The Guerreras of Ciudad Juarez: Providing Relief Efforts during Mexican Drug War

9 Feb

 

POSTED BY REGINA CANTU

Every Sunday, a group of middle-class Mexican womenwho call themselves Las Guerreras ride on pink motorcycles to hand out food and medicine to the poor in Ciudad Juarez. Their custom-made choppers and brave traverse through one of the world’s deadliest cities are a form of protest as well as an attempt to allay the widespread destitution that has fueled the violence.

We try to share some of what we have with people who really need help and then we ride around the city and form a council to plan what we’re going to do next Sunday,” Lorenia Granados, the director of the Guerreras bike club, explained to El Diario de Juárez.

The ten-member club has teachers, businesswomen and off-duty police officers volunteering their time to help bystanders in the city’s poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods cope with the effects of such persistent violence and killings.

For the third year in a row, Ciudad Juarez leads the ranking for the most violent cities in the world, in which 25% of the cities in the list are Mexican. In Juarez, murders grew 5,681% in 25 years. In 2010, over 3,000 homicides were recorded in a population of only 1.3 million people. The city has a rate of 229 homicides for every 1,000 inhabitants.

These women hand out cash, medicines, food and clothing purchased with their own wages. Their pink bikes, they say, are the benevolent, more feminine counterpart to the drug hitmen sometimes known to assault directly from their motorcycles.

The Guerreras say that, up until now, they haven’t been threatened nor attacked during their weekly rounds. “A guerrera is someone who fights not just to survive, but to get ahead. Our slogan is: ’Women without limits, making the difference’,” Granados said.

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