Evening of Trouble & Beauty

Trip Start Nov 25, 2006
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Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Diana Washington Valdez, veteran El Paso journalist, put her life at risk years ago and never backed off the story which has killed so many: femicide in Juarez that's spreading through Mexico. She and novelist Stella Pope Duarte addressed the issue at El Paso Community College, following a Borderland debut screening of the film Border Echoes, the movie which narrates the investigation Diana published in her book The Killing Fields.

Beauty: the speaker's commitment to shed light on the darkness of evil and to speak for the voiceless; their unswerving focus on the horror--at great personal cost

Trouble: growing desensitization to violence & apparent public acquiescence to the devaluation of human life in Juarez as acceptable or as something to sweep under the carpet. [e.g. March 8 rally in Juarez raised only 100 participants to protest the government's failure to investigate, prosecute or convict even ONE of the over 400 murders (and many more disappearances)]. There's an apparent pact of immunity granted to perpetrators by corrupt officials!

The women called for a review by an international tribunal that would hold Mexican governmental officials accountable for "crimes of state." To date in 2008 we count over 130 execution-style deaths in Juarez with 100's more missing. Yet the most recent U.S human rights report said less about this than in past years.

The speakers asked us to support education to empower the women of Juarez, through the Frontera Women's Foundation. I purchased Stella Pope Duarte's newly-released novel If I Die In Juarez to begin reading ASAP.

Today's question: what more can I do?

And a shout-out to Facebook friends Cindy and Dunya: great to see you at the event!
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