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UNA HERIDA ABIERTA : A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF U S NEWS REPORTS COVERING FEMICIDE IN CIUDAD JU REZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO BY EVA AURELIA GRAY A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies Under the sponsorship of Dr. Sarah Hernandez Sarasota, Florida January, 2013
! Dedication This thesis is dedicated to the memory of all those murdered and disappeared in Ciudad Jurez. N unca puede ser olvidado
! "" Acknowledgements I would like to begin by thanking my committee members, each of whom I have come to respect and endear over the course of my New College career. Thank you Professor Hernandez for being my advisor and sponsor I en joyed being challenged, and feel I have gained critical thinking skills th roughout the thesis process. Thank you for inspiri ng me to stay socially active and keep my voice, no matter where I find myself later in life. Also to Professor Labrador Rodriguez, for being a supportive committee member. Along with Professor Portugal, I had a truly educational and intersubjective langu age education that will surely benefit me in my later studies. Thank you Professor Vesperi for always being supportive of my and other's passion for journalism. To all of my wonderful friends, whom I learn from and grow with everyday. Too many to name, b ut I owe the most to my roommate Puneet, my love Zoe, and my sister Andrea. Also to Naushin and Claire who inspire me to do great things. To the Dream Team and everyone I have met over these four years who commit their lives to social justice. Of cours e to my mom, my dad, Marcus and John Clark. To Murphy for all the insightful phone conversations. To my cousins and to my aunts and uncles. A mis abuelos que hecho de menos todos los das. To my Memaw and my Aunt Julia, who I take after in many ways. Eve ry one of you helped me get to where I am now.
! """ Table of Contents Page Dedication i Acknowledgements ii Table of Contents iii iv Abstrac t v Map of Ciudad Ju rez vi Introduction: Framing the Research 1 Methodology 4 Hypotheses 6 Literature Review: The Portrayal of Victims of Femicide in Print Medi a 8 Defining and Contextualizing Femicide 9 Media Analysis 14 Analysis of Femicide in Jurez 26 Media Analysis on Femicides 34 Conclusion 41 Results/Analysis: A content analysis of two newspapers 42 Who are the sources? 44 What do the sources say about femicide? 53 How do the reports presente d ? 59 How many women were killed ? 73 Why is femicide happening in Juarez? 79 Significance of location: Where is Juarez? 87
! "# Synthesis 95 Conclusion 9 7 Appendix (i) News References 10 8 (ii) Number of Articles, Words, and Sources 11 3 ( iii ) Selective Bi National Timeline of the Jurez Femicides 1 14 References 116
! UNA HERIDA ABIERTA : A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF U S NEWS REPORTS COVERING FEMICIDE IN JU REZ, MEXICO EVA AURELIA GRAY New College of Florida, 2013 ABSTRACT Since 1993, hundreds of femicides (murders of women ) have gone unsolved on the US Mexico border. This thesis is concerned with how two US newspapers, the Houston Chronicle and the New York Times cover these femicides in Ju rez, Mexico. The research looks at three sep arate time periods: 1996 2000, 2001 2005, and 2006 2010 in order to ascertain changes in coverage through time; I coded 32 articles I found low er co verage in the first time period ; peaking around 2001, when there was increased attention by governments and NG Os condemning the murders. The Houston Chronicle provided more frequent coverage, though it tended to be brief. This higher frequency allowed for more consistent upda tes on the crime investig ation and criminal proceedings. The New York Times offered fewer, but more in depth reporting, providing a broad range of opinions and critical analysis of the femicides and government and police action in response to the murders Frame analysis allows me to explicate the ways these events are represented through these three time p eriods and between the two newspapers. Dr. Sarah Hernandez Division of Social Scienc e
! "# Map of Ciudad Jurez The U.S. Mexi can border es una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds Gloria Anzalda, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 1987.
! Chapter 1: Introduction This year, 2013 marks twelve years since the discovery of eight women's bodies in a cotton field in the heart of Ciudad Jure z Chihuahua, Mexico. While this mass grave was the most high profile case, garnering international attention, it was but another discovery in the string of grave s uncovered in and around Jurez since 1993. Throughout these 20 years, many debates have deve loped surrounding the s ource of this problem and its solution. News media have been an important contributor to this debate Therefore, an analysis of the way newspapers cover these events will shed light on their contribution to this debate and to public understanding of the problem. Ciudad Jurez is located on the United States Mexico border, and is separated from El Paso, Texas by the Ro Grande. The city's location plays a direct role in its development and culture as a hub of manufacturing products sold in the US and as a last stop for migrants seeking a better life in the U S. While U S justice and social systems have criminalized and controlled emigration from the Global South to the Global North for most of the past 100 years, thousands s till migrate northwards in hope of a better future. Since the mid 1960 s, with little economic opportunity, many have migrated from Mexico's southern states seek ing work in the maquiladora, or assembly plant, industry in Northern Mexico The majority of factory workers were women, and were seen by plant employers as ideal workers because their smaller hands and fingers could better assemble the tiny parts of export goods such as light bulbs, cassette tapes, and recorders," (Sali ng e r, 2003 p. 552). In addition, this ideal worker was part of a "submissive, passive workforce" due to its gender, race, and class characteristics ( Ibid p. 554 ) Earning a mere
! # $6/day for shifts lasting 12 or more hours and given their demographic characteristics as female, of darker skin, and low income, it follows that these female workers are pushed towards the societal margins: ignored by Mexican politicians and police, and unseen by consumers in the US. Their murders go unresolved and their significance is minimized. Activists and scholars say the lack of justice points to a broader issue: government, police, and society's complicity in the murders ( Staudt & Coronado, 2010 ). Scholars and activists refer to the murder s of these women as "the Jurez femicides." It is apparent that many of the murders have taken place with serial criminal intent, and thus this is not just a few coincidental incidents over time, but rather part of a pattern of systematic violence against women in this border city. It is seemingly no coincidence that a sizable portion of the victims were younger than 25, were of dark complexion, and were poor, assembly plant workers ( Gaspar de Alba, 2010). The questions remain : do these factors and the social conditions that sustain them become part of news reporting and hence of our understanding of the situation ? El Paso Times reporter and longtime investigator of the Ju rez femicides Diana Washington Valdez, explained that the state attorney general's office of Chihuahua allots a narrow definition of what constitutes femicide, which is "a woman or girl that is raped and murdered," (personal communication, 11/9/2012). Washington Valdez noted that this specification serves to leave out the many cases that are indeterminable ; for instance, cases of "bones found in the desert" are deemed unworthy of investigation. In contrast, Washington Valdez uses the term broadly to include the "murders of women" and calls for a focus on the killer's motivations and identity, rather than engaging in "word games [that] don't help to solve the crimes."
! $ Clearly, news media plays a central role in the dissemination of information to public spheres. While the observer must interpret what is being read with a critical lens, it is the job of the reporter to provide fair coverage of "newsworthy" events. I seek to explore how the media, specifically daily international newspapers, portray the Ju rez femicides since 1993. I explore whether there is a change over time in the type and amount of coverage of these femicides To do so, I divide 15 years of coverage into three time periods: 1995 2000, 2001 2005, and 2006 2010. This research provides a content analysis from the Houston Chronicle, a daily local newspaper, and The New York Times one of the largest daily newspapers in the United States. A n analysis of coverage over time allows one to see whether the recent focus on the war on drugs shifted the public's attenti on away from femicides, and whether their coverage takes a different shape than before the explosion of the drug related violence. A comparison between local and national news sources allows us to explore whether the outlook and information differ between regions and hence point to possible differences in perspective between the local and national population. In addition, research shows that newsworthiness is affected by other events such as war and certain economic conditions (Chermak, 1995; as c ited in Taylor 2009), so it is evident that the context of reports is important to take into consideration. Hence, I explore whether the national and local newspapers offer different representations of context and whether these representations have shifted through time. The way international events are reported influences people 's awareness of the situation and can lead to changes in policy and international relations As the Ju rez case shows, attention garnered by activists in the news media played a di rect role in sparking
! % outrage expressed by US celebrities, US government officials, the United Nations, and NGOs. Gaining an understanding of the shape of such media representation therefore, is necessary. For example, outrage against the femicides and m edia attention led to the formation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Women 's Homicides in 1998. Duwe (2000, p. 367) notes that "incidents that garner extensive news coverage are more likely to influence public perceptions and social policy decisions." This has two implications: f irst, that the more coverage the murders receive, the more informed people will be in forming opinions or concern ; s econd, the less coverage the murders receive, the less the public will be concerned or even view the murders as "femicide" or as a social problem at all. An analysis of this coverage will help us also gain a better understanding of the larg er implications of such coverage. Methodology of research As noted earlier, my investigation covers articles printed between 1996 and 2010 organized into three time period s allowing me to explore shifts in coverage I also compare two different news papers a local and a national one This two way comparison allows me to address how the representa t ion of femicides changes through time and between local and national sources I looked at the Houston Chronicle in order to provide a regional perspective from within the United States. The paper is a daily, city paper from Texas, which shares its border with Jurez. This daily paper provided 116 relevant articles, from which I chose seven from each time period through random sampling.
! & The New York Times ( NYT ) provides the outlook of a nationally circulated daily newspaper. T his paper has a larger audience, from a variety of locations. As an internationally respected news source, it is expected that coverage will be more investigative and in depth. Overall, a search for related articles provided fewer results than the local paper with only 20 articles published on the subject between 1996 and 2010. I use d online archives for both papers, and analyze d articles that pertain directly to femicides in Jurez. In order to find the articles I use d the search terms "murder," "women," "femicide," "slaying," and "killing" in various combinations, and added with the word "Ju rez." I used all 20 articles from the NYT and selected a random sample of the Houston Chronicle by numbering the amount of articles per time period on pieces of paper for blind selection. Each number drawn correspond ed to a date and paper title. This method allow ed for a more random, rather than systematic, selection and brea dth of the type of coverage on the murders. Relying on NVivo10 software I sca n n ed and categorize d the articles based on their reporting content. The headlines and leads are important because they denote the focus of the articles. I look at sources used by the reporter, and note whether or not the reporter is writing from the field, or recycling information from wire reports like the Associated Press. Subjects I analyze d stem from a review of the 562 node s (codes) that I made during my research. These nodes were subcategorized into fourteen macro codes, which contained a total of twenty three subcategories My analysis is based on patterns that emerged from the data
! Hypotheses: By time period Gaspar de Alba and Guzman (2010) note that the start' of the Jurez femicides was in May of 1993. However, the murders did not become recognized as serial until the latter half of the decade. Notably, international press coverage of the murders did n o t even pick up until 1998 (Tabuenca Crdoba, 2010) I predict that in the firs t period (1995 2000) coverage will be more likely to blame the victim reporting that the women were sex workers or emphasizing that they used drugs or alcohol. This is because initial newspaper articles relied mainly on Jurez police reports, which saw these murders as isolated cases and frequently employed the tactic of victim blaming. During the second time period (200 2005) there already had been more attention give n to the femicides in Jurez due to the efforts of international women's and human rights groups such as Amnesty International. Gaspar de Alba and Guzman (2010 p. 5) note that it was not until the discovery of eight bodies in a field in November 2001 tha t the US media "swarmed over the story." Therefore, I anticipate that there will be a significant increase in both the Houston Chronicle and the New York Time 's coverage during this second period. [Will there be also a shift in content? That is the point of the earlier analysis will it move away from blaming the victim to recognizing structural issues?] From the third time period (2005 2010) I expect to see an emphasis on drug cartel violence, and a connection drawn between drug violence and violence a gainst women. Thus, I predict that there will be less of a focus on the murders of women
! ( Presenting the research The n ext chapter provides a review of the literature on the subjects of femicide and media analysis. I sum m arize studies of the way news sources speak of and represent violence against women. The latter part of this chapter addresses more specifically scholar ly work on the Jurez femicides and on the way media frames them. I also address current research on femicide in various cultur al contexts, and the identification of this social problem in several Latin American countries. In C hap t er 3 I provide an overview of my findings. It is postulated that good journalism concerns itself with "five w's and an h." Thus, the analysis is organized with the purpose of reviewing who the journalists spoke to, what was covered, where the murders took pla ce, why the femicides occurred, and how the reports highlighted information to make a story. The conclusion synthesize s my findings with the literature review. Here, I address my hypotheses, and expand on what other scholars have concluded about the cover age of femicide.
! ) Chapter 2: Literature Review The Portrayal of Victims of Femicide in Print Media An explanation of current debates regarding the meaning and spread of femicides is necessary for our understanding of the significance of my research. Similarly, an explanation of existing literature on media analysis allows me to show the theoretical outl ooks that inform my study. I begin by explaining the different meanings of the term femicide and its relation to gender studies. With this shared understanding of the term, we are better able to comprehend scholars' study of femicides in various parts of the world and in Latin America in particular. Understanding this social reality is necessary in order explore how it is reflected in media. To understand such reflection, however, we must first understand how media functions generally. In the second sect ion of this chapter I offer a review of current views regarding the workings behind the creation of news. I explain what is "newsworthy," framing process, gender in the process of reporting, and the role of gender in the process of and approach to reporti ng. I also address the particular factors informing international news and their relationship to how we cover violence elsewhere and femicide in particular. In the final section of this chapter I offer a review of current research regarding new media's app roach to femicide in general and to the case of Jurez in particular. By looking at Jurez as a city entrenched in the export processing, free market model, and as a well known corridor for drug and human trafficking to the U.S., I am able to rela te the femicides to their local context. The following section will distinguish
! between the different types of femicide that academics recognize as occurring under different circumstances, with different motivations. Jurez is looked at as a phenomenon bec ause of the amount of murders that have gone unsolved. Defining and Contextualizing Femicide What is femicide? To frame my research, I begin by explaining femicide in a global and historical context. This thesis will offer a different perspective to what scholars have pointed out, because of my efforts to speak specifically to how international reports cover the murders of women. I use "murders of women" interchangeably with "femicide," just as news reports do not use the term to describe what activis ts and academics deem as such. The term, femicide, is the continuation of a long standing analysis of gender based violence. Mary Daly, in 1973, offers the notion of "gynocide" as "the systematic crippling, raping and/or killing of women by men the rele ntless violence perpetuated by the gender class men on the gender class women," (Dworkin, 1976; as cited in Caputi, 1989, p. 439). Diana Russell first coined the term femicide in 1976, referring to the act of killing a woman because she is a woman. Jane Ca puti Deborah Cameron and Elizabeth Frazer (1987; as cited in Fragoso, 2002) systematically analyze sexual killings through the category of gender; bringing a deeper understanding of the term to include the misogynist killing of women by men and a form of continuity of sexual assault, where you must take into account: the acts of violence, the motives and the imbalance of power between the sexes in political, social and economic environments. (as cited in Fr agoso, 2002, p. 2) While the aforementioned scholars recognize the intersection of various forms of oppressions, i.e. poverty and gender violence inherent in femicidal killing, Fregoso and
! "+ Bejarono (2010) further this concept by offering a translation of the term in Spanish, feminicidio This coinage refers to the recognition of Latin American theorists, as they prefer the more literal translation of "feminicide." The authors admit this usage is for political and theoretical purposes, which as a result ser ves to "dismantle the colonialist formation of Latin America as a field of study rather than a place where theory is produced," (Mignolo, 2000, p. 193, as cited in Fregoso and Bejorono, 2010). Carcedo and Sagot (2002; as cited in Trujillo, 2010) further t he analysis of violence against women, by distinguishing between intimate femicide for someone who knew or is related to the victim, and non intimate femicide for assassinations committed by men with whom the victim had no relationship. This distinction is important when classifying the murders of women because it can point to motivations. As will be discussed in the analysis, various forms of classification affect the reporting of the numbers of femicides in Jurez. Clearly, the development of the term mo ves along with the maturity of social analysis regarding gender oppression and violence. It refers to the killing of a woman because she is a woman and hence implies a deeper theoretical framework of the relationship between gender stratification and viole nce. Gendered Power Relations Underlying Femicide Femicide scholars make note that perpetrators of femicide are by no means outside of social norms ( Caputi, 1989; Caputi & Russell, 1992 ). Indeed, such violence towards women is a direct expression of sexual politics, "the ultimate expression of sexuality as a form of power" ( Caputi, 1989, p. 439).
