Dónde esta mi niña? Where is my daughter? Where is my mother and my sister and my aunt? Where did they go? What evil faced them in their final days in this world? In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, women are being kidnapped, beaten, raped, and murdered for the sole fact that they are women.

It’s called femicide, an issue which is rarely spoken about or known to the public, but to the women and families of Ciudad Juarez, the term is all too familiar. In Latin America, especially, women continue to go missing and are rarely found or looked for by police, as the assumed explanation for disappearances, is that women simply run away from home.

There are rarely any investigations into the kidnappings, rapes, and murders. Some families are so desperate to find their loved ones, they go searching for their remains on their own; the system has failed and the victims of femicide are left with no justice to give them or their families peace.

In 2015, according to The National Citizen Femicide Observatory, about 6 women are killed in Mexico, every day. And the numbers keep rising, as more and more little girls disappear and are never seen again.   

The activists howl in the streets for their loved one, who never came home. They paint pink crosses in their memory while the government ignores their pleas for justice. Femicide is everywhere… Violence and murder against women is an international epidemic which is left ignored and unsettled by governments and the public.

But this issue cannot be left unseen and the stories of mourning families cannot be lost. Lives are being ruined and women are being brutalized and objectified in states and countries that don’t respect them enough to protect their natural rights.

We as women must come together to protect and support one another; we are a sisterhood of strong and brave fighters who don’t give up, no matter what. We must protest and urge the governments of femicide stricken lands to strengthen legislation and punish those responsible for the violence and killings of women.

To learn more about femicide, here are some resources:

http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/4/femicide-in-latin-america

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/77421/1/WHO_RHR_12.38_eng.pdf  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4ETx5uK0mA&t=95s

With strength and love,

Alex Palacios