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.”

Women’s and LGBTQ+ movement in Ciudad Juarez march against femicides and hate crimes
The Movimiento Estatal de Mujeres, or the State Movement of Women in Chihuahua, which includes the Red Mesa de Mujeres – the Network Board of Women, Casa Amiga Esther Chávez Cano –  Esther Chávez Cano Friendship House, Programa Compañeros – Comrades Program, and Organización Popular Independiente – the Independent People’s Organization, issued a press release which said that “the creation of the Police Action Protocol on violence against women for the border municipality was another of the many initiatives of the organizations that have historically directly accompanied the victims.”
The organizations that make up the State Women's Movement (MEM) supports the appointment of Elvira Urrutia Castro as head of the Municipal Institute of Women of Ciudad Juarez (IMUJ)
Marcha de las Diversidades Afectivo Sexuales, or March of Affected Sexual Diversity, has posted on their Facebook account a video of the incident captioning it “no more hate crimes for lesbophobia.” Their organization supports “equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Transsexual, Two-Spirited, Intersexed, Queer (LGBTTTIQ) people in Juarez society.” Read more on enacting Fair Trade Policies