Ciudad Juárez has recently become infamous for its murder rate, which topped 3,000 in 2010 as competing drug cartels grew increasingly violent and the military responded with violence as well. Despite the atmosphere of intimidation by troops, police, and organized criminals, women have led the way in civil society activism, spurring the Juárez Resistance and forging powerful alliances with anti-militarization activists.
An in-depth examination of la Resistencia Juarense, Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juárez draws on ethnographic research to analyze the resistance’s focus on violence against women, as well as its clash with the war against drugs championed by Mexican President Felipe Calderón with the support of the United States. Through grounded insights, the authors trace the transformation of hidden discourses into public discourses that openly challenge the militarized border regimes. The authors also explore the advocacy carried on by social media, faith-based organizations, and peace-and-justice activist Javier Sicilia while Calderón faced U.S. political schisms over the role of border trade in this global manufacturing site.
Bringing to light on-the-ground strategies as well as current theories from the fields of sociology, political anthropology, and human rights, this illuminating study is particularly significant because of its emphasis on the role of women in local and transnational attempts to extinguish a hot zone. As they overcome intimidation to become game-changing activists, the figures featured in Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juárez offer the possibility of peace and justice in the wake of seemingly irreconcilable conflict.