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Celebrities Protest Killings in Mexico

The World

February 15, 2004|From Reuters

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Jane Fonda, Eve Ensler, Christine Lahti and Sally Field added their celebrity voices Saturday to those of mothers and activists clamoring for justice in the slayings of hundreds of young women in this Mexican border town in the last decade.

"I am rich, I am famous, I am white, I have a daughter, I have a granddaughter, and I know if they were murdered or disappeared, the authorities would work very hard to find out who killed them," Fonda said at a news conference in Ciudad Juarez.

Groups of marchers from Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, across the U.S. border, met on the downtown international bridge and walked the streets of Ciudad Juarez.

They marched as part of an effort to increase awareness of violence against women worldwide through Ensler's V-Day organization, which for three years has called Feb. 14 "V-day" and used it to remember women who are victims of violence.

Fonda, Lahti, Fields and three Mexican actresses were later scheduled to perform Ensler's play "The Vagina Monologues."

At least 370 young women have been slain here since 1993, Amnesty International reported in August. The attorney general's office recently put the figure at 258. By all accounts, about 100 of the victims had been raped.

Mexican officials speculate that some of the slayings were a result of domestic violence, but others were the work of serial killers, drug gangs or a small group of well-connected local men who kill for sport.

Despite more than a dozen arrests, however, just one man has been convicted, for a single murder.

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