Ciudad Juarez mourns murdered campaigner
Friday 14 January 2011
The mutilated body of Susana Chavez, one of Mexico's most prominent poets and peace activists, has been found dumped on a street in Ciudad Juarez, a city infamous for a series of murders of women even before drug violence made it one of the most violent places in the world.
Ms Chavez, 36, who adopted the slogan "Not one more death", befriended three teenagers who strangled her after an argument and then cut off her hand to make it look like an execution, after they invited her to drink with them, authorities said.
The three suspects, now in custody, told authorities they are members of the local drug gang Azteca and became enraged when Ms Chavez told them she was a police officer and was going to report them, according to a statement from the state Attorney General's Office. "What's strange is that we're fighting to eliminate 'feminicide' in Juarez and, look, she died that way, in the hands of criminals," said her friend, Linda Meza.
Ms Chavez was a well-known artist in the city and a leading member of the group May Our Daughters Return Home, made up of family members and friends of Juarez women who had been killed. Authorities estimate that as many as 400 women were killed in the city over a 10-year-period to 2003.
Ms Chavez's book, Song to a City in the Desert, grew, she wrote, from a cry from the heart against violence and included the poem Blood, written from the perspective of a victim.
Her murder was condemned yesterday by international and Mexican human rights groups, as well as the president of Mexico's lower house of Congress, Jorge Carlos Ramirez Marin.
"Susana was a noble woman committed to the cause and to her city, which she loved," said Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson of the Human Rights Commission in Chihuahua state, where Ciudad Juarez is located.
The killing was the result of an "unfortunate encounter" and had nothing to do with Ms Chavez's activism, said Chihuahua state Attorney General Carlos Manuel Salas. The suspects told authorities that they met her in a convenience store and invited her to drink with them. After several hours of drinking, the teenagers argued, then took her to the shower, covered her face in adhesive tape and started to drown her until she suffocated.
The suspects – one of them a neighbour of Ms Chavez – told investigators that because the boys had been drinking and taking drugs, they found it "easy" to kill her, said Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's office. Her death has rocked a community already jaded by more than 3,000 murders last year.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Tube strike July 2015: Is it still on? Everything you need to know about the industrial action
Eiji Tsuburaya: Godzilla co-creator honoured in today's interactive Google Doodle
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...