Skip to main content

Symposium at Swarthmore to Examine Femicides Along U.S.-Mexico Border

For Immediate Release: October 13, 2006
Contact: Marsha Mullan
(610) 328-8535


Symposium at Swarthmore to Examine Femicides Along U.S.-Mexico Border

A symposium, "Dust and Ashes of the Chihuahuan Desert: Femicides Along the U.S.-Mexico Border," will be held at Swarthmore College from Monday, Oct. 30, through Saturday, Nov. 4.  The symposium will include speakers, a photography exhibit, panel discussions, and films.

The symposium will bring together speakers who have worked on the issue of violence against women and the femicides in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and other places in Latin America.  The murders are notorious in their brutality and their targeting of young women.  Why has it been impossible to bring their perpetrators to justice?  Why do the murders still occur in spite of public awareness—locally, nationally and internationally?  What kind of social, economic, cultural, and political factors contribute to an environment in which this kind of crime can happen repeatedly?  The symposium will reflect on class and gender, politics, economics, forensics, human rights, and judicial systems as it searches for answers to those questions.

Panelists include Evangelina Arce, a mother from Ciudad Juárez; Alfredo Corchado, reporter from the Dallas Morning News; Irasema Coronado, associate dean, University of Texas at El Paso; Esther Chavez, director of a rape crisis center in Juárez; Chris Chavez, freelance photographer from El Paso; Chicana artists Jane Madrigal and Laura Varela; a member of the Mexican Attorney General's Office of Crimes Against Women; Laurie Freeman from the Washington Office of Latin America; Marimar Monroy, a member of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, and Francisco Torres, a father from Chihuahua.  All events are sponsored by the William J. Cooper Foundation and are free and open to the public.

Schedule and location of events:

  • Monday, Oct. 30 to Saturday, Nov. 4.  Kohlberg Hall Coffee Bar.  Exhibition: The photographs of Chris Chávez, who works in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 31, time TBA.  Location TBA.  "El Dia de los Muertos."  Chicana artists Laura Varela and Jane Madrigal coordinate community altar building in honor of the murdered women of Juarez and lost loved ones.  The altars will be unveiled the following day along with the screening of a documentary film, "Pan de Vida" which describes the traditional ceremonies of el dia de los muertos or day of the dead.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 1, time TBA.  Location TBA. Film: "Bordertown," starring Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Lopez.

    Friday, Nov. 3, 4 p.m.  Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall.  "A Night of Testimony."  Following the 20-minute documentary film "Dual Injustice," mothers who have lost daughters in Juárez, Mexico, will speak about their grassroots movements to seek justice, the searches for bodies they have conducted in the Chihuahua Desert, and how they have coped with loss.

  • Saturday, Nov. 4.  Kohlberg Hall. Panel Discussions. 
    10-11 a.m.  Scheuer Room.  "Cotton Field Killings."  Eight bodies were exhumed by police at Campo Algodonero, an abandoned cotton field near a busy boulevard in Juarez.
    11 a.m.-noon.  Room 115.  "Sin City"  The international image of Ciudad Juárez,
    Noon-1 p.m.  Scheuer Room.  "Femicides—A Human Condition."  Femicides as a regional problem that demands international attention.

For more information, please contact  .

- 30 -


Follow Us on Twitter