Dual Injustice: Feminicide and Torture in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua

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UPDATE: The Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a landmark ruling that lays out remedies to ensure justice for families and end violence against women in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua, Mexico.   The case involved three young women who were found slain along with five others at a Ciudad Juárez cotton field in November 2001. After finding no justice in the Mexican legal system, the mothers pursued human rights complaints before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and later at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, both of which are part of the Organization of American States (OAS). As an adherant to these mechanisms, Mexico cannot appeal and must comply with the ruling.

The court's 167-page sentence lays out remedies the Mexican government must follow to curb future acts of violence against women in Ciudad Juárez and Mexico. In addition to conducting a serious murder investigation and investigating law enforcement officials responsible for obstructing the cotton field case, which included the fabrication of scapegoats under torture, within one year the Mexican government must hold a public ceremony in Ciudad Juárez to apologize for the crimes; build a monument to the three murdered women in the border city; publish the sentence in the official government record and in newspapers; expand gender sensitivity and human rights training for police; step-up and coordinate efforts to find missing women; permanently publicize the cases of disappeared women on the Internet; and investigate reported death threats and harassment against members of the families of murdered women. [Information from Frontera Norte-Sur]

For more information, please the El Paso Times's coverage of the ruling.

Date: 2005
Produced by: Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de Derechos Humanos / WITNESS
Duration: 16:30

Since 1993, over 470 women have been violently killed in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua in northern Mexico. Known as "feminicide," this phenomenon has become one of the most embarrassing human rights scandals in recent Mexican history. Under fire for their inability to resolve these crimes, the police have attempted to appease the public outcry by torturing people to confess to the murders. However, neither the families of the disappeared nor those of the accused believe the right people are behind bars.
"Dual Injustice" tells the story of Neyra Cervantes, who disappeared in May 2003, and her cousin, David Meza, who was tortured to confess to her murder. As authorities were slow to investigate Neyra's case, her family called upon David, who traveled 1,500 miles to help search for her. As they increasingly pressured authorities to properly investigate, they were told, "You want a culprit? You will have him very soon." One week later, David was arrested.
"Dual Injustice" chronicles how the families of Neyra and David have joined efforts in a remarkable struggle to end the rampant impunity enjoyed by those authorities who have referred to the murders of women as "hype" and have fabricated culprits. The video was part of an international campaign for David Meza's release, which eventually occurred in June 2006.
To read more click here .

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