! "" In most cultures, gender is a major determinant of social relations (Sagot and Cabaas, 2010). Masculinity and femininity are socially constructed and not c ategories determined by biological condition. Thus, social behaviors based on biological sex are taught through gender socialization, which fulfills a function of social control. First, it imposes a self definition of male or female. Second, it imposes a definition of the world and one's position within it. Third, it defines others and the terms of intersubjective relations established. Finally, the g ender socialization process fosters acquisition of proper gender characteristics and discourages acquisition of characteristics associated with the opposite sex (Anderson, 1988; as cited in Sagot and Cabaas, 2010, p. 141). The concept of gender as a soci alized role, separate from birth prescribed sex, is a foundational aspect of my research question. Societal norms based on the gender binary of male/female, in which masculinity invokes strength and dominance and femininity is associated with weakness and passivity, play a profound role in society, and ground the gender element of my research question. The gender analysis of femicide, that the murders of women happen for different reasons, shows that these murders may have different implications than tho se inferred from the murder of a man. In the case of Jarez, gender norms are just as important in Mexico as in the U.S., and both cultures exist within the confines of gender norms and binary notions of gender. Within a patriarchal societal context, g endered norms are created and rationalized on a hierarchy of gender (Volk & Schlotterbeck, 2010). In their study of violent crime in Costa Rica, Sagot and Cabaas (2010) found that men were far more likely to commit murder, which the authors explain as an expected outcome of the socialization of masculine identities. In the construction of traditional masculinity, violence is the
! "# preferred strategy for approaching conflict. At the same time, aggressive behavior is discouraged and repressed in women. A Global Outlook to the Experience of Femicide Evidently, the phenomenon of femicide is not unique to Ciudad Jurez. Caputi's (1989) analysis of the sexual politics of murder positions femicide within a historical perspective. The author notes that an "age of sex crime" reporting began in 1888 with the unsolved killings of sex workers in London by the unidentified "Jack the Ripper." Pop culture has immortalized the serial killer as somewhat of a mythical hero (Caputi, 1989). This myth making functions to "te rrorize women and to empower and inspire men," (p. 449). Andrea Dworkin (1976)'s expansion on Daly's use of the term "gynocide," denotes that "under patriarchy, gynocide is the ongoing reality of life lived by women" (p.19). Lagarde y de los Rios (2010) furthers this categorization of female genocide, by tying social forces to the definition of femicide. The author notes that violence "occurs when the historical conditions generate social practices that allow for violent attempts aga inst the integrity, health, liberty and lives of girls and women," (p. xx). These historical conditions are rooted in social and political institutions, as I will further discuss with the case of Jurez. In the context of Latin America, femicide is not just a Jurez problem. Fregoso and Bejarano (2010) refer to feminicide in Latin America as an extension of the widespread use of violence against women in warfare around the world. The authors refer to ethnic conflict in Bosnia and Rwanda, and note that fe minicide as "low intensity warfare" is waged as routine throughout Latin America (p. 1).
! "$ Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Honduras, and El Salvador all showed an increase in the violent deaths of women in the 1990s (Trujillo, 2010). Guatemala has the most ende mic femicide occurrence (Caballero, Lpez, and Rodrquez, 2010). Casey, Chazaro, and Ruhl (2010) note that the problem stems from the country's widespread impunity for perpetrators of violence and a legacy of military violence that remained after almost 40 years of political violence and genocide of indigenous peoples that ended in 1996. Casey, Chazaro, and Ruhl (2010) relate that Guatemalan investigators demonstrated similar neglect to that of the Jurez femicides. Most notably, there is a lack of will o f investigators to solve the crimes. Just like in Jurez, this is shown "by the persistent practice of blaming the victim and the reported hostility towards family members" (2010, p. 98). Also, women face difficulty in gaining access to justice with a merg ing of the police and military in the war on gangs and drug trafficking. Dealing with threats in a military fashion has perpetuated violence against women, again, simply due to the role of the military that has lasted since the war years. Fregoso and Bej arano (2010) note that, due in large measure to the presence of female journalists covering the war in former Yugoslavia, immense media and political attention focused on gender based violence as a pervasive weapon of war. The scholars note that along with this media frame, it has taken years of feminist advocacy in law and international forums to shift public discourse and understanding of this violence. Thus, it is a crucial interplay between international reporting and human rights advocacy that changes societal interpretations of gendered violence. Elsewhere in the world, Jiwani and Young (2006) note that in Canada, where British Colombia has had evident femicide for over 30 years, the issue has received little
! "% attention in mainstream media. The authors classify the violence as a "gendered war" that remains peripheral to the public sphere constructed by mass media (p. 896). Furthermore, Wright (2011) says that the gendering "of space, or violence, and of subjectivity" contribute to political arguments ove r the meaning of femicide and drug violence (p. 710). This gender violence functions as a mode of state security. Wright posits this argument in the case of Mexican politics, whose authorities did nothing to investigate the Jurez femicides, but now presid e over a brutal drug war. Media Analysis In order to understand social constructions of femicide, it is important to analyze how the media portrays such instances. Manoff and Schudson (1986) point out that news reports in themselves represent an interaction between how the world is and how it ge ts reported. In between the event and a published report comes reporter bias, social, economic, political, timing or geographical limitations. Traditionally, news production values timeliness, proximity, prominence, consequence and human interest (MacDou gall, as cited in Romano, 1986). However these characteristics are valued when determining newsworthiness, they are not an end all be all, or rather, scientifically conclusive in determining a story's weight. Occurrences are deemed newsworthy based on the relative importance of a story. Relevance is typically based on familiarity, frequency of the event, and ease of access to information and sources. Reporters aim to answer basic questions in their articles: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?.
! "& Such question s are answered by the story itself, or, the facts that present themselves through sources, whether they be experts, witnesses, or quoted documents, ect. News is not what journalists think, but precisely what sources, such as witnesses and experts, say (Sig al, 1986). Thus, the "who" becomes crucial when framing a story. Sigal notes that daily newspapers are most concerned with ease and accessibility to information. Those reporters with the "crime beat," or daily assignment, tend to stay in direct contact wit h police headquarters in order to report crime news in a timely manner. Thus, it follows that coverage is biased towards police interpretations of a crime in the traditional daily news outlet. Journalists and sources provide the answers to the remaining elements that make up the story. The what, why, where, how tell why the story is important or relevant to a consumer, and give subject matter to the event or issue at hand. "Newsworthiness" becomes an interplay between the story itself, and how it is received by media consumers. Below, I explore murder as a "newsworthy" event, and analyze how violence against women is framed in news reports. Relevant to the present research is an analysis of the practice of international reporting, and a review of how frames are employed in the co verage of femicides. What is newsworthy? When it comes to news reporting, it is imperative for an event to be deemed "newsworthy" before it is actually portrayed to readers/an audience One example of such newsworthiness would be, as Meyer (1994; as cited in Jiwani & Young, 2006) notes: that news rooms determine newsworthiness based on a "hierarchy of crime." Homicide is
! "' considered to be at the top of the hierarchy, while serial killer homicide is even more "news potent" ( Marsh, 1991; Mott, 1999; Pritchard & Hughes 1997; as cited in Carll, 2003). The greater the "potency," the higher the rate of consumption. The more a crime incident exemplifies newsworthy tenets such as violence, sensational events, and match relevance to the viewing audience, the more likely a reporter will write it up as news (Meloy & Miller, 2009). Meloy and Miller (2009), make a point that adhering to newsworthy standards can distort news, as this can occur while "ignoring other considerations such as accuracy or b alance," (p. 30). This occurrence shows that reporting violent events as entertainment as opposed to cold, hard facts, disregards the most important tenant for a democratic, trustworthy news source: unbiased reporting. However, it must also be noted that unbiased reporting," while being a goal for major news outlets, does not occur in real forms of media. Whereas bias was more overt in early forms of print media, where newspapers openly endorsed political candidates, today it exists in a less overt, while perhaps more subtle form. In this sense, news media seeks to present an objective stance, however this is considered an unlikely outcome since journalists are expected to invoke thoughtful analysis to their reporting ( Greenblatt, 2004) However, bias can a lso be seen when analyzing the amount of representation of news items, as newsworthy events do not necessarily give consumers, i.e. citizens, an accurate assessment of current affairs and social problems. In the same vein, Clifford et al. (2009) found that mass murders of women equated to newsworthy events, and that, in general, less common events such as violent crimes receive more coverage than more everyday criminal offenses. This practice, in
! "( turn, serves to over represent violent crimes, while under re presenting the more common forms of crime. Meloy and Miller (2009) add that this distortion of coverage also distorts popular assessments of danger and risk. A misconception of crime can cause irrational fear, and can serve to denote a particular geographi cal space as particularly dangerous, such is the case with Jurez, or even other cities and countries. Similar to reporting on the Drug War in Mexico, the war against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in rural Colombia also shows a distorti on when reporting on the perpetrators of violence. Typically, FARC rebels are blamed for murdered civilians. However, when evidence of military involvement surfaces, the facts are often under reported (Leech, 2008). Leech notes that this pattern of reporti ng misrepresents the implications of a militarized state, which is proven to result in more civilian casualties. Given the impact that news has on popular awareness and interpretation of an event, it is important to ask who decides what is newsworthy, or conversely, who is making the news, and what are their motivations and b ias. In sum, newsworthy events tend to prioritize violence, specifically murder, out of the ordinary occurrences, and culturally significant or relevant events. Institutions, individuals, and a mix thereof, play a role not only in determining the newsworthiness of an event, but also the presentation of crime news. Therefore, an analysis of how news is portrayed sheds light into the ways in which news values are applied to femicides. To explain why "how the news is reported" is important, we must consider the fun ction of news frames. The importance of framing in news construction Simply put, frame analysis illuminates "the precise way in which influence over a human consciousness is exerted by the transfer (or communication) of information from
! ") one location such as speech, utterance, news report, or novel to that consciousness," (Entman, 1993, pp. 51 52). The way in which a news item is framed activates its interpretation. Media reporting plays a direct role in the social construction of crime (Clifford et al., 2009). So, not only is the what important, in terms of what is being covered, but the how plays just as large a role. Media frames refer to the arguments, words, or images that journalists use when relaying information about an issue to an audience ( Gerth & Siegert, 2012). While the media reports, social and political actors take on the role of frame building. In relation to agenda building, frame building concerns "how issues are created and why some controversies or incipient issues come to command the attention and concern of decision makers, while others fail" (Scheufele, 2000, p. 303; as cited in Hnggli, 2012 ). Frame building occurs with a strategic use of media, and allows for actors such as movements and political parties to place their goals o r agenda in a broader social context ( Hnggli, 2012). An active audience approach to media analysis theorizes that the audience has agency in its interpretations of the news. While an audience reads newsprint with an already ingrained social or political b ias, the framing of actors and events plays a large role in opinion making. An opposition exists between scholars who emphasize political economy and production in relation to media and those who emphasize audience reception analysis. For example, Zaller (1999; as cited in Clifford et. al., 2009) contends that the more competitive the market for information, the more likely it is that accuracy will be sacrificed for sensationalism. On the other hand, Bryman (1995; as cited in Deacon et.
! "* al., 1999) notes t hat silences within texts are just as important as the messages within the texts themselves in terms of the capacity of audiences to derive alternative conclusions to what is presented. To put these two points together, what information is presented and ho w it is presented can play a crucial role in how an event is interpreted. In this sense, interpretation is only "marginal" when the reader is not presented with information, or when the reporter does not offer explanation or analysis of the event on a bro ader societal scale (Bryman, as cited in Ibid). Bryman offers two reasons for this "interpretative closure:" 1) the genre of hard news mechanistic, narrative conventions are intended to generate denotative transparency to inhibit potential readings. 2) subject matter remains beyond first hand experience of the reader (as cited in Ibid, p. 26). The second point reoc curs throughout framing literature. Furthermore, while a Gallup poll (2010) determined that overall confidence and trust in news media was quite low, with just 25% of those polled citing a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in traditional print me dia, Graber (1980) points out that individuals' lack of first hand experience with mass homicide and lack of alternative sources of information leaves their interpretation of such crime dependent on mass media. In fact, Meloy and Miller (2009) also note th at most U.S, residents experience crime or violence indirectly through media. Indeed, interpretations of frames affect more than just personal opinion. News reports have the potential to influence policy formation and societal awareness. J ewkes (2004; as cited in Meloy and Miller, 2009) further posits that "the media frame how and what we view as social problems, what we define as good or bad or acceptable or unacceptable, and who we label as criminal offenders or legitimate victims," (p. 29). More specifically, the media frame how women's experiences with crime and
! #+ victimization are presented to the public, and thus public opinion regarding violence against women mirrors this frame. This outline of frame analysis is consistent with what Claes H. de Vreese (2005) terms as an "integrated process model of framing," (p. 52, emphasis added). So, as the author notes, frame analysis tends to look at either the content (frames in the news) or framing effects. So, a full study of news frames would invo lve interpretation of frame building (how frames emerge), along with frame setting (the interplay between media frames and audience predispositions). While this thesis delves into aspects of frame building, my research becomes a jumping off point for a ful l understanding of the process of framing in regards to U.S. coverage of the Jurez femicides. So, a dialectical media analysis of the Jurez femicides would include a researched understanding of societal interpretation and government action regarding the violence. With this general overview of the way frames shape knowledge and understandings of events, we can delve more deeply into an analysis of the role of gender in news making. Specifically, how does gender play a role in the way in which violence i s reported. Central to this matter is the frame of victim blaming, which will be central to my analysis of femicide frames. The role of gender in reporting violence against women In general, men outnumber women as reporters, and hold most of the high leve l positions within the news and media industry (Meloy & Miller, 2009). Thus, there is a gender distortion of a male authority to direct news agendas, and the male dominated realm permeates beyond agenda setting. As a result, the working assumptions that ma le
! #" journalists have about gender, including ideas about female victims and offenders, play a role in the selection of events and in the framing of those events. Within this "masculine perspective," male journalists fail to see gendered violence as a signif icant social problem (Meyer, 1997). Hanmer & Maynard (1987, p. 3) offer a view of this male affinity in the scope of patriarchal societal norms: The concept of male power is interwoven throughout all interpersonal male female interactions, constituting a structural dimension of society in which violence against women and other dimensions of male power act to reproduce and maintain male dominance an d female subordination (as cited in Meloy & Miller, 2009). In this context, mere facts (events) exist within and ultimately give way to an interpretive framework based on gender (news). Thus, the role of gender is significant to both a male reporter's int erpretation as well as framing violence against women. Framing research conducted by Henley, Miller, and Beasley (1995; as cited in Meloy & Miller, 2009) found that in news stories written in the passive voice about violence against women, male readers ( but not female ones) attribute less victim harm and less offender responsibility, and both male and female readers become more accepting of abuse (towards women). In addition, research by Lamb and Keon (1995; as cited in Meloy & Miller, 2009) found that "w hen articles imply that women share responsibility for men's violence against them, reader attitudes towards punishment for the batterers were more lenient" (p. 31). These research examples show two negative effects of gender bias in news reporting on viol ence against women: 1) violence is downplayed as a social problem, 2) victim blaming takes responsibility away from violent offenders by framing victimization as a consequence of female deviance. I will elaborate further on victim blaming as it pertains to femicide.
! ## Meyer (1997) notes that news frames of violence against women serve to support, sustain, and reproduce male supremacy. Thus, the culturally ingrained gender roles inherent in news frames cause "the links between sexist violence, social structu res, and gendered patterns of domination and control" to be disguised (Ibid, p. 9). Female victims in turn are either found innocent or blamed for their victimization, and fall into the "good girl bad girl" dichotomy of "virgin whore/vamp" (Benedict, 1992; Meyer, 1997) or, as is also prevalent in Mexican gender norms, the virgen puta dichotomy (Schlotterbeck and Volk, 2010). I will further explain the Mexican cultural context in regard to gender in the final subsection of this literature review. In orde r to understand news coverage of femicides in Jurez, we need to be cognizant not only of the gender bias noted here, but also of the way international coverage takes place and the bias this also exhibits. International reporting Since this research conce rns analysis of international crime news, it is important to note the distinction in the realms of perceptions of the reporter and readership, and what role these perceptions tend to play in coverage. Berger (2009) offers workable definitions for internati onal and local news, "International news" refers to news produced in and about a national or international space, but which is domesticated for consumption by a particular imagined audience within a given nation state and which is assumed to have a corresp onding national identity and interest. "Local" news in this perspective may designate any kinds of news items that are neither global nor international i.e. news about domestic affairs (p. 356). Berger further posits that foreign news has recently becom e less so, and that foreign events are framed in the domestic context. Frequently, this localized perspective trivializes events and perpetuates stereotypes of foreign entities. For audiences in the
! #$ "developed" world, the "foreign Other" tends to be negati vely framed. Much international news is thus said to breed negative social constructs of foreign societies and also "a representation in which women, the elderly and children are either invisible or objectified" (Beaudoin & Thorson, 2001: as cited in Berge r, 2009, p. 359). In addition, Entman (1993) looked at the four framing functions, which can be applied to international reporting. He noted that frames 1) define problems based on cultural values; 2) diagnose and identify forces creating the problem; 3) evaluate the problem by making moral judgments; and 4) suggest solutions. These functions are promoted through selection and salience of "some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, (Ibid, p. 54). Thus, cultura l norms and perceptions are rendered, as well as reproduced in cultural works, language, and the news. Thus, the word choice, sources of information, interpretations of quotes, facts presented, and information omitted are all important when looking at news items. De Vreese (2005) says "by virtue of emphasizing some elements of a topic above others, a frame provides a way to understand an event or issue," (p. 53). In this vein, Cappella and Jamieson (1997, p. 47) suggest that frames activate knowledge, and stimulate "stocks of cultural morals and values, and create contexts," thus serving the four functions o utlined by Entman. Thus, I have outlined the forces at play in determining when an event becomes newsworthy and the way individual identity shapes a reporter's understanding, interpretation, and representation of an event. It is, however, not only the gen der bias of the news producer, but also the nationality and hence cultural bias that shapes
! #% international coverage of violence against women. Therefore, when I analyze U.S. news reports about a problem in Mexico, I take in to account how the locations of t he events and the reporting itself influence the framing of the issue. Having offered an explanation of the processes that shape news reporting more broadly, I can now move to address scholarly analysis of femicide. There has been much academic research s urrounding femicide across the globe, and recently this research includes an array of studies based on the Jurez murders. Analysis of Femicide in Jurez While I have attempted to provide an overview of media analysis, and the importance of studying media frames, I aim to discuss the media portrayal of femicide in Jurez. Before beginning this discussion, it is crucial to address what scholars say regarding femicide, and its implications as a social problem in Jurez specifically. The following review of frames of the Jurez femicides starts with academic interpretations, which tend to tie the root causes of the femicides with border industrialization and n eoliberal economic policies that negatively affected politics and society. However, I begin with an analysis of the gendered cultural context in which Jurez is set. Academic interpretations of femicide in Jurez Framing the Jurez femicides in the co ntext of gendered cultural norms To study femicide within a particular cultural context, it is important to review gendered cultural norms that lead to violence against women. The violence in Jurez does not exist in a vacuum. I have emphasized that gender relations are impacted by histor ical societal circumstances that have developed over time.
