In a report from Cuidad Juarez, Mexico, The Washington Post reports that the murders of hundreds of women and girls in that area remain unsolved. Some say a serial sex killer is on the loose. Human rights groups say bungling or corruption in the police or legal system has left many of the crimes unsolvable. For years, the mysterious deaths and disappearances of women have frustrated officials and terrified families in Juarez, a transient city where thousands of women live in shantytowns and work in maquiladoras, the factories on the U.S. border that produce electronic circuit boards and auto parts.
About a fourth of the victims were kidnapped, raped and strangled in a similar way, leading victims’ families to believe that a sexual serial killer remains on the loose. The whereabouts of almost 40 other women who have disappeared since 1993 are still unknown. And this year, the number of homicides with female victims has surged to 30, although authorities attribute 80 percent of them to domestic or family violence. More than 100 of the murder cases remain unsolved because of bungling by inept or corrupt officials, according to investigations by the United Nations, Amnesty International, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and other groups. Mexican federal officials have conceded negligence due to lack of resources and investigative or technical skills. Now, a new set of state officials is trying to bring justice to the families of slain women and reform the state’s criminal justice system.