Women Raped and Murdered, No One Punished An Examination of Femicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

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Sydney Holtzapple
Amy Lind


By Sydney Holtzapple, Criminal Justice

Advisor: Amy Lind

Award: Excellence in Research Communication

Presentation ID: 298

Abstract: Since receiving international media attention in the mid-1990s, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico has become know as one of the most violent cities in the world. Around this time, stories and images began circulating of gruesome killings and disappearances of women in the area. This phenomenon of women being tortured, raped, killed, and disappeared has earned its own classification in Mexico and internationally: femicide. With so many young women being brutalized, and families being torn apart, two questions must be asked: (1) What is the driving force behind these femicides? (2) What is being done to address the problem? In this paper, I will analyze the various causes of femicide, looking at the economic forces encouraging the killing sprees, the political rhetoric that enables it to continue, and the influence of cartels behind the scenes. Following this discussion, I will shift to an evaluation of what is currently being done to address femicide in both Mexico and the United States and ideas of what need to be done moving forward. Ultimately, I argue that the driving force behind femicide in Ciudad Juárez is a combination of relaxed economic regulations, patriarchal political corruption, and cartel influence that come together to form a trifecta of unchallenged power. In this respect, too little is being done to address the ongoing killings of women across the border with no apparent plan set for the future.

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Category: Systemic Challenges