! #& So, by perpetuating stereotypical roles of women as mothers or faithful, obedient wives, it is implied that women not living up to such norms precipitate their abuse (Belknap, 2007; as cited in Richards et al., 2011). In this sense, victim blaming language minimizes the criminality of violence against women, and posits to media consumers that violence against women is not a serious crime and/or women are responsible for their own victimization. (Richards et al., 2011). In the same vein, Razack (1998; as ci ted in Jiwani & Young, 2006) notes that deviant women occupy "zones of degeneracy," in which hegemonic masculinities are reinforced in tandem with respectability. Thus, men can temporarily abandon societal norms and return to respectability. The bodies tha t become the legitimized vehicles for the reproduction of hegemonic heterosexuality (i.e. those experiencing sexual violence) occupy these degenerate zones. The racializing and othering of such bodies is indicative of how race, class and sexuality interse ct and interlock to sustain hegemonic power (Jiwani & Young, 2006). This point links to my research of the content of news coverage in Chapter 3 ; I will analyze whether the reports perpetuate or question hegemonic patr iarchal norms. However, gender norms themselves function as a fluid byproduct of changing histories and economies. What is considered feminine or masculine may differ depending on the location, period of time, or social class. Salzinger (2003) notes tha t "what counts as feminine or masculine in fact shifts across much smaller expanses of space, time, and culture as well, as it is reconfigured, sometimes unintentionally, in the strategies, common sense, and power struggles of actors," (p. 24). In Jurez, industrial labor itself was once considered as part of the realm of masculine activities. Increased preference for
! #' female bodied workers in assembly plants run by transnationals, changed the gender context of the city. Wright (2011) introduces the notion of "public women," who were rejected as the idea of women as laborers became entangled with sex work. Women working outside the home were seen as those betraying their traditional role, and thus backlash began. However, as in the case of Chavez Cano's org anization, it was important to counter the government's use of gender norms as a device to justify the femicides. In this case, they used the media as an avenue for offering counter frames: The coalition fought the government's gendered necropolitics by challenging the discourse of the public woman and the violent gendering of space that justified the murders as evidence of a normal life, by personalizing the victims and introducing them to the public as daughters ( hijas ). ( p 715.) In my research of news reports on femicides, I will investigate how this strategy of personalizing the victims played out in the press. While women may be viewed within the confines of a dichotomy of gender identifications, denoting women as the weaker, more vulnerable gender women's rights groups and anti femicide organizations proved that societal notions of gender and power should be questioned. This gender analysis of the Jurez femicides holds as a strong interpretation, I will now present the femicides as with a political economic analysis. Again, there is an inherent interplay between cultural, economic and political themes, which allows for a fuller interpretation of the phenomenon. Framing the Jurez femicides in the political economic context The local context of Jurez is set within Mexican social and political systems. It is important to note that Jurez exists in a questionable democratic system. Many refer to Vicente Fox's win for the PAN in 2000 as simply a step towards democracy. Not only is
! #( gender violence important to my analysis, but also the "culture of impunity" that many scholars and activists denote as inherent in Mexican law enforcement and government officials. While the Jurez femicides offer an extreme example of gender violen ce, it is evident that Jurez itself is a poster child for what can go wrong in a free market export processing zone. While the femicides began in 1993, before the North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted, it was already a hub for labor, which broug ht many women and men from other Mexican states that either came to work in the maquilas, or sought to cross the U.S. border. It is relevant to mention the role of the United States in the passage of NAFTA and subsequent changes in Mexico's economy. While Mexico's government was the agent of its economic policy formation, it was the country's reliance on the U.S. and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the midst of the 1980s debt crisis that brought many of changes through structural adjustment progra ms. These debt relief measures included an end to import substitution and an opening of the market economy, allowing for decreased tariffs and a porous border for money flow. First came Mexico's entry into the General Agreement on Trade and Taiffs (GATT) i n 1986, and the subsequent passage of NAFTA on January 1, 1994. Mexico's economic strategy since neoliberalist restructuring in 1982 has been to attract international investment with low priced natural resources and low priced labor. Wages declined for th e working class, and with the influx of corporations like Monsanto into the Mexican countryside, it seemed there was little hope for the poor i n Mexico.
! #) Framing femicides through NAFTA The context of Mexico's role in NAFTA provides an important lens through which the femicides can be viewed. Several scholars (Arriola, 2010; Pantaleo, 2010) refer to the Jurez femicides as the maquiladora murders," highlighting the relationship between the rise in violence against women and NAFTA's signing. Arriola ( 2010) points out that the term is a misnomer, of the estimated 300 to 400 murders, about one third involved maquiladora workers. Still, all the murders in Jurez took place within the context of increased maquiladorization of the city, which changed gender roles in the workforce and further stratified the economic class structure (Arriola, 2010). NAFTA has brought many women into the realm of economic independence and agency (Fragoso, 2002; Arriola, 2010; Pantaleo, 2010). However, male domination was rein forced by capitalism as women were forced to work in unsafe conditions, including having to travel in dark, unsafe areas (for night shifts) with poor urban infrastructure and public transportation (Fragoso, 2002). Male domination and oppression have taken the form of violence in the context of the capitalist hegemony in the border region (Fragoso, 2002). However, despite the above evidence stating otherwise, Fregoso (2000, p. 141) notes that while global capitalism has resulted in a "global gendered aparth eid," the predominance of females in the maquila industry peaked in the 1960s. The researcher looked at representation of the femicides in both academic and print media, finding that most accounts framed the murders within a critique of globalization and s ometimes NAFTA specifically. The author concludes that the actual percentage of maquila workers
! #* among those murdered was relatively low, thus debunking the hypothesis that causality of the Jurez femicides can be attributed to global capitalism. Instead, F regoso (2000) posits, "global capitalism hasn't caused [the femicides], but rather has intensified preexisting traditional forms of patriarchy within nation state," (p. 143). Thus, however the latter study is somewhat older than studies making clear connections between NAFTA and the Jurez femicides, it is still important to question the causal relationship between the expansion of global capital exploitation under NAFTA and the reoccurrence of femicides in Ciudad Jurez since 1993. So, as the causali ty may be evident, it is important to look at the social, historical and political context of the city in which the murders have taken place. Since Jurez is also the place where the murders are directly reported on and where criminal investigations and pr osecutions are supposed to occur, context is relevant to the study of femicide coverage. Further academic interpretations In a broader sense, Olivera (2006) notes that the structural causes of persistent gender violence in Mexico demonstrate the failure of the neoliberal system to provide either development or a model of democracy in Mexico. The author notes that, for women, murder can become an outcome of the undermining and violation of both society's and individuals' rights, interests, and needs by th e "so called" political class and its business and financial sectors (Ibid, p. 51). Her analysis is founded upon systemic violence inherent in the neoliberal social structure, which reinforces patriarchal institutions. Weissman (2010) furthers this analy sis, noting that Ciudad Juarez's capital expansion policies "favor the flow of capital and unfettered markets over the interests of
! $+ workers drawn to [the city] in search of a better life," (p. 223). The scholar emphasizes that understanding the root causes of femicide in Jurez is only possible with an understanding of the relationship between socioeconomic systems that contribute to and depend on the subordination of poor communities and gender oppression in the form of gender based murders," (Ibid.) O ther scholars focus on the role of government and organized crime (Domnguez Ruvalcaba & Blancas, 2010), and the upholding of corruption that perpetuates systems of impunity resulting in unsolved crimes. Simmons and Coplan (2010) note that there is a clear lack of imperative on the part of police and government officials to solve the murders or protect and value the human rights of women, shown by the failure to investigate and prevent murders. These analyses reflect interp retations that correlate corruption with Mexico's transformative democratic state and systemic neoliberal social disruption. Furthermore, Buscalgia (2005, p. 112; as cited in Dominquez Ruvalcaba & Blancas, 2010) notes that in countries where violence agai nst women is high and the perpetrators enjoy impunity, one's value as a citizen is decreased along with a decreased value and legitimacy of the State itself. A low confidence in the government and democracy makes for an insecure population. In the case of the Jurez femicides, victims' families have been treated with disdain and disrespect at the state level (Staudt and Coronado, 2010). Police have been charged by activists with more than indifference and intimidation: they have fabricated, misplaced, and disregarded evidence, lost investigation files, and misidentified bones. This has caused high levels of mistrust and frustration with law enforcement. Many
! $" times, police would simply disregard missing persons reports and tell families that their daughter w as with a boyfriend, and that these women "usually return the next day," (Ibid, 2010, p. 161). Wright (2011), in her discussion of necropollitics ," refers to the gendered "politics of death" that result from the claim that a more violent state typifies a more secure state. While a more militarized border zone works to show strength of the government against drug cartels, as historian Joan Landes has written, a pervasive gendering of the public sphere" operates as a "mechanism of violence" for defining and controlling the modern liberal subject around the exclusion of "the feminine" from the public sphere of politics, economy, and culture (1988, 2; as cited in Ibid, p. 709). Through this argument, the author notes that the politics over the meaning of the drug related murders and femicide must be understood in relation to gendered violence and its use as a tool for securing the State. This diverts from Buscalgia (2005)'s argument, however, since increased gender violence does not prove to cau se a secure state population. Thus, the femicides, and more recently deaths related to drug cartel violence, have been spun to allow gender violence as maintenance of order which the author denotes as a "normalization of violence against public women" an d deviant behavior (Wright, 2011, p. 716). The notion of this gender violence in Jurez is intrinsic upon the gender norms that preceded the global capital influx and the start of the murders. While academic interpretations of femicide provide an analysis steeped in critique of the socioeconomic/political context, it is apparent that news reports offer much less of an analytical tone. This points to the deficiency of news reporting which, as Wei ssman notes, "may result in the distorted portrayals of Mexicans, or of Jurez residents, as
! $# murderous people without morals, governed by corrupt forces, and better kept on the other side of the border," (p. 225). Following this logic, it is evident th at audiences receiving information about the femicides solely through international news media would lack a full understanding of the causes and implications of the murders. Pantaleo's (2010) study shows that human rights groups and academics were more lik ely to frame the Jurez femicides as an act of violence against women. Thus, they were more effective than newspapers at constructing the murders as a social problem. With this understanding of academic interpretations of the femicides, I will now be able to set up my own research of international news reports (Chapter 3) by delving into current and past media representation this social reality. Media Analysis on Femicides Femicide as portrayed in the news media Constructing news reports on femicide To understand crime reporting on the Jurez femicides, it is important to deconstruct the significance of sources used to construct a story. In crime reporting, the first story covering the crime typically can be dubbed "the official police version," (Sigal, 1986, p. 19). After the first version, it takes a more investigative approach to seek out more sources of information. Police are generally considered authoritative sources, and thus are more sought after than "regular people," (Ibid, p. 23; Meyer, 1997). They are given a monopoly over primary information, which is often presented as a neutral source. Unfortunately, since further investigation does not always occur by the newsmakers, police serve as primary "promoters" of crime news.
