The Disappeared

“When we found her, my daughter’s body told of everything that had been done to her.”

Norma Andrade, the mother of Lilia Alejandra García, describing the murder of her daugher in Amnesty International 2003, cited in Alicia Schmidt Camacho, “Ciudadana X: Gender Violence and the Denationalization Women’s Rights in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico,” CR: The New Centennial Review 5.1 (2005): 267, Academic Search Premier, EBSCO. 5 Sept 2010 <>.

The idea that female maquiladora workers are compliant to sexual invasion by foreign, namely American, men through their employment at foreign-owned maquiladoras becomes complicated as women continue to disappear throughout Mexican maquiladora zones.  The term Disappeared women refers to the women who have been vanishing in Mexican production zones since 1993. Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, which is one of the predominant maquiladora zones along the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, has seen a reported 4,500 women go missing since 1993, according to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Report 2005 (16). The Disappeared reflect a broader issue of gender-based violence, or femicide, which is running rampant, particularly in Latin America.


The bodies of those women that are found are generally recovered in ditches or on the outskirts of the maquiladora districts bearing evidence of rape, beating, strangulation and mutilation to the point of being unidentifiable.  This disturbing reality is further exacerbated when the responses to these disappearances and murders by local and state authorities are examined.