Poet Susana Chavez’s Death Sparks Outrage in Juarez

Story By ColorLines

The details are horrific: Susana Chavez, an internationally renown poet and long time activist who spoke out against the decade-long femicide of woman in Juarez, was found murdered this week. She had been tortured and suffocated; her left hand had apparently been dismembered with a saw.

Chavez is one of over 500 women in Juarez who have been found murdered in the last decade. And her death has caused an uproar because she had been one of few to speak out against the growing femicide, coining the phrase, “Ni una mas,” (“Not one more) and routinely criticizing local authorities for refusing to properly investigate the crimes. Her death has cast new suspicions about local authorities’ ability to handle the cases. That is to say that they’ve largely chosen to ignore them; so far, 92 percent of cases of women who’ve been murdered in the region remain unsolved.

Many who knew and loved Chavez are accusing authorities of trying to silence the publicity surrounding her murder. Within days of her murder, police announced the arrest of three suspects, two of whom were under 18 years old. Police said that Chavez had gone out drinking with the suspects and was killed after refusing to have sex with them.

The story is sketchy to those who knew and loved Chavez, and report that she had actually been on her way to meet friends at a local restaurant on the night that she initially disappeared.

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