! $$ Regular people, as Sigal notes, are found in news stories in one of two ways: either they have found themselve s tied with authoritative sources or in criminal proceedings, or the journalist has been released from daily reporting to engage in investigative work. Since investigative journalism is a slower form of newsgathering, it cannot be guaranteed that daily pap ers would provide this type of coverage. Thus the coverage presented in a non investigative source would potentially lack crucial components of the story. When looking at a daily paper like the New York Times reporting on a crime wave like femicide in Ju rez, there are several predisposed reasons why coverage may be lacking. In terms of homicide reports, it may not be pertinent to an international paper to cover homicides as they happen in a daily manner. However, the serial nature of the crimes of femici de in Jurez increased its newsworthiness on an international scale. However, as it becomes evident in Chapter 3, this may have less to do with the fact that the murders occurred, and more to do with the public and activist outcry against the murders that took place in the late 90s. So, it is relevant to the New York Times what Romano (1986) notes: "the more victims resemble Americans or mean something to them, the fewer have to die to justify news space," (p. 47). This means that it is more likely for a ca r accident killing two teens in Buffalo to be reported compared to a bus accident killing 100 in Bolivia. Romano further notes that this principal can change if a trend develops. So, one could assume that a trend like that in Jurez might become more new sworthy over time. However, as I will discuss further, some argue that notions of race and misogyny affect the newsworthiness and framing of violence against women and women of color
! $% (Benedict, 1992; Radford & Russell, 1992). In order to begin understandin g news frames, however, one must deconstruct the elements the published copy. In order to breakdown the construction of news frames, one crucial aspect of a news story comes from the use of language in news reports. Journalists can also make facts in a different way by "manipulating the vagueness of language and choosing one word rather than another, one construction over another," (Romano, 1986, p. 68). For example, Radford and Russell (1992) emphasize how calling m isogynist killings femicide removes the obscuring veil of non gendered terms such as homicide' and murder,'" (p.15, emphasis added). Thus, language plays an important role in fact construction, and frames how stories could be interpreted. As noted earl ier, notions of race and misogyny distort press coverage on violence against women in addition to the international news. This process is also observable in the context of reports about femicide. Radford and Russell (1992) argue that the biased coverage of femicide results in negative stereotyping and victim blaming. Romano (1986, p. 76) recounts that news reports in the U. S. tend to mask differences and social problems by discouraging language of class, race, and ideology. For Domingo (1992, p. 196), it i s clear "how much further we can go in solving a social problem if we describe it honestly." Domingo notes that femicide is ignored in mainstream news discourse, and enjoyed and made fun of in avenues such as "slasher" or snuff films. Reporting on Femicid e Studies of reporting on femicide make similar conclusions, despite the varying locations and scopes to their research that reporting on violence against women is skewed to reflect a dominant misogyny that leaves women as culpable in their own violent
! $& victimization. Crimes are reported with a law enforcement bias (Richards et al. 2011; Carll, 2003,) normalized and racialized economies of representation (Fregoso, 2000; Jiwani & Young, 2006; Leibler, 2010; Richards et al., 2011,) and a de emphasis on the pattern of violence against women (Pantaleo, 2010; Richards et al., 2011). These studies point to a systematic underrepresentation of the realities of femicidal violence. The journalist's and/or outlet's own biases also affect reporting. As previously posited, these biases tend to be based on ingrained notions of sex, race and class, and their interplay with the tenants of news value. One flaw in many femicide reports comes from the reporter's sole sourcing of law enforcement officials and reports (Rich ards et. al, 2011; Taylor, 2009). This privileged sourcing "downplays the patterns or causes of violence in a broader social context" ( Heeren & Messing, 2009, p. 208, as cited in Richards, et. al., 2011 p. 179)) by not allowing for friends, family, nor vi ctim's advocates to comment ( Bullock & Cubert, 2002; Byerly, 1994; Meyer, 1997; Taylor, 2009: as cited in Ibid). Journalists enjoy many advantages when utilizing law enforcement's reports, including access to their investigations as well as their credibili ty with the public ( Ibid, 2011 ). However, relying on statements by law enforcement can be problematic because their opinions are commonly grounded in patriarchal attitudes that are biased against female victims (Heeren & Messing, 2009). Tabuenca Cordoba ( 2010) notes that in the case of the prevention campaigns in Jurez, in which officials encouraged women to prevent their own self elicited femicides, it is important to note that there was a stark class difference between the "official" sources (government officials and local police) and the poor women on whom they were casting patriarchal social expectations. It is
! $' apparent that journalists should seek information outside of "official" sources in order to provide well balanced coverage of femicide and viol ence against women. It is also important to look at how the media frames the issue at hand. The language and tone used in a news article can shape interpretations and hinder others (Berkley Media Studies Group, 2003). So, blaming the victim, and focusing on the actions of the murdered woman shift attention away from the murderer. Whether or not this is the intent of law enforcement officials, gender bias in coverage of femicide leads to furthering social problems rather than eradicating them or informing the public of their pr esence. Victim Blaming Integral to a frame analysis of femicide coverage is an understanding of victim blaming. As I discussed above, daily coverage of crimes tends to only provide a police summary of the crime at hand. Jiwani and Young's (2006) study of femicides in Vancouver, British Colombia notes that police sourcing perpetuated gender stereotypes and the focus was on the women as sex workers and as deserving of violence. Furthermore, they find that in news reports, women generally and aboriginal women specifically "fail to appear as active agents or are silenced as victims" (p. 899). In this sense, mothers, wives, daughters are worth saving. In contrast, sex workers, runaways and "the throwaways of society" are not worth saving (p. 900). Meyer's (2004, as cited in Jiwani & Young, 2006) discourse analysis of television news coverage of Freaknik, a Spring Break event in Atlanta, Ga., exemplified the media's gendered bias towards women of color. While many women experienced sexual assault at the event, the news coverage invoked dominant stereotypes of African
! $( American women as jezebels, welfare cheats and matriarchs in the coverage, blaming the victims' deviant behavior and minimizing the violence the women experienced. McCarthy and Chancer (1992; as cited in Benedict, 1992) also found that victims are blamed for inviting rape, and perpetrators are seen as lustful men driven beyond endurance. Victim blaming stems from certain myths that precede the causes of rape and sexual violence against women. These myth s include, but are not limited to: rape as sex that should be enjoyed, women deserve or warrant it by being "loose" or "pretty," or rape as a punishment or even as "fabricated [made up] to seek revenge," (Ibid, p. 20). In the same vein, men's behaviors whi ch serve to justify their actions are explained by either having uncontrolled lust, being insane, or from assuming an assailant is of a lower class or different race (Ibid). What do media analysts say about international reporting on the Jurez femicides? Reports on the Jurez femicides make frequent reference to the criminal justice system. By limiting their scope of sourcing, journalists often end up perpetuating stereotypes and "fail to report on patterns or causes of violence in the broader social cont ext" (Heeren & Messing, 2009, p. 208; as cited in Richards et al., 2011). Thus is the case with the Jurez femicides that the murders become phenomenal, set within a vacuum where violence against women is not normal, but rather sensational. Internationa l news reports on the Mexican criminal justice system note its culture of impunity, which lacks accountability for police and government officials. However, one must also note that corruption is not unique to Mexico. It is evident that both media (Washin gton Valdez, 2006) and academics (Staudt & Coronado, 2010; Gonzalez Rodrguez, 2002; Dominguez Ruvalcaba & Ravelo, 2006)
! $) frame the murders in such a way that links organized crime with the Mexican authorities. Police participation in the crimes is an unden iable fact, given the numerous facts and conclusions that have been made by academics, journalists and investigative documentary films (Dominguez Ruvalcaba & Blancas; 2010). If not directly involved, there is at least a complicity shown through negligence. Reporting on the impunity involves an investigative viewpoint. However, there are inherent differences between reports that are published in Mexico and those published elsewhere concerning the femicides. Dominguez Ruvalcaba and Blancas (2010) note that i n Mexico, there is a generalized process of censoring any reference to violence in Ciudad Jurez. In terms of reporting from a foreign perspective, it is necessary to have an outside lens since a foreign reporter does not face the same censorship or incent ive to maintain the status quo within Mexico. However, reporters such as Diana Washington Valdez ( El Paso Times ) have received death threats for providing investigative coverage of the femicides that implicate police and organized crime (personal communica tion, 11/7/12). The media's role in reporting on the femicides in Mexico can contribute to the process of "invizibalization," which equates to the omission of facts, used by the government to protect and maintain a state of impunity (Dominguez Ruvalcaba & Blancas, 2010, p. 186). It is those media mechanisms, complacent with the hegemonic state and capitalist forces, which aim to distance Jurez from its image as a dangerous city. Proponents of this media network claim that femicide researchers, including other journalists or forensics experts, seek to defame Ciudad Jurez society as a criminal society. The authors note that the use of images and facts to convey the truth of the
! $* women's brutal killings is deemed sensational and indecent, which is a political posture concerned with appearances. Such a posture manifests in the "witch hunts" of such image makers. While academics frequently cite news reports on femicide, it is apparent that there is still research needed to provide further analysis o f the literature analyzing media coverage of the Jurez femicides. I hope to provide a helpful link between the academic study of the femicides by feminist scholars and the media analyses of the reports. Conclusion The study of news media coverage of femicide requires a keen understanding of the various forces that influence both the event and the way the event is reported. Hence, in this chapter I offer an overview of the literature that explores not only coverage of femicides in Ju rez, but also media coverage of violence against women in general. It is also necessary to understand the process of framing in media generally and international media in particular. Furthermore, to understand the femicides more broadly, I offered an overv iew of the way scholars have looked at the murders from a gendered cultural, as well as political economic context. I have outlined the importance of frame analysis, which will provide the basis for how I look at news articles covering the Jurez femicide s. By breaking down some of the critical elements of the news reports analyzing the "who," "what," "how," "where" and "why" I will be able to provide evidence regarding a breakdown of the news frames. Academic studies of the Jurez femicides have look ed at news reports for their research, whether they are fully interested in the reports themselves, or another aspect, such as the
! %+ role of NAFTA or transnational organizations (Gaspar de Alba & Guzmn, 2010; Wright, 2011). In the following chapters of this thesis, I aim to provide an in depth study of the content of the news coverage of the Jurez femicides, which will lead me to a discussion of frames employed by the New York Times and the Houston Chronicle
! %" Chapter 3: Results/Analysis Comparing the Houston Chronicle and the New York Times' Coverage of Femicide in Ju rez, Mexico Introduction In order to explore how news sources cover femicides in Jurez, I compared coverage in the New York Times with that of the Houston Chronicle over three time periods. In this chapter, I provide the results of my analysis, using the methods noted in Chapter 1. I analyzed seven articles from each of the selected time periods, 1996 2000, 2001 2005, and 2006 2010. The number was determined by the limited coverage in the New York Times and a desire to avoid over representation from one of these papers. Therefore, fo r some of the time periods I used all samples that were available (especially with the New York Times ), for other time periods the selected articles were merely a fraction of those available (of 116 articles in the Houston Chronicle 2001 05 results, I sel ected seven) Although my research is an accurate representation of the newspapers' coverage, more extensive research may lead to different conclusions. Before addressing the content of the articles, a general overview also illustrates some key differences in the coverage by these newspapers. In both papers, most reporters used second hand information, either through wire reports or the Associated Press (AP). For all time periods, the source of text for 17 out of 21 articles in the Houston Chronicle is the Associated Press or other wire service, while Houston Chronicle staff writers wrote the remaining four. The New York Times' articles were more often written by Times staff.
! %# The New York Times published fewer articles, but more lengthy; while the Houst on Chronicle provided more, but shorter reports. In general, the Chronicle provides brief articles, with word counts averaging 395 in the first time period, 367 in the second, and 322 in the third (see Appendix ii ) For the New York Times the average word counts were higher, with 1329 for the first time period, 627 for the second, and 760 for the third. This paper had just two AP sourced articles, while the rest came from staff writers. While both paper relied on secondary sources, the Ne w York Times tended to have greater use of investigative reporting. A closer look at the content reveals important distinctions between both time periods and news outlets. My results are organized in accordance with the key news components: Who? What? How? Where? and Why? (Mayer, 1997). By looking at time periods, I begin my analysis with a review of whom the journalists spoke to and what the sources brought to the articles in terms of critical analysis of the femicides. An analysis of the sources of infor mation allows us to better understand the frameworks that inform the news content. Because the information shared in news articles shapes the readers' understanding of a situation, it is necessary to analyze such content. Besides the overall content, I l ook at how the reports are presented in each time period. This analysis is based on the use of headlines and ledes because they are telling regarding what the writers and editors deemed to be the most important aspects of the story. I present the "who," "what," and "how" sections by time period and paper providing a six way comparison. As part of the content analysis, I look at the number of victims that are reported in the articles, exploring what these numbers say about femicide itself.
! %$ The "where" an d "why" sections show a contrast between the two papers. While I refer to time period here as well, these became less important in these sections due to the similarities between time periods. These sections include my observations on the theories presented of why femicide occurs in Jurez, and how Jurez is presented in each paper. So, the layout of the analysis will allow me to present a logical transition between subsections, leading to an overview of the results chapter, and providing evidence for my co nclusion to be made in the final chapter of this thesis. Who are the sources? "News is not what the journalist thinks, but what sources say," (Richards et. al., 2011, p. 179). By looking at both whom the journalists refer to and what they said, I analyze how they present the information, and thus the critical outlook of the reports. In order to explore whether there have been shifts through time in the approach to reporting femicides, in this section I not only compare one paper with the other, but also explore the sources used in the three specified time periods. As noted earlier, I found that a key distinction between these newspapers is the difference between the use of investigative reports that rely on primary sources and reports that rely on secondary sources. However, in addition to the sources used, the reporters themselves are of different outlooks. They are not only the crime specialists, but also reporters interested in international issues, working for a foreign news servic e or foreign news section and hence used to covering issues more broadly than daily criminal occurrences. Hence, a closer look reveals how an analysis of the reporters' outlook also
! %% reveals a more nuanced explanation of the sources of information. I presen t my findings explaining which were the sources and how journalists managed to take a critical or analytical, outlook in their coverage. For each time period and each topic of analysis I also compare the two newspapers. In terms of the amount of sources used per article, I found that this correlated generally with the length of the article (see Appendix( i i )) Overall, the Houston Chronicle relied on fewer sources for articles, although this is also because in general, the word count was less than that of the New York Times However, the Houston Chronicle 's reports provided by reporters, rather than AP reports, generally provided just as many diverse opinions and o bjectives as did the New York Times Comparing the Houston Chronicle and the New York Times by time period 1996 2000 a. Sources used in the articles : In the Houston Chronicle my sample from 1996 1998 shows journalists rely mainly on police information. The first four articles (three from 1996, one from 1998) focus on the murder suspects. In 1996, the focus was on Abdel Latif Sharif Sharif, an Egyptian citizen who lived in Jurez as an engineer via the US company for which h e worked. These earlier articles gather information from Jurez police, Chihuahua State Prosecutor Manuel Esparza, and Richard Ressler of the FBI. In the latter part of this period, there are two reports from March/April 1999 that provide a view of activis ts working in Jurez. While both articles refer to Esther Chavez Cano, the most prominent
! %& women's advocate in Jurez, they also speak with victims' mothers. The article from 3/11/99 (AP) voices two young factory workers. In the New York Times articles w ere much longer, and included a wider variety of voices within both samples. Each were written by New York Times staff writer Sam Dillon. It is evident that the author's special attention paid to the issue resulted in more investigative pieces. The first r eport (Dillon, 4/18/1998) sourced Jurez police, the Gov. of Chihuahua Fransisco Barrio Terrazas, Rep. Laura Itzel Castillo, suspects accused in murders, Ressler and Chavez. The second spoke mostly of Chavez as the article was written in her perspective in a way, giving an overview of her involvement in Jurez. Dillon ( 28/1999) also spoke with state Attorney General Arturo Rascon, Rep. Alma Vucovich of Mexican Congress's Committee on Sexual Equality, and an executive of the US run factory in which the vic tim, Irma Rosales, worked. b. Critical Outlook : The Houston Chronicle, with shorter articles and less rounded coverage, results in less critical outlooks in the reports. The first articles serve to explain police actions in Jurez, which tell who was suspect ed and when. Actions such as the case against Sharif Sharif being thrown out due to "lack of evidence," (Wire report, 4/16/1996; AP, 5/22/1996) show that it was apparent that there was insufficient cause to convict Sharif going against the notion that Sh arif was surely the serial killer. More overt critique of police reports and societal reaction come from the later articles that source activists. Vicky Caraveo noted, "bodies turned up with such regularity that people have stopped paying attention," (AP, 3/11/1999.) The two articles from 1999 also talk more about the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !-!./01!23! references to New York Times and Houston Chronicle articles used in my research can be found in Appendix( i ), p. 107
! %' context of the murders in Jurez, and the significance of Jurez as a border city, linking poverty and US owned factories. The AP article from 3/11/99 invokes critique of the maquilas when the author notes that they were refused comment by a factory official when inquiring about the safety of local transport of workers. The New York Times coverage is more comprehensive, and thus provides a critical lens for interpreting Jurez police reports. While Gov. Terrazas claims that the murder rate is no higher than for most other Mexican cities, Astrid Davila of the Citizens Committee Against Violence notes that Jurez is the ideal place for murder "because you're certain to get away w ith it" (Dillon, 4/18/1998.) Further critique presented refers to the police investigation as lacking professionalism, and authorities to being indifferent. c. Summary : It is clear that the more in depth the report, the more sources were used in its formation and presentation of ideas. The New York Times lengthy articles provide varying viewpoints, and give a more rounded view of the issue of serial femicide in Jurez. It is important to recognize, however, that the New York Times began publishing about this topic five years after the first murders, while the Houston Chronicle began reporting in 1996. It is understandable that the Houston Chronicle s early coverage ten ded to rely on police reports and be less critical. As the New York Times begins to publish more critical outlooks in 1998, we also begin to observe more critical outlooks in the Houston Chronicle (through AP). The main difference in the approach to coverage between these newspapers during this time period was that the New York Times investigative reporting allowed for longer articles, the use and citation of primary sources
! %( and hence of more sou rces noted in the articles. This also makes sense because the first New York Times reports came five years after the first murders, meaning the author had to include details giving background to contextualize the murders. 2001 2005 a. Sources used in the art icles : As with the first time period, the Houston Chronicle provides mostly brief coverage provided by the AP. While the articles tend to offer multiple viewpoints, their direct sourcing tends to only come from one type of source, often secondary, rather than using a variety of quotes from personal interviews. The y also tend to rely on Mexican officials with no reference to activists, besides a secondary mention of M e xico's National Commission on Human Rights (AP, 8/11/2004). However, there is one reference to activists' accusations of police torturing suspects in order to receive confessions (AP, 11/26/2004.) This article also references family members, as a group of organized mothers met with Mexican President, Vicente Fox, in 2004. The last report (AP, 5/31/2005) notes that Fox's actions, or inactions, "angered family members." As with the previous time period, the New York Times provides articles with more in depth reporting. However, the two AP reports in the NYT and two additional briefs, provide coverage similar to the Houston Chronicle in that they are mor e to the point, and serve as information suppliers from just one or two direct sources. Again, the brief reports provide the "official story," as information is mainly sourced from police and federal and local authorities. The longer reports, all written b y New York Times staff for the Foreign Desk section, provide voices of suspects, activists, family members, and Mexican officials.
! %) b. Critical Outlook : While the reports only provide direct viewpoints of Mexican officials, the viewpoints in the Houston Chro nicle vary between federal officials and state and local authorities. In the report from 11/26/2004 (AP), President Vicente Fox met with family members of the murdered women, assuring them that his administration would provide oversight of state police mal feasance. In the same article, it was reported that Mexico's Attorney General, Rafael Macedo, criticized the Jurez police's investigation for being neglectful. However, in the next sampled report (AP, 5/31/2005), the reporter noted that President Fox ange red family members by claiming most of the cases had been solved, and that the media did not focus on the arrests made in the cases. Similar to the 1996 2001 period, the New York Times offers a critical outlook through multiple voices. In these articles, sources provide viewpoints spanning from family members to the Mexican President. This breadth of criticism shaped into a cycle of blame that centers on the corrupt police officials. For example, by talking to the suspects themselves, Thompson (11/26/2005) is able to present evidence in defense of the accused, as they mention physical burns that implicate torture by police, leading to a false confession. c. Summary : Here, it is noticeable that multiple viewpoints bring multiple criticisms of the murders. The New York Times reports on the suspected murderers are particularly interesting considering that they directly implicate police malfeasance. For both papers, there is more criticism provided by more sources than for the previous time period. This may be due to the fact that, by this point, the murders were continuous for ten years, and
! %* it is clear that all parties (whether police, activists, families, or the government) sought to resolve or at least explain the crimes. However, while these entities sought to explain and provide reason for the crimes, it was theorized that the police and government tried to explain the murders with false confessions in order to hide wrongdoing or a indolent investigation. 2006 2010 a. Sources used in the articles : Again, the majority of Houston Chronicle reports provided minimal sources of information, as the average number of sources used per article was just two (See Appendix ii ). However, a shift can be noted in that the reports were more likely to source activists or human rights officials. Lloyd (5/4/2006) provided an investigative report into the spread of violence, and spoke with Mexican officials, as well as locals concerned with the violence. The New York Times also shifted its coverage of sources on the femicides in th is time period. The recent reports were not likely to offer police analysis, nor did they provide direct sourcing of any Mexican government official. However, this shift can also be attributed to the fact that reporting from the New York Times shifts its f ocus from covering the femicides themselves, to covering the reactions of Hollywood (Broeske, 5/21/2006), local women's groups (Malkin, 4/13/2009), and the Inter American court of Justice (Malkin, 12/11/2009). b. Critical outlook : The Houston Chronicle report s provide for a somewhat more critical outlook than the previous time periods, shown with more broad, in depth reports featuring multiple
! &+ sources outside of officials. Two of the seven reports proved to be of a notably critical point of view, as one was ab out families learning of a closed investigation of the murders through the news (rather than from investigators) (AP, 7/26/2006,) and the other about the National Human Rights Commission criticizing the prolonged investigation (AP, 1/30/2008.) In both of these reports, Mexican officials purposefully refused to speak with the media. The critical outlook of the New York Times is more specialized in this period. However, all their sources offer critique of the government and police reactions to the femicides. It is clear that the sources used allow for a shift in the balance of reporting, but the shift is necessary because of different angles journalists take on the femicides. For example, Broeske (5/21/2006) provides an article from the Arts and Leisure secti on, that does not provide an investigative element to reporting on the murders, but rather focuses on the cultural implication of the phenomenon and artists' consciousnesses of the issue. c. Summary : When compared to previous reporting, shifts are seen in both papers' sourcing and critical outlooks. These shifts stem from a lessened reliance on "official" (i.e. police or government sources) information. One reason for this finding could be that this "o fficial" attention to the femicides had weaned after around 2004 due to increased attention to the Drug War in Mexico. While the drug violence indeed saw an increased number of both men and women killed, there is not as much of a gender critique of the violence as was seen after such high profile cases as the cotton field murders in 2001 (apparent in 12/11/09).
