Archive - Jul 17, 2005

Latest News from Juarez

A story in the Houston Chronicle tells of a bus driver in Juarez who was just released from prison because a judge found him not guilty after being tortured into confessing to the rape and murder of 8 women in 2001.

It's a mostly pretty good article overviewing the torture side of the Juarez situation. What I continue to find interesting is the way such a huge variety of numbers for the killings keeps being reported. Somebody says 300, somebody else says 360, somebody else says 400, the government says, oh, only 100 of them were sexually motivated so there's only 100.

This has always been a problem with this issue. It's not a surprise that there would be different counts, given the many layers of incompetence and corruption, and attempts by the government to minimize the problem by creating different categories for the murders. However what annoys me is that the media seldom mentions this problem. It would only take one extra sentence. Instead of saying, "the total is X," it would be easy to say, "the total number of killings, according to the government, is X, but other sources put the amount at over Y." The number I'm probably going to go with in my film is "over 410", but I'm going to acknowledge that this is just one of many counts. The other disputable thing in this article is that they mention the count since 1994, but everyone else I've talked to always says this problem started in 1993. So that shaves a bunch of murders off right away (I think about 19 in that first year).