Justice, Violence against Women and Resistance in the Borderlands
Readers in the El Paso-New Mexico- Ciudad Juarez borderland might be interested in attending two special presentations next week at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces. In commemoration of International Women’s Day, the Center for Latin American and Border Studies is pleased to sponsor a roundtable on justice systems and violence against women in both New Mexico and Mexico, especially Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua.
Panelists will take a long view of the issue, examining and comparing how law enforcement and justice systems in two countries handled cases of murder, disappearances and gender violence. The roles of political and justice system corruption in emblematic cases of violence will likewise be considered.
Las Cruces author Paula Moore will review the story of Cricket Coogler, a Las Cruces waitress whose violent death in 1949 shook up the state’s political establishment and exposed a web of corruption across New Mexico and beyond. To this day, Coogler’s death remains unsolved. Moore is the author of a book about the Coogler saga.
Based on original reporting, award-winning El Paso journalist and author Diana Washington Valdez will compare the investigations of the serial murders of women in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua with killings in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the remains of 11 murdered women were recovered from a secret burial ground in 2009. Like many of the Mexican cases, the Albuquerque murders remain unpunished.
Dr. Cynthia Bejarano, professor in the interdisciplinary studies department at NMSU, will discuss the struggles of activist mothers in response to failed justice systems, and how principles of human rights and international law apply to cross-border situations of violence against women. A longtime scholar of gender violence in the Americas, Dr. Bejarano was also a co-founder of Amigos de las Mujeres, a Las Cruces organization that assisted victims’ relatives in Mexico and New Mexico.
Free and open to the public, the event will be held at the Center for Latin American and Border Studies beginning at 4 pm on Thursday, March 5. The Center is located in Nason House, 1070 University Avenue, on the NMSU campus in Las Cruces.
Nason House is situated on the north end of campus, between Espina and Solano streets and across from FedEx Kinko’s.
On a related note, and in commemoration of March 8 International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Dr. Zulma Mendez from the Colegio de Chihuahua will present a new book with Dr. Kathleen Staudt on women and resistance in Ciudad Juarez. Drawing on ethnographic research, the book examines the struggle to end violence against women amid militarization and the drug war.
The book presentation is scheduled for NMSU’s Pete V. Domenici Auditorium on Friday, March 6th at 5:30 pm. A reception and book sales will follow the talk. The event is free and open to the public. The March 6 presentation is sponsored by the NMSU Crossing Borders Class, NMSU Women’s Studies Program, NMSU Interdisciplinary Studies Department, Mujeres y Hombres [email protected] [email protected] and the Arts and Sciences Fulton Endowed Chair.
For more information on the Center for Latin American and Border Studies: http://clabs.nmsu.edu/
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Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
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