! &" Discussion of Who Are the Sources: compared by the time period : Overall, the Houston Chronicle was more likely to present reports that were from just one perspective either activist or official while the New York Times' articles provided in depth reporting from multiple sources and source types. Due to the infrequency of New York Times reports, it may have been necessary for the stories to be all encompassing, providing an historical analysis of events that had occurred in recent years. This presentation of in depth reporting provided for a more critical, and thus analytical outlook than was offe red in the Houston Chronicle reports. However, both papers at some point printed the experiences of mothers of victims and community members, showing more care to present primary sources. Moreover, while longer, in depth articles are less frequent in this early time period, they tend to provide the greatest number of voices, and thus offer a richer critical analysis. While shorter reports do not offer as much room for inclusion of multiple interpretations of the crimes, they do serve as more frequent reminders that the murders of women in Jurez remain unsolved. So, while even if the reports solely offer news of the official investigation, they still serve to communicate news and recognize some aspects of the social problem simply by providing a report (no matter how short). The who is important in these news reports, as it is inherent that the news "not be what journalists think, but what sources say" (Segal, 1986) about the femicides However, it is also important to note that these sources express particular views about the murders. W hether it is from the journalists' thought, or from whom the journalist speaks to, or from what information is privileged for print : th ere is always an inherent bias that
! comes with reporting. Police voices may aim to downplay the murders, while activists may use media to put a spotlight on the atrocities. The difference between local and national papers is in their representations of authority. So, by having a greater breadth of sources, the New York Times allows for a more encompassing, and less traditional, outlook on crime reporting. What do the sourc es say about femicide in Jurez? Overall, since these reports come as secondary international news stories and are not "breaking news," they take an angle that is generally more reflective than those on a daily local crime beat. While the reports from both papers do not use the term "femicide" to describe the murders, they do point to the murders as such, without the academic jargon. In fact, the ways in which the murders are generally described include their patterned similariti es, generally in the physical characteristics of the bodies t hat were found. However, the issue of whether or not the murders were serial is one that plays out in the press which I touch on in the section discussing numbers. Here, I discuss my findings related to how the reports describe the murders. These descriptions classify the murders, and serve to relay to the reader the gravity of the events. Comparing descriptions of serial femicides by time period : 1996 2000 a. Houston Chronicle The main focus of the Houston Chronicle reports of this period is on the serial cases within the larger number of murdered and missing women. All the articles, excluding two briefs directly pertaining to the Sharif Sharif case, mention rape several
! &$ times, and offer a vio lent depiction of the murders. The reports link the murders in order to describe their serial nature, serving to implicate Sharif Sharif. An AP report from 4/16/1996 states that sixteen of the female victims were in their teens or early 20s, slim and peti te, almost always with long, dark hair. Most of the bodies were semi nude. Several had been raped, ( Houston Chronicle ). These descriptors stay constant, and the 11/22/1998 report adds that many were strangled and dumped in remote areas of Jurez" and th at several were "maquiladora" workers. The AP ( Houston Chronicle 3/11/1999) reports that "scores of bodies" were found in this way. b. New York Times The New York Times offers similar coverage of the murders as serial, with graphic descriptions. Dillon ( New York Times, 4/18/1998) notes many women and girls had been "raped, murdered and dumped in the desert since 1993." The reports refer more to specific murders, such as that of Irma Angelica Rosales, who "was raped and smothered with a plastic bag on Feb. 16 hours after she lost her $4 a day job in an American owned factory" (Dillon, 2/28/1999). Here, Dillon weaves the life and death of Rosales into a single sentence, which serves to humanize the victims of murder, rather than just having it automatically be come part of an aggregate number or set of similar situations. c. Summary : Descriptions of the murders in this time period emphasize the serial nature of the murders. Images of poor women, raped and dumped in the desert, serve to emphasize their disposable existence in Jurez. The New York Times reports invoke this image, but wit h more detail than the Houston Chronicle reports. Humanizing these victims served
! & % for the reader to identify with the situation of seemingly un relatable poor, Mexican women. 2001 2005 a. Houston Chronicle Descriptions from this time period in the Houston Chronicle offer more graphic imagery ; however there is a greater emphasis on the decay of the bodies. All of the reports come after the discovery of eight bodies in a cotton field in 2001, thus many of the reports mention the bodies as decayed, skeletons or bones. In fact, the reports on the cotton field cases do not mention rape as a significant factor in the murders, apparently due to the fact that since the bodies were decomposed, it can only be speculated that the women had been sexually viol ated based on the pattern of murders in Jurez. The reports do, however, note that the women died due to strangulation. Some of the reports continue to mention the portion of women who were raped and strangled, and two separate reports mention women who were found wearing only socks, with their hands tied behind their backs. In these cases, investigators could only identify two of the eight bodies. Because of the lack of evidence, as Villafr anca ( Houston Chronicle 11/10/2001) points out, there was little to pursue as far as continued investigations. b. New York Times The New York Times reports offer similar characteristics of victims as "the young, thin, dark skinned workers at foreign owned f actories." However, there is somewhat less focus on the sensational aspects. Thompson ( New York Times 12/10/2002) provided a more broad view of the murders in the context of Jurez: Most of the victims were between 15 and 25. They were students, store clerks and $6 a day workers in assembly plants, called maquiladoras that have turned Jurez
! && into a city with two faces: one of gleaming industrial parks erected by Fortune 500 companies, the other of dust covered shanties built by workers who migrate here to escape even more desperate lives down south. Rather than further sexualize victims with descriptions of rape and mutilation, the report focuses on the varying occupations of those m urdered, which serves to paint a different picture than previous reports that focus solely on the serial cases. c. Summary : As I have previously mentioned, by this time period, there was greater attention paid to the murders due to the cotton field findings in 2001. The mystery of the eight decayed bodies drew international attention. A lot of the conclusions made about these m urders were due to the patterns that had already been noticed among the serial femicides in Jurez since 1993. So, there is a strong focus on the murders' similarities in both papers. 2006 2010 a. Houston Chronicle Houston Chronicle reports from this time period do not offer as much graphic description. This is partly due to the fact that not all the reports are about the murders specifically. Rather, they are mostly about celebrity involvement as activists, as well as specific actio ns taken by the government. However, Lloyd's investigation (5/4/2006) into the spread of violence offers similar imagery as previous articles, and mentions specific murders. The description invites comparison with the Jurez murders: In Chimalhuacan, four of the victims were raped and five were strangled before being dumped in vacant building sites. Two more were cut into pieces, including one woman whose dismembered body was found in a cemetery on April 16.
! &' The similar patterns of the killings are noticed and it is stated that the same patterns occur in six cities around Mexico. Connecting the violence in other locations within Mexico with the patterned killings in Jurez as a "spread of violence" is important. Here, Jurez becomes the example, and impo verished communities become beacons of violence. Later, discussion of the spread of violence would penetrate new in the United States, especially along the border, as drug war related violence would "spill over" into the US, justifying the need for heighte ned border security. b. New York Times Descriptions of the murdered women are noticeably different in this portion of New York Times articles. Only in the first report, from 2006, does the article refer to rape and mutilation. Interestingly, the article misconstrues details referring to the cases that are serial and the overall number. The other two articles do not mention specific cas es, aside from the 12/11/2009 article that mentions the bodies found in the cotton field in 2001. Similar to the Houston Chronicle this is because discussion of the murders was cast as a broader subject by this time, meaning the murders were referenced in relation to killing of dozens or hundreds rather than individual cases. c. Summary : T his latest time period provided less vivid descriptions of the murders, as the journalists indeed seem to downplay the intensity of the murders as a continuous problem in Jurez. The discussion of celebrity involvement of the investigation mentions the con tinuous murders, but also refers to the retribution sought for previous victims (activists wanted the previous cases to be solved). Overall, there is less attention given to individual cases, and thus descriptions of crime scenes, than in previous time per iods.
! &( Discussion of what the sources say about femicide in Juarez: Overall, the descriptions in each paper varied by time period. This was most noticeable in 2006 2010 in which there was less mention of specific cases in both papers, be yond the Houston Chronicle report on the spread of violence to Chimalhuacan. There is an effective sense that the murders are downplayed, in contrast to a more sensationalized treatment in previous articles. The sensationalized reports serve to prov ide gruesome depictions of gruesome crimes. However, these depictions may negatively affect the view of Jurez in the United States. While it depends on the reporter and the crime as to what details are relayed into the paper, it is apparent that the grues ome details were played up to an extent in the earlier reports. However, downplaying the murders may have had a worse effect than sensationalizing them. While femicidal violence continued after 2006, it is evident that coverage of the femicides decreased overall. However, this decrease in coverage could be due to the clustering of femicide cases with those of drug cartel violence. Reports on drug violence do not present a gender analysis so it is more difficult to account for reports about drug violence for femicide analysis than reports about murders of women. In reference to the graphic language used, 23 out of the 31 articles analyzed had the macro code "descriptions of the murdered bodies." This code contained micro codes, which i ncluded terms such as "rape," "bodies decayed" "bodies dumped" "bodies mutilated," etc. Many of the reports, which specifically mention physical characteristics and statements such as "many [of the women] were raped," refer specifically to patterned
! &) killin gs. Again, these descriptions do not provide an aggregate total of women who were murdered since 1993. However the description of rape in these cases furthers the important aspect that the murders occurred because the victims were female bodied I t may also provide for a sexualized notion of the female body. By noting that the bodies were "dumped," "mutilated," "dismembered," "smothered" and "unidentifiable," the reports offer a reflection of the overall societal notion of these women that they are di sposable and voiceless. One report mentions this, quoting one women's leader, Vicky Caraveo, saying: "These are hate crimes. The way the killers mutilate the victims, the way they rape them in every possible way, the way they dump them like garbage," (Thom pson, New York Times 12/10/2002.) The descriptions of bodies, the crime scenes, and the patterned killings give a face to the gruesome reality of the murders. While numbers serve to emphasize the serial nature of the problem, it is possible to become desensitized to statistics. When there is graphic imagery, provided along with the narrative of a woman's family, the murder becomes important in its own right. However, the number of wom en killed is important in these news reports, as the figures give a scope of the problem. Before discussing the figures, I will review how the reports are presented in each paper over time, in order to analyze what information was deemed primary by news ou tlets and reporters. How are the reports presented? Headlines and ledes play an important role in the framing of news stories: they serve to tell the reader the most important information, or what is deemed important by
! &* the news association. As such, th ey illustrate the most prominent picture of the article's content. Newspaper reports are written and printed in a fashion that serves to grab the reader's attention. Certain aspects of the reports such as the frequency and breadth, point to the ebb and flow of the public's interest in the femicides, as it is noticeable that less attention was paid to the killings as time progressed. Here, I present an analysis of the headlines and lede paragraphs used by the papers in production of the print version of the articles. Typically, reporters do not write their own headlines, and they are subject to the pen of copy editors. Writing headlines can be tricky, as they serve to convey both the subject matter and the direction of the article. The lede paragraph tells the reader the most important information in the article, and many times readers do not delve past the first few paragraphs of a news article or past a jump in the page. So, information in the fir st few sentences or first paragraph is the main message that the reader typically goes away with as they scan the newspaper. 1995 2000 Houston Chronicle a. Headlines In the first time period, headlines focus mainly on developments in the case and the investigation. Six of the seven articles mention suspects and advancements in the trial and/or investigation. The headline from 4/4/1999 reads: "FBI helps Mexico in inquir y; 54 women slain in 6 years." None of the headlines in this time period mention family reactions or the actions of women's groups. Indeed, references to activists are buried
! '+ within the articles, and primacy is given to the arrests made. Thus, "official" i nformation and actions are headlined and thus highlighted. b. Ledes The ledes follow the subject matter of the headlines. In this first time period's samples, the subject matter focused mainly on those suspected as culprits in the femicides. The ledes are general, and serve to basically restate what was often included in t he headline; said person was arrested for said crime. While all point to various groups or people arrested for the crimes, the AP report from 5/22/1996 notes that a judge had thrown out the case of a suspect for the second time. While all of the ledes ment ion that the women were murdered, the sexual nature of the murders (or at least a portion of them) is not mentioned in a lede until the AP report from 4/4/1999. Two of the reports mention the US in the ledes, as in the headlines, with the arrest of 2 El Pa so men (11/22/1998) and the FBI's help sought in the investigation (4/4/1999). c. Summary From the headlines and ledes, it is apparent the Houston Chronicle reports present the femicides within a narrow perspective. The information gives primacy to the "of ficial," or police, side of the story. This side of the story downplays the implications of the fact that unsolved murders of women continued. In later reports, however, other opinions and angles of investigation implicate the police in wrongdoing. New Yor k Times a. Headlines Headlines from both articles in this time period (again, this time period only offered two samples) offer a stark difference from those found in the Houston Chronicle
! '" "Rape and murder stalk women in northern Mexico" titles the first article (Dillon, 4/18/1998). This description denotes the broad subject matter of the report, which I have described as being a lengthy piece that serves to present the femicides to the New York Times reader, presumably for the first time. The language conveys the inherent victimization of the women, and their passivity as those "stalked" with constant threat and fear. The next headline is interesting, as it is the first for both papers tha t offers primacy to women's community advocates. However, the headline, "Feminist propels outcry against brutal Mexico killings" (Dillon, 1999) proves an interesting choice of words. Esther Chavez is referred to simply as "feminist." While this is a relevant description of Chavez and the subject of the article, as she advocates for the rights of women, it is within reason to note that the descrip tion of "feminist" does not carry a universally well received connotation to readers in the US. As other descriptors point o "police" or "judge" or "officials," it is more fitting to use a term such as "women's advocate" or "activist," in order to give the reader a better understanding of what role the "feminist" plays in the investigation. b. Ledes The later sampled article ledes off with a description of Jurez, and notes that women make up the majority of factory workers. The context is immediately set in a place of danger, though, as the second sentence in the lede graph notes that "one or perhaps several sexual predators are prowling its vast industrial parks and honky tonk saloons where workers go to kick back," (Dillon, 4/18/1998). One could liken this kind of
! '# lede to that of a thriller film, which sets a relatively calm tone, then all of a sudden reminds the viewer that something bad could happen at any moment. Since Dillon wrote both articles found in this period, and it is apparent in the style of detail and human interest that is brought to the ledes. The previous article mentions Esther Chavez Cano, by name rather than "feminist," and pits her role as an activist in the lede. The very beginning of the lede, however, says that within hours "after youths passing by a Jurez drainage canal on a recent day discovered the body of a 13 year old girl, the most recent victim in a long series of sexual killings here, Esther Chavez Cano was rushing to spread the dismal news" (2/28/1998). Here, the art icle gets straight to the point the murders themselves are the most important topic in the story. However, the angle of the article is that Cano works tirelessly to bring attention to the murders. c. Summary The two New York Times articles from this first time period offer a greater focus to the broad nature of the murders as a social problem in Jurez. The two articles draw attention to the murders on a larger scale, but from different angles. Both headlines mention the murders, a nd both incite the gravity of the crimes. The ledes provide a sense of the geographical context, offering first an introduction to the city of Jurez, while making it known that the city itself is a dangerous place for poor women. 2001 2005 Houston Chroni cle a. Headlines In headlines from the 2001 2005 sample, there is more focus on the stagnation of the cases, referring to bodies found but with few clues, and corruption within the
! '$ investigations unit. There is also a greater focus on the theories, rather than just mentioning the prosecutions. So, there is mention of the organ trafficking theory, as well as one saying the investigation points to serial killers. The headline from 1/26 /2004 mentions Vicente Fox "vows to help kin of slain women." So, again, this offers a view of the "official" actions towards justice, but such actions and theories offered very little to the investigation, besides giving newsmakers something to report and families a reason to feel hopeful. b. Ledes The first two ledes of this time period refer to the cotton field murders, and offer graphic depictions of the crime scenes. Both emphasize that the women's bodies were decayed and unidentifiable. The third story notes that authorities "concede a serial killer is stalking the young women," (Villafranca, 11/11/01). The following ledes continue to emphasize the gruesome circumstances of the murders and their unsolved nature. All articles in this portion of the sampl e offer the perspective of authorities and police in the ledes, giving such an angle that such official proceedings and theories are the most pertinent to report. However, the last two ledes can be construed with more criticism of official action. The fir st (AP, 1/26/04) notes that Fox orders more help and information to be given to relatives of victims, while the last (AP, 5/31/05) states that the leading prosecutor in the case was replaced due to inaction. However these actions do not necessarily note th at the government is a problematic entity in the investigation, emphasizing them in the ledes allows one to question the role of the police and investigators and ask why the murders have gone unsolved.
