Thursday, January 14, 2010

Juárez/U.S. Sexist Slavery and Misogynist Murder: Maria's exclusive report from Channel 4

A horror. What else can this be called? A gynocidal (normalised) horror: one among hundreds across the globe. This is a report weaving together poverty caused by anti-Indigenous genocidal Western patriarchal civilisation that devalues all female human beings, government corruption, racist U.S. policies on drug and armament trafficking, men's gangs that are a result of all of the above, heterosexist men's entitlements to have access to women and girls, including to sexually abuse them and murder them without any accountability or consequence to the procuring purchasers or misogynist murderers. This is a story that plays our across the globe, of Western white men's civilisation and its weapons of mass destruction fueling the destruction of female human beings who are treated worse than things.

This is not a report about "missing children" exactly. That title invisibilises this as a gynocidal atrocity, for it is girls and women who are being sold into sexual slavery/prostitution to men. Girls and women, vastly and disproportionately are "the disappeared", the raped, and the murdered. 

One girl who escaped this horror alive speaks out.She is called "Maria".

Note: media always makes certain kinds of appeals to its audience which invariably utilise culturally specific terms. An Anglo-centric term is used in the written version of the report below the video to follow, so that Maria is saying "mummy" instead of "mommy". This is obviously done to appeal to a UK audience, for whom "mummy" has particular emotional resonance. But let's be clear: no Mexican or Chicana/o child calls their mother "mummy" unless they have been raised by white Brits. So I have replaced the term in the written report, in brackets. All that follows is from *here*. I have added or changed some words in the text, all in brackets. 

Please wait for the video to load.

Mexico missing children - exclusive report
Updated on 11 January 2010
A Mexican girl who was held captive by human traffickers and later managed to escape tells Channel 4 News how she witnessed babies and children being "sold to order" to American citizens.The Department of Homeland Security in Washington DC says the girl, known only as Maria, had "significant information" and possessed a "remarkable memory" of her experiences inside the gang.

In a chilling interview with Channel 4 News the teenager tells of a cross-border trade in babies and young children, where [Juárez] Mexican and [Southwestern] US gangs worked together to supply a demand [to and for predominantly white heterosexual men] in the United States.

Her interview with the programme has prompted US authorities to launch a criminal investigation and in late December agents flew the teenager to the United States for a full interview after Channel 4 News alerted authorities.

Maria was 16-years-old when she was lured into the gang by a young man on the streets of the deadly Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez.

Since the 1990s thousands of women have disappeared from the town, and hundreds of bodies bearing signs of rape and sexual mutilation were dumped on waste ground in the city.

Thousands more have never returned.

Despite international coverage of the story including a film starring Jennifer Lopez, the disappearances continue.

In 2009, 55 teenage girls vanished in the town, which has been gripped by violence as two drug cartels fight a lethal turf war for cocaine smuggling routes to America.

Whilst investigating the fate of the missing girls Channel 4 News correspondent Nick Martin and producer Guillermo Galdos discovered Maria and carried out the interview whilst she was in hiding.

Few girls return after going missing and Maria's interview sheds light on the fate of so many in her position.
She said she had been given presents and promised a job in an office by the gang member but was instead drugged and raped and sold to men. She explained what the gang did to one girl who tried to escape.

"They took a gallon of gasoline and started pouring it over her," said Maria.

"One of the men told me 'if you don't do as I say I will do the same to you'. I wanted to look away - but they didn't let me.

"Even though the girl was on fire they kept hitting her. They were laughing as if they were enjoying what they were doing.

"They burnt her alive."

Maria, which is not her real name, said the gang held young women in a house on the Mexican border until they were sold to the US as sex slaves. But she said they also dealt in children and told of on one occasion when the gang was contacted by a woman in New York.

"She called and was very angry. She said she needed a seven-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy - and she needed them in three days."

Maria told Special Agents that the gang would prowl the streets of poor areas and look for children.

"They stole the children," she said. "One of the gang members took a six-year-old kid. I had to look after him for three hours. He told me he wanted to see his [mommy].

"Then I started crying, I said: "I don't think you're ever going to see your [mommy] again." All he kept saying was I want to see my [mommy]."

US officials have a keen interest in this case. As a result of the interview US officials have begun investigating along with the Mexican authorities.

Maria, who managed to escape after a gang member left her alone in a house, says children were often around. But not for long.

"I saw the Americans taking kids," she said. "A four-year-old and another boy, he barely walked, he was only about two years old. They took them to New York."

The US State Department estimates that more than 20,000 young women and children are trafficked across the border from Mexico each year. But conviction rates remain low.

Mexico's Attorney General Arturo Chavez has been accused of not doing enough to bring human traffickers to justice but insisted it was an issue the country was "definitely focussing on."

