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The Bridge to Hell

by Dr. Kathleen Hall

I started watching a new show on FOX this summer called The Bridge. My husband had seen it and suggested I watch at least one episode. I was horrified as the program unfolded. This show is about the enumerable women and girls who have been murdered in Juarez, Mexico. Juarez is a city in Mexico just across the United States border from El Paso, TX. The murders continue year after year, never being solved with any interest from the police or anyone else. This difficult show is focused on two police officers, beginning to understand the gravity and deadly consequences of these horrendous, gruesome murders. Meanwhile,  police and government do nothing about the continued slaughter of young girls and women. Their demonic silence is deafening.  This television program is doing the best it can to reveal the incarnation of evil that exists in Juarez.

What’s Happening?

The mutilated bodies of young, poor women are dumped in and around Juarez. The average age of the victims is 16. and at least one-third of them work in the foreign assembly plants. More than one-third of the women are raped before they are killed, and most of their bodies show signs of captivity and torture.

I have first hand knowledge of the brutal killings of women and girls in Juarez. My friend Pat Mitchell invited me to march with Amnesty International and Eve Ensler. We were at a dinner party when Pat asked me to join them in Juarez.  I went home, packed my bag and caught the first flight to the Juarez march.

It is chilling knowing the facts of this horrendous genocide. Therefore, we chose to engage in a dangerous march on the streets of Juarez. Between 5,000 and 7,000 anti-violence protestors were gathering at the Lerdo Bridge which separates Texas and Mexico. Later, they marched down Juarez’s central Lerdo Avenue. Many well known women participated such as Jane FondaSally Field and Christine Lahti. Also present was PBS president Pat Mitchell, Lifetime CEO and president Carole Black, Congresswomen Jan Schakowsky (Illinois) and Hilda Solis (California).

Who’s doing this?

So who is killing the women? At a press conference in the packed lobby of the Juarez’s Monte Carlo hotel on Friday, one mother of a murdered girl answered, “We don’t know. Why do they leave them mutilated?” Rumors continue to speculate these killings are being done by organized crime groups, local or U.S. serial killers or even the Mexican government. Due to all of this, the Amnesty International report declares:

“The failure of the competent authorities to take action to investigate these crimes, whether through indifference, lack of will, or inability, has been blatant.”

Listening to the cries and pleas of mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers of this mass of exterminated girls was pure hell. Afterwards, the relatives of these dead girls told us of the horror at the crime scenes seeing their daughters’ body parts on the ground as a slaughtered animal. We held the mothers in our arms as we all cried for hours on end, hoping these poor women with no power knew that we were in solidarity with them.  We are all one human family.

The entire time we were in Juarez when we left the hotel, police officers on motorcycles with black helmets drove around us in circles. It was very alarming. We marched in the streets and gathered with these suffering families. As a result, our press conference was broadcast around the world because we wanted to tell the world about this unimaginable place. We even contacted the president of Mexico Vicente Fox. He appointed a special prosecutor for the Juarez women’s murders. Later, she was murdered.

God help the women in Mexico who are treated as cattle or animals. God help all of us. Because of this,  I will always be tattooed with images of Juarez women in my heart.

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