! '% c. Summary Overall, the headline and lede content in th e Houston Chronicle for this time period mostly refer to police action and in turn provide little perspective besides official proceedings in the cases. The ledes emphasize that the women were subject to rape and mutilation, left for dead in the desert. By mentioning police malfeasance, articles in 2004/05 allow for more questioning of official actions. However, as in other articles, these reports lack personal narrative accounts in the ledes. Ledes with a more personal, humanizing tone, give breath to the deceased, and serve to draw the reader into the personal story rather than offer a quick tidbit of one case of serial murder from abroad. However the intent of such personalized reporting may be for readers to sympathize with the families of the victims, i t is evident that this sort of tactic does not have the same culturalist approach as does, say, leading an article with the topic of innate corruption and incessant violence of Jurez authorities and citizens. New York Times a. Headlines In this sample, headlines include the word "killer" or "killings" in all cases, except the last, which solely refers to "fury aimed at Mexican officials." There are more reports that talk mainly about suspected murderers than the previous time period, and one headline off ers a broad interpretation, reading "258 killed in Border City," (5/22/2003). While importance is given to the number, which helps to emphasize the serial nature of the killings, the reader is not given a broader (not even a specific city) context within t he headline and thus would presumably have interest in reading further due to the figure itself.
! '& Another headline refers to the finding that there was little evidence of serial murders in the Jurez cases. However, while this report puts importance into t he official finding, there are also articles within this period hat point to corruption, and one that says "Wave of women's killings confounds Jurez," (Thompson, 12/10/2002). It is apparent that the New York Times reports, at this point, reverberate popul ar sentiment on the murders, that they are unsolvable and the least likely to solve the murders is the Jurez police. b. Ledes The ledes mostly provide emphasis on police action in the investigation. Several articles refer to the arrest or conviction of suspects in the cases, while others provide official reports, including the Justice Department's news that 258 women had been kil led since 1993 (AP, 5/22/03), and the report refuting the serial killer theory (D6). However, two ledes offer personal narratives, rather than a tired retelling of official news. Thompson (12/10/2002) reports it has been seven years since Irma Perez ste amed a plate of her daughter's favorite vegetables and waited all night for her to come home from work." Here, the reporter gives primacy to the narrative of an affected family member, and offers an important perspective: that the murdered woman was from a loving family (opposed to narratives that pit the women as delinquents.) Thompson again offers such a personal account on 9/26/2005, in which the lede reads, Victor Javier Garcia still has a dozen marks across his abdomen and genitals from the burning ci garettes the police used to torture him into falsely confessing to being a serial killer." This article again offers quite a different perspective, as it implicates police in wrongdoing, and victimizes suspects in the Jurez murders.
! '' c. Summary In sum, the headlines and ledes in this time period offer more priority to "official" accounts than the first time period. However, there are still several articles that offer a personal narrative of those affected by the crimes themselves, the suspects (i ndirectly) and the family members. Given that Thompson penned both articles written with the personalized angles, it is telling that these perspectives can only be gained from a reporter who spends a significant amount of time investigating the murders. So it is apparent that such accounts are most important, but only after a reporter is able to strip away the superficial layers of the investigation such as police action. 2006 2010 Houston Chronicle a. Headlines The first article of the last time period reads, "Jurez report discounts serial killer; Mexican officials list diverse reasons for deaths of 379 women since 1993," (2/18/2006). Here, in one single headline, an entire theory is discounted. While it is noted as a "Jurez report" finding, it in turn is the job of the reader to discern whether this "official" source of information is more credible that others. By giving primacy to this finding, however, the report complies with the notion that such a finding is the most important thing the reader shou ld take away from the article. Furthermore, the tone of the aforementioned headline itself serves to discount the notion of "murders of women" as a serial, or reoccurring, problem in Jurez. By referring to the murders as "deaths," the entire element of serial violence against women is lost to the reader.
! '( While no headline or article blames the women for their murders, as has been seen in reports on femicide in other locations, they do further the power dynamic between classes and genders. Lloyd's repor t from 5/4/2006 focuses on the spread of violence in Mexico, and notes that that "fear for women's safety" also spreads. The next article's headline is "Hayek, Fonda demand Mexico Solve Slayings" (5/10/2006). These headlines perpetuate a passive role of th e poor women of Jurez and Mexico, since women are fearful and without control, and the only voices being heard are those of wealthy Hollywood actresses. The other headlines in this time period focus on suspects in the case, while there are also two headli nes centered on police corruption. b. Ledes The first article, which announces the rejection of the idea of a serial killer, refers to such a conclusion made by Mexican officials. However, though not the first sentence, the second allows for an alternative perspective: The final report from the Mexican Attorney General's Office drew immediate criticism from women's advocates, one of whom called its conclusions shameful." (AP, 2/18/2006). The alternative perspective is highlighted in the second sentence, giv ing the casual reader a chance to discern such an official report in the context of opposition to the findings. Lloyd's article on the spread of violence into Chimalhuacan provides an interesting lede: In the past eight months, the raped and strangled bo dies of young, working class women have been turning up in construction sites in this dust choked slum outside the Mexican capital, (5/4/2006).
! ') Such sensational elements are brought to the lede, such as the "dust choked slum" imagery, in order to provide a dramatic scene. Just one of the ledes in this sequence refers to the murders as a continuous or current problem in Jurez. The AP article fr om 1/30/2008 begins with: "Women are still being killed in the border city of Ciudad Jurez." Subsequently within the lede, there is the view that the failed investigation is a problem. c. Summary Over time, it became apparent that the women were not, in fact, the center of focus for the news reports. It is police corruption, government promises to solve the murders, and celebrity involvement that are meant to intrigue the reader. While of course all of these aspects are linked to the murders, the language and tone of the headlines pits these women, and other possible murder victims, without a voice. This gives the notion that women fear men, while also needing their protection. In the ledes, it is interesting that while the paper tends to give less primac y to the continuing problem of femicide in Jurez, it does so in the last report in the sample. By highlighting a report by the Mexican Human Rights Commission, this article provides an alternative type of "official" report. While the Human Rights Commissi on is also an official government body, it is held more accountable, because of its name, than police and other officials. New York Times a. Headlines The headlines in this time period (2006 2010) all refer to the killings, rather than specific people or su spects. The first article, shows an interesting choice of words: "400
! '* Dead: Now Hollywood is Intrigued," (Broeske, 5/21/2006), Indeed, this article was unique out of all the analyzed reports in that it did not appear in the international news section of th e paper, but rather Arts and Leisure. So, the tone of the headlines begs the question: what should we care about more, Hollywood entertainment or the murdered women? The other headlines refer to the rise in the number of killings (Malkin, 4/13/2009) and Mexico's rebuke on the murder investigation (Malkin, 12/11/2009). So, while there is some attention pulled away from the murders, the latest headlines pull attention back to the fact that the murders continue, and remain unsolved. b. Ledes One lede shows an interesting pull into the topic of femicide: the drug war. Malkin (4/13/2009) writes, Lawless Ciudad Jurez has become a potent symbol of Mexico's escalating drug war. Drug cartels recently chased out the police chief there, and citizens have become fearful witnesses to daily murders of drug dealers, police officers and bystanders. But lost amid the headlines are the murders of young women that drew international notice more than a decade ago and that continue today. This lengthy lede serves to provide a backdrop for the present climate of Jurez. The journalist notes that, indeed, attention was pulled away from the femicides because of drug cartel violence. Malkin not only mentions that the murders are rarely mentioned, but that they continue today." Broeske's lede provides much in the way of dramatization, inaccurate information about the serial nature of the total number it notes. This is interesting, again given its placement in the Arts and Leisure section, because such a misstate ment may point to lazy reporting. The last lede is interesting because it quickly points to the criticism of the
! (+ Mexican government by the Inter American Court of Justice. So, it does not allow for the Mexican government to blame local police and officials but instead points to the direct role the Mexican government plays in solving the long string of murders. c. Summary In this time period, headlines and ledes in the New York Times offer differing perspectives of the course of the attention to the murders in recent years. The first lede notes the dramatic nature of the murders, as it describes the serial cases. While it does misstate that all 400 murders were deemed serial, it also points to the murders as a problem. So gruesome are the details of these cases, it is fitting that Hollywood would be interested in portraying the murders. The other two articles give primacy to the murders themselves in the headlines and ledes. Unlike t he Houston Chronicle, it is highlighted that the murders remain a continuous problem for the women of Jurez, and are not simply a past phenomenon. Discussion of How are the reports presented: Looking at the headlines and ledes gave this research a different lens through which to view the reports. While frames are laid out over the course of the entire article's content, one can also see the micro frame of the headlines, which show only a portio n of an article's content, but are the most prevalent. In the first time period, the Houston Chronicle was more likely to provide developments in the cases to be given headline status. Three of these headlines mention the number of women killed since 1993, and four mention the trials of suspected murders. The New York Times shows a stark contrast given tha t the content of the articles is more overarching to the problem, as it is apparent that reporting did not start until after 1998.
! (" However, Sam Dillon did provide more personalized ledes that speak to the reality of the murders' effects on the community of Juarez, rather than duly noting the mass, gruesome deaths on first note. The Houston Chronicle continues to display an affinity towards official action, rather than framing the stories from the perspective of the women. Only three articles out of the s even provide a critical view of the investigation within the headlines. However, as I have previously stated within this analysis, it is important to note that the Houston Chronicle's main difference in the style of reporting is that the stories are less i nvestigative. The lengthy nature of New York Times reports, and the fact that they are written by staff writers, means that journalists were able to investigate the story/issue on a more personal level, connecting to the story and seeing the issue as one t hat is multi faceted. The same type of analytical content can be found in Houston Chronicle reports when it is clear that a staff writer had taken time in investigating the piece, however this occurred less often. The headlines and ledes reflect the over all content of the articles and ultimately translate what should be taken from the article. Provided many people only read these sections of the articles, it is important to note what is highlighted by the papers. However, in the next section I further my analysis by looking at why such aspects, such as the number of women murders, are significant at all. The number of women murdered was typically put into the headlines, but I will look at the use of these numbers in frame building.
! (# How many women were ki lled? Another important facet of frame building within these articles is the numbers of murders that are reported. The numbers of women killed are important in that they directly correlate to the identification of these murders as being a social problem. Only through the mounting tolls does more action and concern take place. By noting who is included in the numbers, one can understand what the numbers mean despite lack of explicit explanation As analyzed in the Literature Review, when newspapers report on the "number of women murdered [or killed]," and when academics refer to the toll as a phenomenon of femicide, it is apparent that they refer to both domestic violence as well as systemic sexual violence that result in murder. Typically, newspapers make specification only for the cases of what academics call systemic sexual feminicide, which occurs when women are kidnapped, tortured or raped and then killed and left in the desert or dumped elsewhere (Fragoso et al., 2006.) However, since the total number refers to all women killed under a broad definition of femicide, the nature of the serial murder cases is lost u nless sought out as a separate issue. In addition to the significance of large numbers of murdered people and the representation of types of murder, the diversity in the numbers in itself becomes newsworthy. Generally speaking, in my sample the reported number of women killed varies from comprehensive sums since 1993, to annual, monthly, and weekly totals. In the investigative pieces, numbers tend to provide a broad context for a recent murder case. Totals differ depending on the source, as activist and h uman rights groups consistently report higher numbers than police and government officials. Numbers also vary depending on whether or not the journalist is discussing the "serial" cases.
! ($ An analysis of the way the numbers are presented contributes to our understanding of the way the newspaper cover feminicide in Juarez. Instead of comparing the newspapers in each time period, below I explore how each newspaper's report of numbers of murder s shifts between time periods. Houston Chronicle Reports from the Houston Chronicle were likely to mention the numbers of women killed. The samples from 1996 2000 provide reporting on certain clusters of killings, as they pertain to police investigation s of murder suspects. In January 1996, it was reported that Sharif Sharif was implicated in four of nine killings that happened in 1995. Several months later he was accused of conspiring to kill another 17 women through gang involvement. Then, in 1999, two bus drivers were accused of involvement in 20 murders. Not until the AP report from 11/22/1998 is there an aggregate number offered, which serves to place the incidents in the broader context. The report says that Mexican officials claim the total is 95 unsolved cases, while advocacy groups say the total is "more like 130 to 150" women. The next article (AP, 3/11/1999) offers a sum of 92 killed since 1993, but does not give a source for the figure. Each time period offers reports that solely mention th e cases of serial murder: those printed on 4/4/1999, 11/10/2001, 8/11/2004, and 7/26/2006. Other points where articles state the number of similar, or serial, cases is when they are mentioned in juxtaposition with the larger number. From 2001 onward, it wa s more likely that the articles contain figures for the total number of murders along with the serial total.
