‘The husband could kill you at any moment’: The women facing brutal violence in Mexico’s epicentre of crime

‘Heavily armed, fairly young men who are often drunk or high on other substances are roaming around in pick-up trucks,’ one expert tells Maya Oppenheim

Sunday 15 August 2021 17:39 BST
The mountainous topography of Guerrero means violence can reign free
The mountainous topography of Guerrero means violence can reign free (AFP/Getty)
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“I have never talked about this before,” Juana, who lives in the epicentre of organised crime in Mexico, says. “I feel lighter”.

Juana, who got married at the age of 13, passes her days in the mountains of Guerrero, where she is subjected to unthinkable violence and abuse from her husband of 30 years. She longs to divorce him, but her two sons – who control all of her telephone usage – have forbidden her from leaving him.

Juana’s experience is by no means unique. Violence, fear and subjugation plague the lives of many women in Guerrero. Lying between Mexico City and the Pacific coast, the state of Guerrero is home to more bloody violence between rival cartels than any other part of Mexico.

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