Women and children are being targeted in Juarez

Every time a child is missing, the country turns its eyes. Authorities hold press conferences and threaten punishment on the kidnappers.

The media plastered the face of Elizabeth Smart everywhere, while cops and community members created armies of lines to search for her. Eventually this missing little girl was found due to intense pressure from the government and police force.

A similar situation is evolving in Florida with Carlie Brucia.

According to a Feb. 3 article in the Kansas City Star, for this particular abduction, there was a $50,000 reward and there were investigators checking every lead.

It only makes sense to care for these missing children. We fear for their safety. We fear they may be abused both physically and sexually.

We also sympathize with the parents and their desire for their child’s safe return.

Despite this seemingly obvious logic, in parts of Mexico, there are places where the problem of abducted and abused children is largely ignored.

The epicenter of this injustice is in the Chihuahua state, in the large town of Juarez.

According to a Jan. 16 article in the Miami Herald, some women’s centers report at least 280 women have been murdered among a population of 1.3 million people.

These numbers are staggering, especially since other non-profit groups determine that there may be closer to 400 victims in the last few years.

To better ingrain this image in everyone’s minds: Picture the city of Philadelphia, which has approximately the same population as Juarez.

Imagine that every week, there are reports that about two or three women have been murdered and another little girl has been abducted and maybe a couple rapes have occurred late at night.

But there would be no uproar from the authorities. No one would want to find the culprits. No one would be concerned with stopping the disaster.

It would be comparable to numerous serial rapists and killers prowling the street, while police shrug their shoulders and the police chief offers no comment. This deplorable scene depicts reality in Juarez.

We wouldn’t tolerate living in such an environment. We’d fear for ourselves, our sisters, our mothers and our friends.

Many theorize that the police or politicians are hunting these women for fun or maybe for money.

Therefore the women of Juarez are caught in a trap. There is nowhere they can hide to feel safe and nowhere to seek justice.

It seems that maybe outside influence and investigation might be the only thing to stop this violence against women.

There have been some protests across the world, but the issue is still lacking in attention.

Possibly popularizing and thus halting these murders will be the Valentine’s Day performances of The Vagina Monologues. The founder/playwright Eve Ensler will be performing in support of Juarez, as will groups around the world, including some at the College.

Though the issue must be raised globally, there has been a start to reverse these vile happenings.

President Fox of Mexico recently recognized that there was a problem with violence against women and the criminal justice system.

Unfortunately, according to an Aug. 11 story by Amnesty International, he feels that these incidents are “isolated.”

The Minister of the Interior has also pledged to put a stop to these crimes and the Attorney General has begun investigations on 14 of these cases.

These pledges and acknowledgements of the problem are a good start but not a final solution. Steps must be taken immediately before more parents in Mexico wake up to find their daughters missing.