WOMEN OF SAND
Since 1993 in Ciudad Juarez, border town between Mexico and the United States, more than 900 women, including teenagers and little girls, have been brutally murdered with the same ritual scheme: abduction, torture, sexual cruelties, mutilation, strangling. Several hundreds more (over 1000 cases were reported) have simply vanished from Juarez’s streets and the Chihuahua region. Known as “feminicidio” this phenomenon has become the most outrageous violation of human rights in the recent history of Mexico.
The climate of impunity has been spreading and no concrete measures have been taken so far to stop the killings. Mexican authorities conceal the seriousness of the facts, while the discovery of new corpses is increasing. In the eye of the storm because of their negligence and incompetence, the mexican police tried to appease public opinion and picked scapegoats, men who pleaded guilty under torture. Not only they weren’t able to stop the “feminicidio”, but they were guilty for these abuses.
“Donne di sabbia” is a performance/witness/denunciation about the “feminicidio” of Ciudad Juarez, created and put on stage in order to spread the knowledge of this awful reality, which has been in place for 19 years in this borderland. The opera, composed by the dramatist and stage director Humberto Robles, was written in Spanish and firstly played in Mexico, Chile, Argentina... The script arose from a collection of witnesses borne by victims’ relatives which are played on stage with an alternation of voices, accusations, sufferings. Since 2006 the performance has been played also in Italy by the company “Donne di sabbia” under the patronage of Amnesty International-Italian section. It has become a concrete tool to raise awareness in the public about a fairly unknown phenomenon, whose worst enemy is silence.
We thank all those who support us in this fight, like Donne di sabbia with their performance, that has been a great help to let feminicidio be know among people. And we also thank you for your interest in this problem. Thanks for opening your heart and also your mind to this 19 year long tragedy. Every mother who had her daughter tore from her arms bears the weight of sorrow, yet is fighting so that no other mother has to go through the grief of having a daughter brutally murdered.
Marisela Ortiz, president of Nuestras hijas de regreso a casa