The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a day to address violence by raising public awareness and holding governments accountable. We should remember the 400-plus murders and disappearances of women since 1993 in the town of Juárez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Ciudad Juárez is representative of the kinds of settlements that grow out of globalizing political and economic interests. It is estimated that 42 million people a year traffic through Juárez and El Paso. This border city is subject to ecological damage, sexual exploitation, and terrorism by the Juárez Cartel. Mexican journalist, Sergio González Rodríguez notes in his new book The Femicide Machine (MIT Press 2012) that "systematic actions against women bear the signs of a campaign: They smack of turf war, of the land's rape and subjugation." Narco-trafficking and the growth of the Juárez Cartel have led to the creation of a second, illicit state that operates beyond the reach of the official government.
While the United States Federal Government has become involved in trying to curtail the drug wars in Mexico, it may come as no surprise that special attention has not been given to the women who are used as pawns in these turf wars. They perpetuate the silence we find in the United States around violence against women. The initial response to this growing violence by the Mexican authorities was denial. As the crimes escalated, the government could no longer deny that women were being tortured, murdered and disappearing systematically. The authorities resorted to an old strategy -- blame the victim. The women were tried and held accountable in the cartel-controlled media. They were accused of living unconventional lives, of being prostitutes and lesbians.
DETROIT (AP) — The city of Detroit has been ordered to pay $1.1 million to a young man who was rousted out of bed as a 14-year-old, charged with murder and held in a violent juvenile lockup for nearly two years before being acquitted of a fatal shooting in his neighborhood.
Caleb Sosa, now 19, claimed police violated his civil rights by coercing him to put his initials on a confession that he couldn't even read. The allegations in his lawsuit were never tested, however, because the case ended in an extraordinary way. A judge declared a default when city lawyers failed the most basic procedural step: They never filed a timely answer in court.
"The judge found that mistakes were made," acknowledged Krystal Crittendon, the head of Detroit's law department. Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — A balding garment salesman was arrested Wednesday for systematically killing three shopkeepers as they worked alone in their clothing stores and had been poised to strike again, police said.
Salvatore Perrone, 63, was taken into custody after a pharmacy worker recognized him as the man shown in surveillance footage leaving the scene of the most recent shooting, last Friday, with a duffel bag, police said.
Another shopkeeper came forward and said Perrone had gone into his store and questioned him on whether he worked alone and when he closed, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Police devoted scores of detectives to the case, he said.
"It's reasonable to assume he was going to keep doing this, and, by arresting him, we saved lives," Kelly said at a news conference. Read More
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