Monday, March 10, 2003

More things that make you sick

Apparantly I have a knack for sending Mike links that make him sick. The first was a New York Times article on a pipe foundry in Texas, whose emphesis on profits over worker safety resulted in the worst accident rate of any American workplace (containing some rather graphic descriptions of people having their arms sanded off by conveyer belts). So, in the interests of reguritation, we have the town of Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican border. Salon did an article about this place several months ago, reporting that "more than 325 women have been murdered in the free-trade boomtown of Ciudad Juarez in the past decade", and following up with a disturbing story of government indifference to (if not active collusion in) what seems like the activities of several serial killers. The Observer has now done a two part series on this hellhole, and its even worse.

There is a new word spoken in Ciudad Juarez: 'Feminocidio' - feminocide, the mass slaughter of women. There is no other word to describe what is happening: some 340 young women found murdered since 1992 in much the same manner as Sagrario, and a further 180 or so missing.

'They are dumped in public places, not even like animals, more like trash,' says Marisela Ortiz, from one of the groups campaigning to bring the killers to justice. The victims, she says, fit a pattern: 'They are poor, young, mainly migrants to the city looking to improve their lives in the factories. And when they are found, they have been tortured, mutilated, bruised, fractured or strangled and in every case violated - gang-raped.'

'The killers,' adds Marisela's colleague Rosario Acosta, 'take no trouble to cover up evidence, like most murders. With these, the evidence is brazen, right there, every time. Whoever is doing this knows they are immune from the law.'

There's more - victim's parents being taunted by the clothing of their dead children being returned to them in the dead of night, police cover-ups, frame-ups and executions of those who question them. It's your worst nightmare of callous corrupt third world society crossed with a serial killer movie. And all I could think was "there's gotta be a Vampire game in this".