ACTION August 14, 2002 on Women Murdered in Ciudad Juarez
On the Streets and On-line

To Join the Vitural Sit-In.
Return to this Page on August 14, 2002 8am (EST)

The Sit-in will END on August 15th, 2002 at 8am (EST)

Ajúntense a la manifestación virtual aqui.
Augusto 14, 2002 asta Augusto 15, 2002.

Please sign this petition.

On Wednesday, August 14, 2002, there will be a performance and procession
organized by The Women in Black Art Project and artist Coco Fusco to raise
awareness about the now nearly 800 women who have been murdered or
"disappeared" in and around Ciudad Juarez, State of Chihuahua, Mexico over
the past decade.

The event will begin in front of the main Organization of American States
building at 17th and Constitution in Washington, DC, starting at noon
The organizers hope to attract 300 participants who will join the costumed
Women in Black figures in a solemn procession to the offices of the OAS´
Commission on Human Rights several blocks away. Participants will wear
costumes that evoke the uniforms worn by female maquiladora workers, and
black garb similar to that worn by the mothers of the disappeared and
murdered young women in demonstrations conducted frequently in Ciudad
Juarez and other cities in Mexico.
Each participant will carry a
photograph of a murdered or missing woman.

Upon arriving at the Commission on Human Rights office building, a letter
to the Commission Chairperson will be hand-delivered. The letter will urge
the speedy action by the Commission on a request addressed to it several
months ago by an organization of the families of the murdered and missing
The request, sent to the Commission, and to the appropriate
officials of the Government of Mexico in early 2002, demands that the
Commission declare the murders and abductions in Chihuahua a crime against
humanity. The hope is that such a declaration will encourage action
by the governments of both Mexico and the US, which, to date, have not
seriously addressed what constitutes a war against young women in Northern

To learn more about activities in support of the families of the murdered
and missing women, log on to

The Women in Black Art Project, which is part of the international
feminist peace movement active in 30 countries, has been conducting vigils
to raise awareness of the worldwide pandemic of violence against women,
and the exacerbating effect on this pandemic of wars and other conflicts.

The performances in support of the families of the Ciudad Juarez murdered
and missing women will involve choreographed movements of women wearing
three sculptural costumes, the heart of the Women in Black Art Project
(see for photos of the costumes in vigil on
International Women´s Day, 2002).

In addition to the street action there will be a virtual sit-in by the Electornic Disturbance Theater against
the OAS and the government of Chihuahua on the same day, and artist Adriene
will accompany the Women in Black digitally by inserting W-I-B figures
into various chat rooms.

For further information, and to join the Action, please contact Mary Jo Aagerstoun at

ACCION, 14 de agosto, 2002, para las mujeres asesinadas en Ciudad Juarez

El miercoles, 14 de agosto, 2002, se presentará un performance y unaprocesión
organizados por Las Mujeres en Negro Proyecto-Arte y la artista
Coco Fusco para tomar consciencia los casi 800 casos de mujeres que han
sido matadas o desaparecidas durante los últimos diez años en Ciudad Juarez
y sus alrededores, Estado de Chihuahua.

El evento va a comenzar delante del edificio principal de la Organización
de Estados Americanos en la esquina de la calle 16th y la avenida Consitution
en Washington DC, a las 12 del dia
. Las organizadoras quieren atraer unos
300 participantes quienes se reuniran con las figuras de las Mujeres en

Negro en una procesión solemne hacia las oficinas de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos
de la OEA, que estan ubicadas a unas cuadras del edificio principal. Los

participantes se vestirán como las trabajadoras de maquiladoras en la frontera
mexico-americana, o como las madres de las desaparecidas en Ciudad Juarez
y otras ciudades de México. Cada participante cargará la foto de una mujer
asesinada o desparecida.

Al llegar al edificio de la Comisíon de Derechos Humanos, una carta dirigida
al director de la Comisión será entregada a mano. Esta carta pedirá la
atención inmediata de la Comisión a una solicitud que fué enviada hace
varios meses por una organización de las familias de las mujeres asesinadas

y desaparecidas. Esta solicitud, que fué enviada a la Comisión, y a los oficiales del gobiero
de México a principios del 2002, pide que la Comisión proponga que las
matanzas y los secuestros en Chihuahua sean declaradas crimenes contra
la humanidad. Esperamos que esta declaración promoverá acción por parte
de los gobiernos de México y de los Estados Unidos, que hasta ahora, no
han prestado seria atención a lo que constituye una guera contra las mujeres
jovenes del Norte de México.

