Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mexico: Prison Sentences for Susana Chavez Murder Suspects

A Mexican court sentenced three young men to prison for the 2011 murder of women’s rights activist Susana Chávez.

The tribunal handed down fifteen-year prison sentences at a juvenile detention center to Sergio Rubén Cárdenas De la O, Aarón Roberto Acevedo Martínez, and Carlos Gibran Ramírez.  The three teens received the maximum amount of prison under the law since they were all sixteen-years-old minors at the time of the killing.

Details of the assault and murder of the 36-year-old were revealed during the weeks that the trial took place.  The trio claimed in their respective confessions that they were drunk when they met Chávez and convinced her to go to Cárdenas’ home.  It was there that they allegedly got into an argument, covered her head in tape and choked her to death.  They even severed one of her hands in a failed attempt to cover their tracks and deflect blame to drug gangs.

Chávez was described an outspoken figure in Ciudad Juarez where she drew attention to the unsolved murders of hundreds of women.  Her slogan of “Not One More Death” became a rallying cry in dozens of marches urging authorities to investigate the femicide cases in northern Mexico.

In addition, as reported by the BBC:

Ms. Chavez was active in an organization called May Our Daughters Return Home.

The group represents the families and friends of more than 300 women who were murdered in Ciudad Juarez in a wave of violence which started in 1993 and lasted for a decade.

There is no generally accepted motive for the murders.
They have been variously attributed to serial killers, drug cartels and domestic violence. Some of the killings are believed to have been sexually motivated.
As we mentioned in January 2011 the death of Chávez occurred weeks after another Ciudad Juarez activist, Marisela Escobedo was slain.

The plight of femicides has affected numerous Latin American countries such as Nicaragua where local human rights groups claimed last month that over 1100 women were murdered between 2011 and 2012.

Video Source– YouTube via teleSUR

Online Sources – BBC News, Frontenet, The Latin Americanist, BBC Mundo

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