The role of grassroots communication in the Juarez femicides
As a result of the state’s neoliberal strategies which deflects responsibility away from the state, a significant portion of the investigative work of the Juarez murders is delegated to activists, journalists, and filmmakers. The release of Señorita Extraviada coincided with a pivotal point in the events and activism of the Juarez murders. In November 2001, it was discovered that eight women’s mutilated bodies were dumped across from the headquarters of the Maquiladora Association. In addition to this, a Juarez defence lawyer working on feminicide cases was murdered by the police. These events sparked feminist and human rights organizations from around the border to come together and protest gender-based violence. In December 2001, 30 000 protestors from both Juarez and El Paso gathered in Juarez. In March 2002, hundreds of women dressed in black marched from Chihuahua City to the Juarez-El Paso Border to show their support.
Señorita Extraviada is an important example of grassroots communication that challenges government and media deflection strategies of individualization and responsibilization that places blame on the victim and their families. This documentary challenges the dominant narrative of the murders by centering on the standpoint of the victims, their family members, women living in Juarez, and feminist activists. Señorita Extraviada examines the social, economic, and political insecurity in Juarez which facilitates a climate of fear and impunity where many individuals are too afraid to discuss the violence.