Para saber más acerca de las actividades que apoyan a las familias de las
mujeres matadas y desparecidas, pueden ver la página web:

Las Mujeres en Negro, un movimiento internacional feminista a favor de
la paz activo en 30 paises, ha llevado a cabo sus vigilias en todos estos
paises para concientizar sobre la epidemia mundial de violencia contra
lasmujeres, y el impacto exacerbante DE esta epidemia sobre las guerras
y otros conflictos sociales.

Este performance de apoyo a las familias de las mujeres matadas y
desparecidas de Ciudad Juarez va a incorporar movimientos coreograficos
de mujeres que llevarán las tres vestimentas esculturales, que forman
el corazón
del proyecto de las Mujeres en Negro, (vean
para tener acceso a las fotos de estos vestuarios que fueron usados para el
Dia internacional de la Mujer, 2002).

Además del performance callejero, se montará una manifestación virtual
contra la OES y el gobierno de Chihuahua el mismo día, y la artista Adriene
Jenik nos acompañará virtualmente como Mujer en Negro digital dentro de varios
espacios "chats" en el internet.

Para más información y para unirse a la acción por favor comuniquese conMaryJo Aagerstoun en

Please sign this petition.

An Open Letter to the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights and Our
Supporters Worldwide:

Between 1993 and May of this year (2002), in the city of Juarez, more than
450 women have disappeared and 284 women have been found murdered. Our
city is a zone of transit between the Mexican interior and the United
States, and hosts a large settlement of migrants who originally came here
thinking that they were going to cross the border into the US.

The murdered and missing women were, for the most part, migrants, but they
also had other characteristics that made them especially vulnerable. They
were also poor women who lived in high-risk areas with little or no access
to basic services such as running water, plumbing, streetlights and very
little police protection.

The majority of these homicides began with kidnappings that were not
investigated when reported. Later the missing women were found dead in
vacant lots throughout the city. It is worth noting that, in addition
to the characteristics we have already noted that made them vulnerable,
the victims all have the same physical appearance in that they are thin,
dark-skinned and have long, dark hair.

At present there are several men detained by the police who are accused
of being the killers and masterminds of these crimes. In 1995, Omar Lattif,
and the gang called The Rebels were arrested. In 1999, the gang called
the Toltec and the Chauffeurs were apprehended. In 2001, Victor Garcia
Urbe and Gustavo Gonzalez Meza were arrested. With the exception of Omar
Sharif Lattif who was sentenced to 30 years in prison, none of the other
men has been formally sentenced to a prison term. This notwithstanding,
it is now known that the body of the young woman who Omar Sharif was jailed
for killing is not that of the woman he actually killed.

Neither of the two governmental administrations has responded to the demands
for justice from the families of these murdered and missing young women,
which have been made over what is now almost 10 years.

In 1998, the National Commission on Human Rights in our country issued
a recommendation (44/98) to the government of the state of Chihuahua,
which, among other things, called for enforcing the laws applying to bureaucrat
s who do not carry out their duties with regard to these complaints in
a timely manner. Nonetheless, the recommendation has not, as of this date,
been addressed.

Some family members of the victims have confronted this situation by taking
action, which has enabled us to avoid feeling impotent. We have denounced
the crimes, and have made demands and pressured the authorities. We have
also organized to help each other, and to give each other support, and
to look for possible solutions to this situation. We have disseminated
information to the media about what is happening to us. Our organization
is called MAY OUR DAUGHTERS COME HOME. Our objectives also restore our
sense of ourselves as members of our communities and as families. As human
beings, we are capable of surviving tragedies such as these, but we needthem to be recognized.
Currently, we are working on several petitions to bring cases before the
Interamerican Commission on Human Rights. Special Envoy Martha Altolaguirre
took five of these petitions away with her when she visited Juarez in
March of this year (2002). We firmly believe that seeking access to judicial
bodies is the last resort in our quest for justice, and in our demand
for redress for the arbitrariness and denigrating dismissiveness of our
elected officials toward our murdered and missing daughters. We are also
painfully aware that while no amount of money will compensate for the
loss of any of the dead and missing women, we do hope that by seeking
and receiving reparations we will set an important precedent so that,
in the future, no other state or federal government will fail to protect
the human rights of its inhabitants,
especially its women.

