February 1, 2016
Parents of missing young women in Ciudad Juarez are expressing outrage over the desecration of a mural dedicated to their daughters. Located in the heart of the downtown zone where many young women and girls have gone missing since the 1990s, the wall mural at Francisco Villa and Vicente Guerrero was among many painted across the city last year during a grassroots campaign to keep alive the memory of the disappeared.
Perla Reyes, mother of Jocelyn Calderon, one of the girls depicted in the mural, discovered the vandalism while on her way to work this weekend. Reyes observed how the vandal or vandals drew lines with black aerosol paint and splashed the mural’s images with oil-based white paint. Jocelyn’s face was one of the most damaged sections of the mural, and the word “forget” was scrawled near her image.
“I don’t know for whom she is forgotten, not for me” Reyes was quoted in the daily Norte. In other comments to El Diario de Juárez at the site of the vandalized mural, Reyes held authorities responsible for anything that might happen to her and other activist relatives of missing women and girls. She was joined by other parents, including Jose Luis Castillo, father of Esmeralda Castillo.
“We realized that with a can of paint, they want to gloss over what is really happening in Juárez,” Castillo said.
The affected parents filed a complaint related to the mural vandalism with Chihuahua state’s Special Prosecutor for Gender Crimes, and sought videotape that might exist from two cameras set up at the busy bus stop directly in front of the mural.
Luz del Carmen Flores, mother of Luz Angelica Flores, missing since 2008, said the parents would not be intimidating into giving up their struggle for justice.
“The only thing this action does is to push us to look for them even more,” the mother said. Like many other relatives of violence victims, she said the group of parents will attempt to speak directly with Pope Francisco during his upcoming trip to Ciudad Juárez on February 17.
FNS readers are encouraged to check out a photo essay we published last year that details the mural movement and contains images of some of the murals dedicated to the missing and murdered women of Ciudad Juárez:
Sources: Lapolaka.com January 30, 2016. Arrobajuarez, January 31, 2016. Nortedigital.mx, January 31, 2016. Diario de Juarez, January 31, 2016. Article by Luz del Carmen Sosa.
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Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
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