MARCELA LAGARDE Y DE LOS RÍOS
Translated by Charlie Roberts
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Preface:
Feminist Keys for
Understanding Feminicide
THEORETICAL, POLITICAL, AND
LEGAL CONSTRUCTION
It all began over the alarm sounded to bring attention to the crimes
against girls and women in Ciudad Juárez more than fifteen years ago.
From the horror and dismay came protests and demands for justice.
Nonetheless, time passed, and there was no satisfactory response from
the authorities. Organizations were established to provide support to
the victims’ relatives and to struggle against violence against women,
and groups cropped up to provide services to victims that spoke out
forcefully as part of social movements in defense of human rights and of
women’s and feminist movements. Despite such initiatives, the homi-
cides have continued. Voices of protest spoke out first locally and then
nationally; since then, Ciudad Juárez has become known worldwide for
crimes committed against girls and women through intense campaigns
to dismantle the impunity that has accompanied these killings.
The concept of feminicide has transcended the borders of Mexico—
and rightfully so—because the organizations engaged in the process of
seeking justice, and in the more general social movement, have had
recourse to international organizations, both civil and intergovernmen-
tal. Statements and reports have been issued by Amnesty International;
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; the European Parliament;
legislatures of European countries, such as the Congreso de los Di-
putados of Spain; the U.S. Congress; local governments in several
countries; nongovernmental organizations (ngos); and women’s net-
works, among many others. In her most recent visit to Mexico, United
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