Monday, January 17, 2011

Mexican womens’ rights activist killed

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the U.S., a day to commemorate the achievements of the renowned civil rights activist. Though his hard work helped advance the cause of civil rights globally, there are activists around the world who continue his legacy in favor of the downtrodden and disadvantaged. Susana Chavez of Mexico was one of those individuals up until her untimely death.

For many years Chavez campaigned against the unsolved murders of hundreds of women in northern Mexico. She helped create the slogan “Ni Una Mas” ("Not One More Death"), which served as a battle cry for local women’s rights activists against the string of “femicidies” since the early 1990s. She participated in an organization called May Our Daughters Return Home, which represented the families and loved ones of the female victims.

Chavez’ body was identified last week by her family after police found her corpse on January 6th. Three suspects were arrested after they reportedly confessed to mutilating and murdering Chavez. Authorities said that her death was not related to her activism but was instead the result of an "unfortunate encounter" with the three teens that strangled her after an argument. The accused allegedly cut off her hand to give the false impression that drug gangs were behind her death.

Unfortunately Chavez’ murder came weeks after another Ciudad Juarez activist was slain:
Chavez’s killing happened less than a month after the murder of Marisela Escobedo, the mother who set up shop in front of the state governor’s office to demand the arrest of the killer of her 16-year-old daughter. Escobar alone investigated the whereabouts of the perpetrator, who was eventually set free by a panel of judges, despite confessing to the crime. The judges are currently being investigated for the decision.
Chavez’ blog, Primera Tormenta, revealed her very moving and touching poetry in honor of those killed and whose murders have gone mostly in impunity. “Blood of my own, blood of sunrise, blood of a broken moon, blood of silence” has reportedly become the motto of those who wish to continue her efforts for justice for the women in Ciudad Juarez.

Image- Reuters via BBC News
Online Sources- COLORLINES, BBC News, Milenio, The Independent, New American Media, Primera Tormenta, MSNBC

1 comment:

shundread said...

This is really unfortunate. Hopefully this does nothing but encourage other women to follow her path of activism.

More and more I see how the empowerment of women around the globe is vital to make a better world.