The immediate reasons for the protest were the murders of Marisela Escobedo in December, and of Susana Chavez last week.
Marisela Escobedo had a small furniture business in Ciudad Juarez. Her daughter Rubi, disappeared in 2008. Marisela got no help from the police, but eventually managed, entirely through her own efforts, to track her daughter’s violent partner down in Zacatecas, another state. There, the local police bodged two attempts to arrest him.
Finally he was arrested, confessed to murdering Rubi, and led the police to her remains. In August this year he was tried and, despite the confession, given an unconditional release by the court’s three judges; many suspect they were paid off. Marisela then set up a permanent protest outside the state governor’s office in Chihuahua City, demanding justice. On 16 December she was gunned down; the next day her brother-in-law was kidnapped and murdered. The judges who heard the case have been suspended; the killer is still absconding.
Susana Chavez was a poet and an activist who campaigned against the killings of women in Ciudad Juarez. On January 11 she was found murdered; her assailants had cut off her right hand.