Women in Juarez marching against misogyny and homophobia
Advocates for women and LGBTQ+ in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez, including Programa Compañeros, Red Mesa de Mujeres and the Marcha de las Diversidades Afectivo Sexuales, have been leading marches against misogyny and homophobia in response to a recent gruesome murder and dismemberment of a lesbian couple from the adjacent border city of El Paso, Texas.
The bodies of Nohemí Medina Martínez and Tania Montes Hernández, 28-year-olds who were tortured and dismembered, were found inside plastic bags along El Porvenir Highway in Juárez on January 16, 2022. Two people have been arrested in connection with the Juarez murders.
Due to increasing hate crimes against the LGBTQ+, people in Juárez are gathering and marching, calling for a full police investigation, including into how gender and sexual orientation were factors in the murders. Not only are hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community rising, but so are hate crimes against women. The Crimes Against Women unit in Juárez investigated 172 women’s murders in 2019, a total of 192 in 2020 and 127 in the first eight months of 2021. Not only did the cases on COVID-19 spike early in 2021, so did the cases of domestic violence, leading to a high increase in femicides during that year for which complete numbers are not yet available.
Three weeks into 2022, 11 same-sex couples have already been killed in Juárez. As of now, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has not addressed the situation.
The protests against this outbreak have had support from various organizations. Programa Compañeros shared a video of protestors marching outside the State Attorney General’s Office in Juárez. Compañeros published the video stating, “we call on society to make visible the atrocious violence suffered by women in Juárez, since there has been a series of violent events in the city just beginning this year.”