In light of the above, we ask that:

-The Interamerican Commission on Human Rights include in its next report,
the information which Martha Altolaguirre will deliver to the chairperson,
and will reiterate the necessity to address women’s human rights.

-That the Mexican government be urged to request special assistance to
end governmental incompetence and inattention to the proper gathering
of evidence in the cases of the murders and disappearances of our daughters.

-That protective mechanisms be created to defend human rights and protect
the families of the victims.

-That the Mexican National Commission on Human Rights be directed to make
public the steps it has taken to follow up on the implementation of
recommendation 44/98.

-That the municipal, state and federal authorities be directed to take
joint responsibility for the investigation of the murders and disappearances
of women, and to deal with the prevention of violence against women.

-That there be a swift and efficient investigation and punishment for all
those in authority who were responsible for the violations of human rights
that have been committed since 1993.




We, the undersigned, join the members of the Mexican organization, MAY
OUR DAUGHTERS RETURN HOME, to call on the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights, the Mexican government, and human rights activists worldwide
to use all measures possible to bring an end to the violence in Juarez,
Mexico, that has resulted in nearly 300 deaths and 500 disappearances
of young women since 1993.

We also take note that the murdered and disappeared young women of Juarez
are also victims of the negligence of their local, state and federal government
, in that to this day, no adequate response to this tragic violence has
been made by Mexican politicians or law enforcement. We also note that
law enforcement in Juarez has actually attempted to repress the efforts
of those in Juarez who are organizing protests in solidarity with MAY

Finally, we also want to make known that the murdered and disappeared young
women of Juarez lived and worked in highly unsafe conditions without proper
public services. Many of them worked in maquiladoras, or assembly plants,
owned by multinational corporations that pay no taxes to the Mexican
government. The maquila industry currently is being used by 70% of the
labor intensive Fortune 500 companies expanding between 10% and 20% per
year and currently accounts for over 3,107 businesses employing over 1,056,284
persons with an annual business volume in excess of $37 billion of inputs
and supplies of which 98% is of U.S. origin. About 90% of the maquilas
are located along the US- Mexico border with over one third concentrated
in Juarez.

There are currently 340 maquiladoras in Juarez that employ over 220,000
people. Among them are many American companies such as Ford, Alcoa, General
Motors, DuPont, and Contico. These corporations do not provide any protection
to their largely female workforce when employees are travelling to and
from work, very often in the middle of the night. We request that these

multinational entities that are reaping millions of dollars in the state
of Chihuahua to provide financial assistance for the insurance of public
safety. We call these companies to assist the Mexican government and human
rights organizations and to stop the killings of these innocent women
once and for all.


Conmutador General de Cámara: (55) 5628-1300 No. gratuito desde el interior de la República: 01 (800) 718-4291 DIPUTAD@ CARGO PARTIDO UBICACIÓN EXTS.

Dip. Hortencia Enríquez Ortega Presidenta anterior PRI-Chih B - 2º. 3347/3348

Dip. David Rodríguez Torres Presidente Recien nombrado PAN- H - 4º. 7531/7527

Dip. Hortensia Aragón Castillo Secretaria PRD-Chih B - 3º. 1797

Dip. María Teresa Campoy Ruy S. Secretaria PVEM- H - 3º. 7403/1456

Dip. Rosa Delia Cota Montaño Secretaria PT-B.C.S. B - 1º. 3212/1422

Dip. Hilda Anderson Nevárez Integrante PRI- B - 1º. 3203/3259

Dip. Francisco Cárdenas Elizondo Integrante PRI- B - 1º. 3226/3213

Dip. José Jesús Reyna García Integrante PRI-Mich C - PP 4616

Dip. María Eugenia Galván Antillón Integrante PAN-Chih F - 2o. Com. Salud 1746/7505

Dip. Manuel Arturo Narváez Narváez Integrante PAN-Chih H - 3º. 7581/7585

Dip. José Tomás Lozano Pardinas Integrante PAN- H - 4º. 7517/7553

Dip. Manuel Duarte Ramírez Integrante PRD-Mich B - 3º. 3464