Ciudad Juarez has recently become infamous for its murder rate, which topped 3,000 in 2010 as competing drug cartels grew increasingly violent and the military responded with violence as well. Despite the atmosphere of intimidation by troops, police, and organized criminals, women have led the way in civil society activism, spurring the Juarez Resistance and forging powerful alliances with anti-militarization activists. An in-depth examination of la Resistencia Juarense, Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juarez draws on ethgraphic research to analyze the resistance's focus on violence against women, as well as its clash with the war against drugs championed by Mexican President Felipe Calderon with the support of the United States. Through grounded insights, the authors trace the transformation of hidden discourses into public discourses that openly challenge the militarized border regimes. The authors also explore the advocacy carried on by social media, faith-based organizations, and peace-and-justice activist Javier Sicilia while Calderon faced U.S. political schisms over the role of border trade in this global manufacturing site. Bringing to light on-the-ground strategies as well as current theories from the fields of sociology, political anthropology, and human rights, this illuminating study is particularly significant because of its emphasis on the role of women in local and transnational attempts to extinguish a hot zone. As they overcome intimidation to become game-changing activists, the figures featured in Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juarez offer the possibility of peace and justice in the wake of seemingly irreconcilable conflict.
Kathleen Staudt is Professor of Political Science and Endowed Professor of Western Hemispheric Trade Policy Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. She is the author of eighteen previous books, including nine that focus on the U.S.-Mexican borderlands. Zulma Y. Mendez is a professor and researcher at El Colegio de Chihuahua in Ciudad Juarez. She also codirects the National Endowment for the Humanities project on Border Security and the Humanities at the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso.