Nina Maria Lozano, a communication studies professor at LMU, discussed femicide in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on April 30 in Seaver 200, in order to to generate awareness of systems that allow and participate in violence, rape and murder against thousands of women. She discussed the main points addressed in her book, “Not One More! Feminicidio on the Border.”
She provided context of what “femicide” meant, which was defined as, “the killing of women and girls, because they are women and girls.” Women in Mexico changed the Spanish term from “femicidio” to “feminicidio” to specify the rhetorical term to identify this crime. This was done to change the perspective from another type of murder to a specific hate crime solely because of one's gender.
After providing background of the different waves of femicide, she then criticized the government for using the excuse of drug or cartel wars occurring at the time to explain why girls went missing. As they militarized the country, Lozano stated that the government’s rhetoric was, “there is no femicide.”
She also specified that girls and women working in factories, or maquiladoras, were most often disappearing. This femicides increased to about seven a day because they were forced to work at night, as well as walk up to two miles without lights to work.
She attacked the Mexican government for “contaminating the evidence, discarding evidence, not having the right equipment,” and other excuses for not conducting investigations. Regarding the government's alleged searches, Lozano claimed that “it’s just a complete sham. They’re really not taking the proper measures to interrogate in these crimes.”
She cited the reason why the government fails to properly help the families of the missing women and girls: tourism. To continue the number one contributing factor to the economy, the government covered up such crimes. As a result, the crimes are not covered in the media and the public is unaware of the femicide that occurs in Juárez.
Several attendees asked how they could contribute. Lozano stated that we could not boycott the items made in those factories, since that was how the women received their income. She discussed how femicide was a global problem, since the U.S. owned 80 percent of the corporations and factories in Mexico.
She concluded that helping the organizations working to change the current situation was the best way to contribute, and gave an example of “providing them with spray cans” so they could finish a mural project that brought awareness to the issue.