Note: Oped / rant: Instead of blaming the criminals actually
doing the killings. As has been true through the ages, predators
first choose the defenseless, weak and small. Unarmed, defenseless
Mexican women are easy, preferred victims of the criminal dirt-bags.
Many Mexican women of your correspondent's acquaintance strongly
reject being defenseless, and if or when, they get the opportunity,
will arm themselves. Should we expect this expert delegation to
prefer turning the fate of women over to the criminal gangs? As for
"militarization: your correspondent has been acquainted with more
than a few in Mexican military and law enforcement. Many decent,
honorable men. No, they are not all corrupt, lazy or crooked. Can't
say the same for way too many of the politicians. Both sides of the
'War on women' in Mexico described as growing worse since escalation
of drug war
By Diana Washington Valdez \ El Paso Times
Posted: 04/07/2012 12:00:00 AM MDT
Violence against women in Mexico grew worse during the country's war
against the drug cartels, according to the preliminary findings of a
recent fact-finding delegation led by two Nobel laureates.
The delegation from the Nobel Women's Initiative also found that the
same trend of violence against women holds true for Honduras and
Guate mala, where Mexico-based drug-trafficking organizations have
extended their operations.
"The war on drugs and increased militarization in Mexico, Honduras
and Guatemala is becoming a war on women," said Jody Williams, who
received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban land mines.
"The government's efforts to improve 'security' in the region have
directly resulted in insecurity for civilian populations, and most
especially, for women," she said.
The Canada-based Nobel Women's Initiative has followed the evolution
of violence against women in Juárez.
Mexican government statistics show that the homicides of women in
Juárez increased dramatically in recent years: 23 in 2006, 27 in
2007, 117 in 2008 and 306 in 2009.
In Juárez, the war between two rival drug cartels began in 2008. Part
of the government's response was to periodically deploy hundreds of
soldiers and federal agents to the border city.
Williams and Rigoberta Menchú Tum led the fact-finding delegation,
which visited the three countries in January. Menchú won the Nobel
Peace Prize in 1992 for defending the rights of indigenous people in
"Militarization/remilitarization is a significant factor in the
increase in violence in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala and in
violence against women in particular," the delegation said in a
"In Mexico in particular, many woman who testified indicated that the
'war on drugs' had increased violence and eclipsed rights. The war on
drugs and 'back-up' for companies exploiting natural resources were
the primary reasons cited for the deployment of the military in
The Nobel Women's Initiative included meetings with President
Porfirio Lobo of Honduras, President Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala,
Mexico's Attorney General Marisela Morales and Supreme Court Justice
Olga Sanchez Cordero.
Morales said Mexico has special law enforcement units to investigate
the women's slayings. In Chihuahua state, Gov. Cesar Duarte said a
special prosecutor's office is looking into the killings while
another specialized unit is investigating reports of at-risk missing
Honduras and Guatemala officials also said they have specialized
units to investigate women's slayings.
During their fact-finding mission, the Nobel Initiative delegates met
with people who were affected by the violence, with activists and
with government officials.
The Nobel Women's Initiative organized the visit to the three
countries in collaboration with Just Associates (JASS), an
international network of activists, scholars and educators involved
in local and national actions in more than 27 countries.
Lisa VeneKlasen, JASS executive director, said, "In countries where
more than 90 percent of crimes are never prosecuted, one can imagine
how unwilling officials are to go after those committing violent
crimes against women and women activists. The lack of prosecution is
like giving a blank check to criminals."
The delegation will issue a final report later this year, along with
recommendations for the governments of Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.
Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org;