! (% It is also important to notice where the journalist received the numbers. Generally, numbers are only noted with a source when multiple numbers are offered. This finding shows that numbers themselves are a part of the news story, and the discrepancy is deemed important enough for the journalist to make note. The AP report from 11/22/1998 notes that officials say there are 95 unsolved cases of mu rdered women, but that advocacy groups say the number "is closer to 130 to 150," ( Houston Chronicle .) Notably, the AP report from 5/22/2003 offers many numbers for interpretation: the Justice Department's first public death toll is 258 murders since 1993, in which 93 were "sexually motivated" and 150 occurred for other reasons; the Mexican National Commission on Human Rights says there had been 232 slayings since 1993; NGOs estimate 300; 14 of the 93 sexually motivated killings were possibly linked to organ trafficking; and there is a year by year breakdown of the numbers in the Justice Department's report, with the highest totals in 1995 with 34 and 1996 with 32 women killed. In fact, the article from 2/18/2006 (AP, Houston Chronicle ) notes that the Mexican Attorney General's report discounting the possibility of a serial killer also said that "the number of women who actually disappeared was much less than what had been reported in Jurez in the past 13 years. Also, some discrepancies in reporting come fr om looking at the numbers in the last time period. The 2/18/2006 (AP) article refers to an official report stating 379 murders since 1993, and then the report from 5/4/2006 (Lloyd) says 400. However, the article from just 6 days later (AP, 5/10/2006) notes celebrities seek justice for 300 murders that have taken place since 1996. There is no reasoning given for the focus on
! (& just the past 10 years, when all other aggregate numbers are likely to denote murders that took place since 1993. New York Times The New York Times often reports on numbers, and offers aggregate sums in all of the articles analyzed for this research. Since the first time period offers just two articles, which both look at the murders in the big picture' as opposed to a singular eve nt, the numbers make up for lost time to the reader, and serve to inform about the problem as a whole. In the first article analyzed, Dillon accounts that 70 women had been "raped and murdered and their bodies dumped in the Chihuahua desert in the last five years," ( New York Times 18/4/1998). This means that most of the murders were included as serial cases (however it does not specify them as serial, besides noting the similarities in the cases), as he gives the aggregate counts from the government at 95 total and feminist groups that say 118. In fact, it is reported that the state attorney general, Barrio Terrazas, claimed that the murder rate in Jurez was no higher than other Mexican cities. However, the other article analyzed for this time period does not offer figures from either official and activist groups. Instead, Dillon reported on 2/28/1999 that the number killed since 1993 was 184, in which 80 had been raped, and 24 fit a "serial pattern." The author notes that Esther Chavez claimed the num ber of serial murders to be "far higher," without naming a specific figure. This is interesting because the 1256 word article is mostly about Chavez's involvement in the campaign to end the murders. Also, one of Chavez's main roles as an activist is to kee p record of the murders. However, this could be because Chavez did not have a specific figure, since the numbers tend to be
! (' estimates anyway. The exact number is hard to ascertain, as many times advocate groups will include disappeared women in their total who may or may not be among those murdered. Dillon wrote both of these reports, so it is interesting that he includes different details in each. In the first article, he does not specify "serial" cases, and in the second, he does not mention the differ ing numbers between officials and activists, as he did in the first. The majority of reports in the second time period offer aggregate numbers as well as the number noted as having a "similar profile," (AP, 2/21/2001). The aggregate number consistently increases, however the AP report from 5/22/2003 notes that the Mexican Justice Department reported its first public death toll as 258. This came after two previous articles that stated greater total numbers. Thompson (12/10/2002) reported that 280 women ha d been killed according to state officials, and Weiner (2/27/2003) reported that the number was "at least 300," although no source was given for the figure. It is apparent from this finding that the numbers vary depending on the entity keeping the tally, a nd the different official' body counts may include or exclude cases depending on how they classify the murders. The reports in the last time period offer less emphasis on the numbers, because they were both less likely to report aggregates from multiple sources, but they also did not provide the total of similar cases as most of the earlier New York Times reports of fered. The article from 5/21/2006 provided the total of 400 women dead, but noted the number only as an emphasis as to why Hollywood was interested in the subject matter. Again, this number was misleading because the reporter claimed that all those murdere d
! (( were part of the serial cases. However, this article is the only one to appear in the Film section of the New York Times rather than the Foreign Desk or International Briefing section. The last two articles state that 500 had been killed "according to women's rights groups," but this total includes both Ciudad Jurez and Ciudad Chihuahua. By looking at these numbers, it is apparent that the reports pull attention away from the serial cases in Jurez, and spread the phenomenon of femicide beyond Jurez. Discussion of Representation of Numbers : Reporting numbers occurs frequently in the New York Times and the Houston Chronicle However, the New York Times was likely to report on the aggregated sum of the femicide cases, while the Houston Chronicle at ti mes only mentioned recent cases of mass grave sites. The figures presented by the journalists allow the reader to understand the issue of femicide in Juarez as a continuous social problem. The way the numbers are presented, in terms of who provides the fi gure and what the figures include, shows various frames through which the femicides are presented to the readership. These frames surround what constitutes femicide. For example, murders with a serial nature verses women who die as a result of domestic vio lence and who decides when the murder of a woman becomes a social problem. In general, numbers provided by women's rights or human rights groups are likely to be larger than "official" figures. In the Houston Chronicle reporting on the numbers becomes more important towards the end of the first time period, because numerical discrepancies among government agencies and human rights groups are noted (AP, 11/22/1998).Subsequently, it becomes important for reporters to provide a breakdown of who claims wha t as the
! () amount of women killed. By the last time period, the differing over numbers has become so stark, that reporting on the numbers shifting among the news reports, and it is apparent that there was no way to report a factual total. Similar patterns were seen in the New York Times reports in the first two time periods. The numbers depended greatly on who provided the figure, and tended to vary depending on whether or not the total included or excluded certain cases. The last period was notably differe nt, however, since much of the focus shifted away from the number killed, and the focus remained on some of the cultural outcry caused by the murders. Overall, the use of numbers points to the identification of the violence as a pandemic problem. Journal ists' effective framing of the murders as a serial problem not only comes from the numbers themselves, but from how the numbers are broken down: how the journalist explains the similarities and differences between cases of "murders of women" and cases exhi biting a serial nature. Rarely do the reports offer much analysis into what is classified as "femicide," or these "murders of women" as they say more commonly, but many times they do offer theories as to why the murders occur. Why is femicide happening in Jurez? While some of the articles, mainly the brief wire reports, do not address the causes of the murders, others devote a lot of attention to not only what happened, but why. The reasons for the murders cover a range of explanations, and the person o r entity sourced generally determines the type of hypothesis espoused. Many activists and women's rights organizations point to the societal issues such as the advancing social role of women and greater independence, which they say have caused a backlash a mong men
! (* whose interests are maintaining a misogynistic, male dominated culture, or a culture of violence. Police did not espouse these types of social critiques. Generally, law enforcement in Jurez found suspects, or what activists referred to as scapego ats men with a criminal history. In later years, theories of the culprits were reported as being satanic cults, organ harvesters, drug cartels, and rich men that kill poor women for sport. It is reported that activists claim that police inaction points t o the culture of impunity that will see a never ending cycle of violence towards women. Looking at theories of culprits and motivations in each paper a. Houston Chronicle At first, reports from the Houston Chronicle maintain theories of serial murders. Most of the articles from the 1996 2000 selection talk about the trial of Sharif Sharif, the Egyptian chemist suspected of being a serial murderer. Once he was in jail and the murders kept happening, the authorities ac cused Sharif of consorting with gang members while he was behind bars. The theory of gang involvement is backed up by the confession of the gang members. However, a judge dropped serial murder charges against Sharif due to lack of evidence (5/22/1996). I ndeed, an AP article from 11/22/1998 provided both the arguments for and against the possibility of a serial killer. It is then reported that a U.S. criminologist, Ressler, classified the killings as serial. At the same time, the state prosecutor in Chihua hua maintained that the murders were not serial: [Manuel Esparza, a state prosecutor in Chihuahua, Mexico] believes one person probably did not commit the murders because of differences among the cases." Two or three of the victims lived in El Paso and New Mexico," he said. "Not all the victims were sexually abused. Some were gang related. Others were overdoses. There are patterns in some of the cases and none in others. But others disagree.
! )+ Richard Ressler a former criminologist with the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, says he thinks a serial killer probably committed the murders, perhaps capitalizing on the easy access to the U.S. Mexico border. Ressler, who operates a private criminology firm in Virginia, talked to the Mexican investigators about the cases earlier this year. ( Houston Chronicle AP, 11/22/1998) In this excerpt, Esparza references the murders, but does not make the distinction that not all of the murders of women were even considered as part of the serial cases. Ressler also does not make this distinction, but it is possible that this is an omissi on of the journalist. Articles from 2001 2005 again point to a serial killer, but the reports seem to refer just to the fraction of the murders that have a serial pattern, which is just a portion of the whole number of cases that are classified, in academ ic terms, as femicide. The focus of several of these articles is on the serial cases, which are classified as "sexually motivated" (AP, 5/22/2003), but do not necessarily provide further analysis of the gendered elements to the "rape murders" (AP, 11/26/20 04). Villafranca's report from 11/7/2001 followed the discovery of eight bodies in cotton field, known later as "the cotton field murders." This report began with the notion that police could come to no other conclusion besides that the murders were seri al cases. The eight bodies appeared to have all been strangled, and each had a lock of hair cut from their head. While tying these murders to 65 similar cases, the reporter made no mention of rape or sexual violence, only mentioning that the women had been "stripped and dumped in the desert." The report links the conclusion with the Mexican police's advances in not only handling the investigations, but the organization of the department and new technology state police had only recently established a foren sics department. An AP report from 2/18/2006 officially' discounts the role of a serial killer: The final report states that the 379 women who were killed in Jurez since 1993 lost their lives for diverse reasons ranging from sexual and
! )" intrafamily violence to revenge and robbery, but that their deaths were probably not the work of a serial killer. Here, the tone of the statement dismisses the notion that one or more serial killers were responsible for any of the crimes. This particular report offers no rebuttal by an outside party to the official report's conclusion, however it does mention that the cases caused an "international outcry." Another theory surrounding murders, although somewhat more obscure with less mention overall, is that orga n traffickers could have been behind some of the killings. It is noted several times that murder is not a federal crime, and thus organ trafficking is linked to the investigation because, once evidence was found, there could be reason to connect some of th e murders on the level of federal crime. This, in turn, would allow for a federal investigation into the murders (AP, 5/22/2003). Overall, there are not as many counter voices in the Houston Chronicle 's reporting as were found in the New York Times. Thus, there is not consistent critique of the theories offered by police and government officials. As I have previously posited, there is a notable shift, however, and in the last time period the critical outlook is more profound. It is not until 4/4/1999 that the articles provide reasoning behind the murders that is more reflective many of the women earned low wages, took public transport, and worked in US owned factories. In fact, women's groups offer a counter narrative to the "official" actions by governme nt and investigators. By 2004, it was reported that groups spoke to President Vicente Fox, and accused investigators of corruption, torture, false evidence, and victim blaming (11/26/2004). These latest reports offer consistent juxtaposition of murder vict im tallies by activists and officials of femicides. In reports
! )# from 5/4/2006, 5/10/2006, 7/26/2006, there is reference to both local activists and international celebrities, denoting further criticism. There is also some critique of the culture of violenc e that prevails past Ciudad Jurez in Mexico: In wars over drug turf, "Women are just the bounty," said Perez Duarte, who was appointed in February to expand the investigation into violence against women beyond Ciudad Jurez.  "We have a very misogynistic culture that permits that violence against women is seen as part of the culture," she said. But "no one wants the violence of Ciudad Jurez to repeat." (Lloyd, 5/4/2006.) Here, Alicia Perez Duarte, then the federal government' s new special prosecutor for crimes against women, espouses a claim that the wave of killings was directly correlated with the rise of the Jurez centered Carrillo Fuentes gang. Considering the article was published in 2006, it took 13 years for a connecti on to be made between the killings and organized crime by a federally appointed public official. Perez Duarte mentions not only the connection to the drug cartels, but the way in which the misogyny has manifested into violence in Mexico. In this sense, th e motivation of "misogyny," or the exertion of men's power over women, and the denotation of an overall culture of violence are more overarching and explicatory of all murders of women considered femicide than are claims that just one or a few are "sexuall y motivated." Later reporting in the Houston Chronicle provides for a better analysis than early reports that focus mainly on who the suspects were, rather than why the murders happened in the first place. Of course, one explanation for the increased analy sis of the murders could be simply because more information was available in this later time period than earlier years. However, another reason could be from the fact that the Houston Chronicle was able to employ reporters on investigative assignments.
! )$ b. New York Times As observed earlier, in the New York Times the reports offer an overview of the femicides with a wider lens, looking at the social context, rather than specific steps in the investigations (such as the Sharif Sharif trial). Dillon (4/18/19 98) notes that the murders were first noted as a phenomenon due to the similar characteristics of several murders, which were identified by a Jurez criminology professor in 1993. Dillon's next report (2/18/1999) followed Esther Chavez's involvement in the murder case of 13 year old Irma Angelica Rosales, who was connected to the "grisly trail of other similar crimes." Dillon notes that Authorities have counted 184 women killed in Jurez since 1993. About 80 were raped and their bodies dumped in the desert. State officials say only 24 fit a pattern of serial sexual murder, but Ms. Chavez, who keeps detailed lists of the dead on her home computer, says she believes the figure is far higher. These numbers are important details when noting the serial ca ses, as they lay out the exact number or serial cases verses those which are the murders of women without the same evidence of sexual assault. Also, Dillon juxtaposes the claims of serial murders between the authorities and Chavez. The report does not give detail as to how Chavez counted a higher number of serial cases. In the article "Wave of Women's Killings Confounds Jurez" (Thompson, 12/10/2002), the author mentions several theories regarding the murders, and notes little progress in the cases. Thompson noted that, while there were some similarities in the cases, U.S and Mexican experts agreed that the murders were not the work of a "single psychopath." Still, this does not discount the work of perhaps multiple serial killers. The same report offers the theories that organ traffickers and snuff filmmakers perhaps com e from the US to do the killings.
! )% This article also points to the issue of drug trafficking, and connects the police, organized crime, and the murders. Thompson notes women's rights groups suspect that the real killers are linked to drug traffickers and o ther politically prominent families in Ciudad Jurez who they say operate with police complicity. Women's leaders said the police had harassed, even killed, citizens who spoke out about their abuses. (Thompson, 12/10/2002) Another important issue is that of jurisdiction of the murder cases, which do not reach beyond state level unless there is a proven connection to drug or organ trafficking in the cases. Thompson (12/10/2002) brought up the organ trafficker theory as an alt ernative to the serial killer theory, noting its probability was on par with the theory that that snuff film makers from the U.S. were committing the crimes. The report from 10/26/2004 notes that the murders did not likely involve serial murderers or gangs and notes further the theories of satanic cults, organ traffickers and snuff films. In the next time period, Broeske (5/21/2006) provides an addition to the theories of organ traffickers, drug cartel and Satanist theories expanding the scope to include a theory that wealthy men hunt and kill women for sport. This is a new perspective, not mentioned in other articles in either paper. However, in a sense, this sort of sensationalist theory is akin to this particular article's subject matter of Hollywood's interest in the phenomenon, and the murders' being used on the "big screen." In general, the New York Times offers a wider variety of theories, which relates to the fact that, as this analysis outlines, its articles are more in depth and offer a wider va riety of opinion. One connection made is between social change caused by economic and population growth in the city. Several articles point to the "backlash" (Thompson, 12/10/2002,11/26/2005), faced by women for subverting the patriarchal order. Some theor ized that
! )& the violence stems from social upheaval caused by rising drug abuse, police corruption and changing roles as women have migrated here to work on assembly lines, becoming the main breadwinners in a society once dominated by men. (McKinley, 10/26/2004) While such a theory does not point to direct causes or killers, it rings to the gendered social climate in which Jure z citizens live. A later article from 5/21/2006 notes that there was a "consensus" that the murders were part of a crime wave involving multiple murderers, not just one serial killer. In addition, the report from 4/13/2009 noted that women's groups pointed out the complici ty of police in the murder cases. While there was evidence that police has tortured suspects into giving false confessions, it was still the job of authorities to deny the severity of the murders in order to play off accusations. Thompson's (9/26/2005) no tes that police cover ups stagnate the investigation and cause a second cycle of injustice. At the same time, authorities claimed that problems stemmed from poor training and antiquated equipment. In addition, it was noted that the murders were largely cas es of domestic violence. Discussion : Overall, the New York Times offers many different explanations for the murders, as does the Houston Chronicle in more recent time periods. Also, there are many explanations given beyond the scope of domestic violence resulting in serial femicide. It is clear from these articles that there are other forces at play police complicity, social problems stemming from poverty and economic stratification, and a misogynistic culture. These accounts stem from sourced information that is inherently biased, since the truth of the matter is that the Jurez murders remain unsolved. Theories provide important insight, however into the possible explanations. In both papers, activists offer
! )' a counter narrative to police explanations, and frame the murders as a reflection of a misogynistic culture. Reporting on police actions in the investigation allows the reader to note its ma lfunction, as the murders continue to happen despite arrests and accusations. While there may not be one serial killer, it is apparent that the inexplicable murders of women are a serial social problem. The Significance of Location: Where is Jurez? The literature on femicide reveals something striking: that systematic gender based killing is not a new phenomenon, and it is certainly not unique to Jurez. However, femicide hardly makes the international news. The news frames Jurez as a place where povert y and crime are incessant, and such an image serves to normalize the violence as an inherent occurrence in Ciudad Jurez. In fact, more often than not, the scenes of the crimes are pitted to the outskirts of the city, the shantytowns and deserts. These peripheral areas are also where the maquilas reside. Connections are often made between poor areas and the maquilas in that those employed in the factories are mostly women, who receive around US$6/day and typically are migrants from other parts of Mexico. From the maquilas and immigration comes the subject of the US's role in the environment. While not all of the assembly plants are foreign operated, many are owned or affiliated with US corporations (Arriola, 2010). As I have discussed in the lite rature review, it is pertinent to note the role of the US in border economics, and thus its integration into the socioeconomic development of a border city such as Jurez. While there had been maquilas since the 1960s, it was NAFTA 1994 that brought a surg e in
! )( factory jobs in the border factories. The news articles, especially the New York Times include this important analysis, due to the sourcing of activists, who critique Jurez's social problems within the lens of economic development and free trade and how those aspects have changed society. Thus Jurez is close not only to the border of the US, but its economic integration blurs the boundaries between the two countries. Later, other concerns related to the geographic context of Jurez involve its posi tion as a drug corridor to the United States, as well as the spread of violence outside of Jurez. My analysis shows consistent mention of this spread of violence into other areas of Mexico. This shows that one cannot simply conclude that the Mexican borde r is a dangerous place, but in fact that all poor Mexican "shantytowns" breed murderers. However, the subject of poor, peripheral areas comes with little mention of free market economic policy that gravely affected the agricultural industry in the 1990s. Here, I will outline important aspects of the international coverage on the femicides in Jurez as they are framed within the context of the border city. Most salient are the descriptions the landscape, the economic and geopolitical space of Jurez, and t he spread of violence against women into other localities. Looking at Jurez in each paper Houston Chronicle a. Landscape For all time periods, reporters refer to Jurez in reference to El Paso or the United States. As I have noted in Chapter 2, it is apparent that media reports on international news must be presented within a frame of relativity to the readership. In the sen se of geographical context, Jurez becomes relatively easy to relate to the U.S. Thus, its
! )) existence is tied to its location on the border, or "across the border" from the U.S.. The "border city" is also described as gritty, rough, while at the same time i t is a large and bustling metropolis. However, the murder victims are placed outside the actual city of Jurez, and instead occupy the surrounding desert colonias or shantytowns. The reports rarely say colonia ," and opt for "shantytown," which they loca te as being "on the edge of a metropolitan sprawl" (AP, 3/11/1999), or "on the outskirts of town" (AP, 4/4/1999). It is noted that many of the victims lived in these peripheral areas, and whether they worked in maquilas or downtown, they were dependent on public transport to traverse the dusty landscape. b. Maquiladora Industry While reports themselves generally recognize that only a portion of those murdered were maquilas workers, there is a focus on the industry. This is likely because the assembly plants played an integral role in the development of Jurez, and as one report notes, the maquila industry caused the city to grow fivefold in 30 years. Also, despite the fact that victims represented different ages and classes, it is often deemed that many were maquila workers. However, only about a third of the total number of articles mentions the maquila industry. The first mention of the maquilas came from the 4/16/1996 AP report that noted that Abdel Latif Sharif was a former engineer at a US owned plant. Several times thereafter, the murders are linked to the factories, as there is a case of two bus drivers who were accused of several murders. These buses were sub contacted by the plants to transport worke rs. The AP report from 3/11/1999 sources activist Esther Chavez, who criticizes the corporations' irresponsibility for the safety of their workers.
