David Peregrino, El Paso Times
Borderland Sunday, March 10, 2002
Shouting “No more! Ni una más!”, nearly 200 marchers crossed the Paso del Norte Bridge on Saturday night and met their Mexican counterparts at a rally to bring attention to the murders of 300-plus women in Juárez over the past nine years.
The Coalition on Violence Against Women and Families on the Border sponsored the event, which brought Americans and Mexicans together to demand a bi-national task force to investigate the murders and disappearances of the women.”We must let our outrage be known,” said El Paso County Judge Dolores Briones, one of many officials and community activists who addressed the crowd gathered in San Jacinto Plaza for the march.”We must help the woman who has no money, no fame — the woman who walks alone in the dark,” Briones said.
Some of the murdered or missing women have been employees of Juárez maquiladoras. El Pasoan Carlos Martinez, the father of Carly Martinez, a New Mexico State University student who was slain in 1998 in Doña Ana County, also spoke to the crowd. “This is a terrific start to a cause. … It’s everybody’s cause,” Martinez said.Martinez said the gathering reminded him of when, as a 13-year-old, he watched President Kennedy speak to a crowd in San Jacinto Plaza in 1960. Echoing Kennedy’s words, Martinez asked the marchers, “If not now, when? If not us, who?” In the days before the rally, rumors swirled that Democratic state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh’s office would bring a special guest to the event, possibly U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., or labor rights activist Dolores Huerta.Neither of the women showed, but messages of support were sent by several rganizations outside El Paso, including an anti-violence coalition from Mexico City and the AFL-CIO.The event was tied in with a number of special women’s events.
Thursday was Women’s International Day, and March is Women’s History Month.As the American contingent worked its way from the plaza, along El Paso Street and over the bridge, cars honked in support.Pedestrians stopped to gawk, wave and join in on the chants of “Human rights have no borders!” and “We want justice!”At the midpoint of the bridge, the Americans met up with about 100 Mexican activists.A group of young Mexican supporters, dressed in black shrouds and grisly masks, held a banner to catch the attention of motorists waiting in line to cross back to the American side. The groups marched to a spot on Avenida Juárez, just south of the bridge.”I was really surprised how many people were here,” said Amy Hawkins, a 25-year-old New Mexico State University student who marched to Juárez with a group of her Las Cruces friends.She said not enough attention is being called to the Juárez murders. If an American city had more than 300 mysterious murders, there would be a national, if not worldwide, outcry, she said.
FYI – Turn out was about 600 once both groups joined at a rally on the Juarez side of the bridge.
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