Near the intersection of Vicente Guerrero and Lopez Mateos in Ciudad Juarez, local artist Maclovio describes a hypnotizing mural that honors three female victims of disappearance and homicide-Esmeralda Castillo Rincon, Rosa Virginia Hernandez Cano and Adriana Sarmiento. Conjuring up a sweeping and turbulent landscape, Maclovio and his helpers place the short lives of three girls and women in a world of militarism and nuclear bombs, migration and femicide, or feminicide- the systemic killing of women.
According to the 34-year-old muralist, the mural’s themes connect wars at home and abroad. Shown are important local landmarks including the Rio Bravo, or Rio Grande, the muddy and often water-starved river which both divides and unites Ciudad Juarez from its neighbor of El Paso, Texas; the U.S. army base of Fort Bliss; and “the country of femicides”, symbolized by a red cross in the center of the Mexican flag instead of the eagle, cactus and snake.
Splashed in purple and showered with raining crosses, the Navajo Arroyo in the Juarez Valley is shown at the bottom. Scores of murdered women have been recovered from the rural zone outside the city once famous for growing cotton since the 1990s. As Frontera NorteSur was going to press, officials had completed yet another search of the Navajo Arroyo, reportedly finding more bones, clothing fragments and women’s shoes.
“War demands bodies, the sacrifice of people,” Maclovio says.
Photo essay and story on FronteraNorteSur