now for something serious

The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border by Teresa Rodriguez with Diane Montane and Lisa Pulitzer (316 pgs/read 25) 2007

I saw a documentary on Juarez several years ago, but until this book came out last month, I’d had no idea the atrocities were still going on.  Over 400 women have been murdered in Juarez in the past 12 years, and hundreds of women are missing.  Of bodies recovered, at least 90 have been tortured and mutilated in a manner that indicates the same killer or killers.

Amnesty International and FBI profilers as well as U.S. and Mexican police have investigated.  Suspects have been arrested over the years, several of them dying in custody.  But the murders continue.

It’s an important topic that deserves more international attention.  Which is why this book is so disappointing.  It offers a soft-focus, human-interest perspective, relying too much on family testimonials.  It resembles a book report more than a solid journalistic investigation, surprising given that the three authors are journalists.  I found I was better off getting an update through newspaper and journal articles.

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