Maria has been told that she could have to give evidence against the gang of they are caught. It is something she says she is determined to do.

"Women are sold, they are abducted, bought and even killed by these men. If these men are ever found, jail won't be enough to make them pay for the way they've made us feel."


Michael DeAntonio said...

I've read about this before, but 'Maria's story humanizes the whole ordeal so much. It is sad and sickening that people could do this to other people.

Julian Real said...

I agree, Michael.

It is truly disturbing. And for me, one of the most disturbing dimensions is how all the systems (social, criminal justice, state, ideological, economic, and more) that make this possible, profitable, and permissable are supported by the U.S. masses as "good" even while atrocity like this is a probable consequence.


Thank you Julian for publicising Maria's experiences because until now detractors have consistently claimed the gynocide in and around Ciudad Juarez were all 'isolated incidents' and had no connection whatsoever with trafficking of women/girls into sexual slavery. This apparently is another 'myth' created by men-hating feminists as well as activists who for years have been demanding Mexico male authorities actually investigate rather than 'turn a blind eye.' The activists in question are ones who actually live/around Ciudad Juarez and know first-hand what is happening. Proving it is another matter and I can immediately see that apologists who believe it is white heterosexual men's right to buy and sell women and girls, will claim Maria's evidence is not 'fact' just annecdotal. Note how in this report already claims are being made that 'Maria's memory is "remarkable." So already there is a question mark concerning the authenticity of her experiences. I believe her and I knew such gynocidal acts committed against women and girls were occurring but deliberatly ignored because it was not numerous males who were being subjected to multiple rapes, sexual mutilation and then murdered.

Irrespective of how much evidence is collected, it is always denied, denied and yet denied again because it is essential white male heterosexuals must never be held accountable for their crimes committed against women and girls. Instead white heterosexual male supremacy must be maintained at all costs.

Like you, when I viewed this report my immediate reaction to the report was it is not about 'missing children' it is men's systematic abduction, multiple rapes, sexual enslavement and murder of women and girls.

Hiding the reality behind 'missing children' conveniently invisibilises which gender is committing these crimes against women and girls.

The same applies to euphemistic terms 'human trafficking/people trafficking' when in fact it is overwhelmingly trafficking of women and girls not men or boys into sexual slavery/prostitution.

Maria is very brave in speaking out. However I believe US authorities will deliberately ignore the involvement of US white heterosexual males in trafficking of women/girls and instead focus on that more palatable subject of US citizens buying babies and children.

Julian Real said...

Indeed, Jennifer.

Atrocities against women have no name. Whether the Montreal Massacre or Witch-burning or the pornography/prostitution/trafficking/female human being abduction and sexual slavery markets, these will all somehow get called something else by men who don't want to deal with crimes against womanity or patriarchal atrocity AS SUCH.

Thanks for all the work you do on pointing out the politics of ungendering speech that is abo ut men's violence against women and girls.

As a radical lesbian feminist friend once told me, who had done lots of work in what is now termed the "DV" movement: that was never a feminist decision, but rather a capitalist one. "Husbands and Boyfriends Beating and Killing Women" apparently takes too long to say... and, for male supremacists far longer to recognise.

I hope that "Maria"'s voice and story can humanise and personalise this border atrocity sufficiently to pressure all the male officials who can do something about ending it to do so, ASAP. How many more girls and women have to "disappear" before it matters?

When will the white male supremacist underpinnings and values which inhere in post-NAFTA capitalism, white Western patriarchy, colonialism, male social identity and customs, legal and illegal munitions and drug trade, male sexuality, desire, and heterosexuality as politically constructed, and men's uses of force, be understood as necessarily WHM supremacist and destructive to all women, with poorer women and women of color always being treated callously and inhumaely as "the least important" human beings on Earth (who do most of the world's unpaid work, whether as slaves of not)?

And how is it that women are there at the borderland, specifically? Below is part of the answer, but not one that adequately exposes the class, race, and gender politics of work and misogynist violence. The key misogynist mechanisms are never spot-lighted, because they will show how deep misogyny goes in any patriarchy--to the core. And such spot-lighting will also show, irrefutably, that all men actively participate in the rape, enslavement, and murder of women-as-women, whether as
part of some good ol' misogynist boys club,
or part of a sexist, socially enforced code of silence when it comes to speaking out about what we know men do in order to be seen as more manly by other men.

In one way or another, all men are both active and passive participants. Because most men also passively stand by and do nothing to stop the cattle cars of women and girls rolling towards the gas chambers.

From Wikipedia:
Criminal activity in the domestic metropolitan area of Juárez has increased dramatically since the rise of maquiladoras, and especially following the establishment of NAFTA in 1994, two factors which attracted both international commerce and many younger women and their families to Juárez in search of better economic opportunities. Violence towards women in the municipality has increased dramatically in the past twenty years;[12]