More than a decade after the bodies of young women and girls first began turning up along the Texas border in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, dozens of artists in Mexico and the United States are shooting movies, performing plays, writing books, recording songs and producing television docudramas in response to what has become a human rights crisis and a binational scandal. According to Amnesty International, the bodies of at least 370 women, some raped and hideously mutilated, have been found in the area since 1993, and scores of other women are still missing.
Whether driven by a sense of moral outrage, attraction to a hot topic, fascination with a true-crime mystery or some combination of factors, artists and performers are pushing awareness of the mostly unsolved killings beyond the police blotter and the press and into the realm of popular culture, reports the Los Angeles Times. A story last month in the Mexico City daily newspaper Reforma estimated that 25 artworks and commercial projects already have been created or are underway. At the same time, concerns are being raised on both sides of the border that the sheer number of Juárez-related projects is reaching the saturation point and that some are sensationalistic, play loose with the facts or may be more interested in the bottom line than in the body count.