400 women in one city are brutally raped and killed in less than a decade?

Finally, if these stories are not going to be covered in the mainstream media, then the mere existence of this book is amazing. The women of Juarez's stories are now accessible to anyone who happens to peruse the politics or true crime section of any bookstore. Rodriguez and Montané's combined account of this femicide is emotionally hard to get through, but their relentless dedication to bring justice to the murdered women and their families is truly inspiring, and is an amazing call to action.

Written by: Chelsey Clammer, April 16th 2007

I recently moved to El Paso due to my husband's job, and didn't hear about the happenings in Juarez until coming here. I bought the book three days ago, and finished reading it two days ago. I am horrified that this is going on, that people don't know about it, and that the killer(s) remain at large. What a disgrace to women and to humanity. Many, many kudos to the author and group of people who worked so diligently to publish this book. It's a must read.

I just watched the film Bajo Juarez, which was the official selection of the Sundance Film Festival in 2007. I highly recommend it, and can't wait now to read that book. The indifference of the gov't officials in the film made me so mad.

Daughters of Juarez is now out in paperback. Please buy it for yourself or anyone (or everyone) you know. I really do believe that the more people who are educated about this, the more a resistance to it will rise.Thanks for reading,Chelsey

I recently heard about these murders after watching the movie "Bordertown" with Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas. This realization of the brutal tragedies have deeply affected me and I immediately began searching the web to find out if it was true. I am sickened to know that this is going on within walking distance from El Paso. I have not finished the book yet. It has been very difficult, yet captivating to read. It is a sad reality that everyone should be aware of. I am so grateful that the author had the courage and stomach to write it. Thank you!

I stronly agree. It is highly important that these women get their stories heard. And your right this is not just happening in Juarez but all over the world, and it's sad that often more times then not, their stories are never told. I just recently saw the movie "Bordertown" and I must say its very emotional movie that gives you the reality of what goes on in Juarez. I definitely recommend it.

I'm a 15 year old girl, and i learned about these murders from my Spansih teacher, who got very emotional when telling us about it. It makes me absolutly sick to know that there is very little international awareness, I hope the people who read this book will change that

I AM A 30 YEAR OLD WOMAN, WHO HAS LIVED IN THE US FOR 21 YEARS. I WAS BORN IN JUAREZ, AND ALL MY LIFE I'VE HEARD STORIES OF THE ATROCITIES, THAT ARE HAPPENING IN MY BIRTH PLACE. IT MAKES ME SO SAD, AND OUTRAGED THAT MY SISTERS ARE GOING THROUGH THIS AND THAT THERE IS NOTHING BEING DONE...

I would like to thank all of you for your comments and positive review. This reaction gives me hope that this "labor of love" was worth the almost ten years of work behind it. I ask that you please also write a comment on the Amazon.com page where the book appears so that other potential readers will have an opportunity to read your reactions and perhaps be moved enough to purchase the book and spread the word...I know that together we can begin a call to action and remind the newly elected President of Mexico Felipe Calderon that these murders must not be forgotten. Teresa Rodriguez

I was so interested in getting my hands on a book that would recap the accounts that were continuously happening to the women in Ciudad Juarez. The minute "Daughters of Juarez" came out I got it. I was not able to put the book down. From the first word through the last word, I was left with the question,"What can I do?" I can make sure that every person I know is told about the book so that they, too, can become educated on the goings-on south of the border. It is a must-read.

There is another book out, The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women by Diana Washington Valdez, a journalist who lives in El Paso, Texas and investigated the murders. I read an ebook version of it, and I tell you it's a bombshell. I came across the author's blog at www.dianawashingtonvaldez.blogspot.com

I got the book today and am now half way through it. Absolutely phenomenal!

Exactly, Rebecca. There was a fiction book that came out in 2003 titled Desert Blood by Alicia Gaspar de Alma that told a fictional account of the murders, but that book didn't get too much press either. I'm interested to see who picks up this book and reads it, and what activism will or will not occur as a result of it.

I had never even heard of Juarez until this post. How depressing that enough time occurs for a book to be written and published and this isn't a more discussed subject.

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