Pain and Protest on the Day of the Butterflies: Violence Persists Against Women in Mexico
Thursday, December 4 2008
A 1995 novel by writer Julia Alvarez retold the story of the three Mirabal sisters brutally assassinated by the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960. Decades later, the date of the murders, Nov. 25, was declared the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by the United Nations.
In Mexico, more than 200 women’s and human rights activists kicked off a cross-country caravan in Ciudad Juarez to protest femicide and ongoing violence in all its forms against women.
Initiating their action at the monument to murdered women situated at the foot of the Santa Fe Bridge on the Mexico-U.S. border, the women’s activists embarked on a week-long journey to the state of Chiapas on Mexico’s southern border. Along the route, caravan participants plan to meet with the widows of the Pasta de Concho miners killed in 2006, as well as survivors of violent government crackdowns in San Salvador Atenco and Oaxaca the same year. A meeting was also scheduled with Chihuahua Governor Jose Reyes Baeza.
For many, beginning the caravan in Ciudad Juarez, the site of more than 600 women’s murders since 1993, held both symbolic and urgent meaning.