! )* Also, the reports that mention specific victims typically noted that the women were maquila workers. One su ch case was of a 13 year old, who used a false ID to find work. There are generally more connections made between the murders and the factories than any other particular factor. In an AP report from 5/10/2006 links US corporations to the murders, in a quot e from actress Jane Fonda, who noted that stagnant, low wage factory jobs meant that citizens could not afford "sufficient street lighting and guards to create a safe environment." c. Summary The Houston Chronicle' s descriptions of Jurez center on its gritty, dusty landscape, and set the scene of the crimes in the impoverished shantytowns. The city's landscape is tied to its geographic positioning on the border with the United States. The social factors contributin g to the murders are inextricable with the maquiladorization of the border city. The reports emphasize that the women live in a poor environment, which lacks infrastructure and security. The notion of security implies that these women are to be protected a t all times. In turn, the emphasis on public transport and the overall danger that the women face adds to the notion that these poor women lack agency in their daily lives. Also, these images of insecurity and lack of power are pitted against the notion t hat the women are killed because of their heightened economic role brought by the maquilas. New York Times a. Landscape From the beginning, the reports from the New York Times offer distinct images of Jurez as a border city, surrounded by desert. At points, there is another layer of these
! *+ descriptions, which notes that the city has turned into a "mecca of homicidal maniacs" and that "Jurez has always been violent, (Dillon, 2 /28/1998). Furthermore, images include women "dumped in desert gullies and vacant lots," (Dillon, 4/18/1998) or bodies that "surface in desert that surrounds the city like an ocean" (Thompson, 2/10/2002). Additionally, Thompson's report provides several in teresting representations of Ciudad Jurez. It is a "busy drug corridor between Mexico and the US" (2/10/2002) and a contorted carnival image of El Paso. Here, Jurez is juxtaposed with its US neighbor by noting that El Paso is one of the safest cities in the US, while Jurez's murder rate is ten times El Paso's. There are more references to drug related crime in articles from Mckinley (10/26/04) and later in Malkin's report (4/13/2009). Malkin noted that Jurez had become "a potent symbol of the escalati ng drug war in Mexico." Preceding this was the claim that Jurez was indeed "Mexico's most violent city," (9/26/2005). These images of violence were intertwined with the placing of Jurez as a border city that faces El Paso. b. Maquiladora Industry The lede paragraph in the first sampled article reads as follows: Jurez is a city of factories set in the Chihuahua desert, with most of the assembly lines worked by women. And one or perhaps several sexual predators are prowling its vast industrial parks and honky tonk saloons where workers go to kick back. (Dillon, 4/18/1998) Here, the author describes the point that Jurez, whose development was due to the maquiladora industry, simply would not exist in its current scale witho ut the influx of business and jobs. Since these factories run on a female bodied labor force, it points to women's crucial role in the Jurez economy. In fact, the same article notes that the murders "put a spotlight on the victimization of women in a city that runs on their $3 a
! *" day labor," (4/18/1998). So not only do women provide the necessary hands to assemble parts, they do so for a sub livable wage. Women are not only victimized as the targets of brutal murders, but also as laborers who are mistreated and underpaid. Many of the New York Times reports offer glimpses into the effects of maquiladora life on its workers and society. Dillon (4/18/1998) reported that at the same time women found work in Jurez, the number of single mothers rose. While repo rting on their wages, which in the first time period are noted in separate articles as $3 a day then $4 a day, in the later time periods the average factory wage is reported as $6 a day. Some articles also point to the power women had gained from increase d employment. As previously exemplified in the Literature Review or femicide analysis, some of these social conditions were seen as causes of the murders. As one report notes, "Here women's roles have changed 10,000 times compared with the rest of Mexico," Ms. Caraveo said. "Meanwhile the men are not changing as quickly. And that is where some of the tension begins. (Thompson, New York Times 12/10/2002). Here, Thompson quotes a women's activist in Jurez, who makes the argument that social forces play a role in the murders. Activist Esther Chavez said in a previous article that "machismo may be stronger here than anywhere else in the country," (4/18/1998). It is evident that Jurez provides for a unique example of gender relations in Mexico, and that the employment of women in low wage factory jobs can be directly tied to this gendered social climate. c. Summary The New York Times again shows its affinity to in depth reporting on the femicides in Jurez as there is a well rounded approach to portraying Jurez's locality. However, while there are multiple perspectives brought to the maquila economy of
! *# Jurez and its effect on the wo men of the city, there is a strong identification with the border city and the drug war, danger, and poverty. Thompson in particular provides haunting images of Jurez in poetic, metaphorical language: ex. Desert surrounds the city like an ocean. Discussi on : Descriptions of Jurez in the Houston Chronicle differ only slightly from the New York Times My research shows that the Houston Chronicle was more likely to focus on images of poverty, while the New York Times was more likely to paint Jurez as a symbol of violence and social upheaval. For instance, reporting in the Texas paper tended to note Jurez's dusty, desolate landscape, with shantytowns with insufficient lighting and little safety or security. The New Y ork Times more often frames Jurez as a drug smuggling corridor. The descriptions of Jurez are amplified by the connection that the murders have to the maquiladoras. The factories provide the backdrop to the city, and it is in the desert that the women tr avel in rickety buses from their shantytowns to the industrial parks. Both papers provide ample coverage of the factories' presence in Jurez. They focus on the low wage earned by women, their connection to US companies, and the fact that many of murder vi ctims were factory workers. However, while many were factory workers, not all of the murders and disappearances involved women working in these assembly plants, but constituted a variety of low wage employees. While Jurez is not a one dimensional city, it s image is tied to its development as a manufacturing town. While there are many facets that make up such a border city, these news reports serve to create
! *$ a stark contrast between dangerous, dusty Jurez, Mexico and safe, modern El Paso, Texas. Frames of Juarez as a violent locale may point to the news' efforts to establish "the Other" in society. To the US as a whole, our dark and not so distant neighbor, Mexico, is a place that is familiar while also being completely unknown. It is more common that US re sidents recognize Cancun or images of shantytowns than that of vibrant cities within Mexico's diverse landscape. Frames of poverty may also point to another effect of identifying "the Other" that all outside the US desire such wealth and economic gain. T his frame would allow for the reader to sympathize with the poor population, rather than view the people as peers or contemporaries of themselves. In addition, framing NAFTA's negative effects points to a well publicized connection that the US holds with Mexico as of 1994. Noting the connection between the murders and the maquiladoras might trigger a connection with readers and the murders. This, given that the Mexican, Canadian, and US presidents signed the agreement, which caused a direct influx of forei gn investment and increased employment in these foreign owned assembly plants. The maquiladoras represent the direct connection between the US and Mexico, and their relationship of economic reciprocity. However, discussion of these murders in connection wi th the maquiladoras reflects as negative effect of free trade, and thus begins to subvert the popular sentiment that liberal economic policies are a win win for both rich and poor countries. However, this negative frame of free trade is not fully realized when the discussion of the maquilas is juxtaposed with that of corruption in the government's investigation. Rather, I argue that the murders of women are framed as either endemic to
! *% a culture of violence and corruption in Mexico, or are a result of socia l backwardness in gender relations. The conclusion of this thesis will provide my synthesis of the previous literature's analysis of the femicides, and my own findings regarding framing in the news reports on femicide in Juarez related to my hypotheses. Synthesis The results of this analysis show that, overall, a big difference was between the quantity of reports represented by the Houston Chronicle 's coverage, and the quality of reporting shown in the New York Times reports. It is evident that the covera ge of the femicides varied between the two papers and shifted away from the violence over time. However, the reports were more likely to mention drug violence in later articles, and tended to pit the femicides as past events, rather than a reoccurring prob lem. First, by looking at the journalists' sources of information, this research found that the Houston Chronicle was more likely to present reports that were from just one perspective, either activist or official. The New York Times however, provided in depth reporting from multiple sources and source types. Next, I looked at what the reports focused on in regards to how they described the crimes. Depictions of crime scenes and bodies showed a tendency to mention the rape and mutil ation of the women found, which added to an overall notion that the crimes were done in a ruthless, brutal fashion. While I note that reports are more "sensational" in the earlier time periods, they do a better job of portraying the brutality of the crimes than providing just a "big picture" analysis, because it is evident that solely reporting on vague concepts of mass murder serve to desensitize the audience to the reality of the murders.
! *& I also look at how the reports present the news in their use of ledes and headlines, which show the highlighted elements of the particular news story. Little attention was given to individual cases, and the murders tended to be highlighted in relation to t heir large number or in the proceedings of a criminal investigation. However, later time periods showed more attention to police corruption and NGO reports. The New York Times tended to provide its use of personal narratives within the ledes, allowing for the reader to relate with a person rather than a number of murdered women. Next I look how the coverage reports the number of women killed. The numbers reported differs between whether or not the report distinguishes between those women that were part of t he "serial killings" or those that encompass the aggregate number of women murdered in Ju rez since 1993. It is evident from the reports, which rely on police as well as activist and NGO figures, that only a portion of up to 1/3 of the total number of murd ers can be included in the "serial" category. So, not all of the killings included sex crimes, neither were all involving employees of maquiladoras. In addition, I discussed how the papers reported on the theories of why the women were murdered and what s ignificance the location of Ju rez had for the U S papers. Theories presented tended to correlate with the number of sources used for information in the article. The more activist voices in the articles, the more likely they were to present a theory that the police were involved in the murders or at least, in covering them up. Ju rez, as the location of the murders, tended to be significant in relation to the murders in the reports. The economic history of the city played into the murders, because it wa s evident that a portion of the murdered were maquiladora workers. However, this
! *' was perhaps sensationalized because it is also evident that less than half of the young women were maquila workers. In the concluding chapter, I analyze my results as they re late to my hypotheses stated in Chapter 1. I also address my findings and how they relate to the Literature Review.
! *( Chapter 4: Conclusion Analysis of Results: News frames and the Jurez Femicides Addressing the Hypotheses To begin the concluding chapter, I offer a response to my original points of investigation. Overall, some of my hypotheses were on point, while other preconceptions of the research did not hold up. I was correct in predicting that there would be a low amou nt of coverage in the first time period, as the New York Times only offered two samples, while the Houston Chronicle offered more frequent articles with less coverage overall. However, the higher frequency of articles in the Houston Chronicle allowed for more consistent updates on the crime investigation and criminal proceedings. Overall, this proved that the murders were higher on the radar of the Houston Chronicle 's international beat before that of the New York Times. I predicted that e arly reports would emphasize the women's role in their murders, by reporting that the women were sex workers or emphasizing that they used drugs or alcohol. I noted that this could be true because of the use of local police reports in international journal ists' investigations. However, while early reports in the Houston Chronicle were more likely to offer the police's view of the murders, the reports never repeated the victim blaming language. In both newspapers, there was no attempt to blame the victims, i nstead, they relied on police perspectives to blame suspects or defend police action in the investigations. The victims of these crimes were usually presented in a sympathetic light. This may be because the timing of the reports coincided with the
! *) increase d international presence of women's groups. These groups used international media as well as NGOs to spread a counter frame to the Mexican police and state media's dominant frame of necropolitics, (Wright, 2011). This frame de n otes that State forces upho ld male gender dominance within a culture of impunity. For the second time period, I predicted an increase in coverage. Indeed, there was an increase in coverage after 2001, seen especially in the New York Times which had dozens of samples compared to hav ing just two in the first period. The coverage was notable since it did coincide with the infamous cotton field murders. Thereafter, reports were more likely to mention the murders in relation to this incident. In fact, compared to the earlier period, the Houston Chronicle provided more extensive, in depth reporting following the cotton field case, especially shown in the consecutive daily reports by Villafranca on 11/10 and 11/11/01. For the last time period, I expected to see more of an emphasis on drug cartel violence and its connection to the femicides, despite the fact that none of my articles had any direct relevance to drug violence. This was somewhat true, as drug cartel murders were more likely to be mentioned after 2006. Overall, the murders were discussed as unsolved, and in reference to mass grave findings such as the cotton field murders. They were also discussed in relation to their cultural significance, as there were movi es made about the murders, and many celebrities became involved in the campaign to solve the crimes. However, it was apparent that discussion of the murders of women and drug cartel violence tended to disregard the gendered difference between murders of w omen and men. However, this analysis is incomplete because my research ultimately does not provide space for discussion of the coverage of drug related violence, due to the
! ** narrowed nature of this thesis. T he femicide phenomenon is ultimately a separate is sue to the increased drug trafficking crimes and murders that have occurred in Jurez The Literature and my Research In Chapter 2, I provided an array of interpretations of the Ju rez femicides. I chose to look at media frames of the femicide coverage. While is was apparent that academic analysis of the femicides in Jurez correlate the murders with the increased border industrialization of the early mid 1990s (Gaspar de Alba, 2010 Arriola, 2010) other scholars who analyzed media surrounding the femicides found that media was likely to portray several factors as causes of the murders, including a culturalist critique of the Mexican criminal justice system. In the context of reporti ng in Mexico itself, media tended to display overt gender bias and source police who blamed victims as deserving of violence for their deviant behavior and dress (Tabuenca Cordoba, 2010). However, the only way to fully understand the causes and implication s of femicide comes from a multi layered analysis of cultural, political and economic systems ingrained in Jurez. In my research, I looked for news reporting that showed evidence of seeking to provide a more "critical outlook" (analytical perspective) in their frames of the femicides by seeking multiple sources of information with an in depth explanation of the crimes. Overall, it is apparent that the New York Times was more likely to frame the femicides within a broader context than the Houston Chronicle whose reports provided a more nuanced focus on day to day developments in the cases. Different interpretations of the murders became available when journalists interviewed a broader range of sources. In
! "++ this case, the critical perspectives of the murders came mostly from activists whose quotes provided criticism of law enforcement, gender cultural norms, and the federal investigators assigned to the cases. The crimes themselves tended to be reported with graphic depiction, with frequent mention of rape and mutilation of the women's bodies. This was especially prevalent in the middle time period, at which time there was increased attention paid to the murders after the discovery of eight bodies in a cotton field in 2001. By framing the murders in such a n egative light, the reports highlight the brutal nature of the crimes, while also emphasizing their sexual nature. However, as was seen in my analysis of the numbers reported in the articles, it is apparent that the sexual aspect of the serial murders was i nterpreted as the main problem in the reports, ignoring the fact that the majority of the victims did not display the same signs of serial rape murder. What's more is that, whether raped or not, femicide constitutes many forms of gender violence resulting in death which takes place within a patriarchal society (Gaspar de Alba, 2010). So, while the sexual (i.e. constituting rape or physical sexual abuse prior to murder) aspects of crimes were highlighted in reports of these "serial" cases, there is a loss of the connection between the different sets of numbers. While many "women were killed in Jurez since 1993," the reports reflect the notion that there is a "hierarchy of crime," ( Meyer, 1994; as cited in Jiwani & Young, 2006) which favors reporting on cases deemed to be serial in nature ) By framing the murders within the context of the maquiladora system, the reports perpetuated the stereotype that poor women are victims, and hold little agency over their own lives. This was the dominan t frame at the same point where there was discussion of
! "+" the changing of gender roles within the city due to women's increased employment outside of the home. This finding furthers what I have already noted in the Chapter 2 regarding the relationship betw een industrial expansion, changing gender roles in Jurez, and the femicides. Broadly, neoliberal policies overvalue the expansion of capital, and in the case of Jurez, women paid the price as the city's cheap labor force. Infrastructure (i.e. transportat ion systems taking women to work) and societal expectations of women did not change with new economic roles. While women were more often employed outside of the home, their presence in the job market did not solve the problems of poverty and lack of securi ty. Several of the reports, especially those which include quotes from local women who work in maquilas, mention this lack of security felt by the women using public transport in the city. While factory conditions are touched on in a few of the articles ( AP, Houston Chronicle 3/11/99; Dillon, NYT 4/18/98), reports overall were not likely to make connections between the murders and neoliberal bi lateral trade systems. By highlighting Ju rez as a border city, it is framed within the fabric of the Unit ed States. While serving to familiarize the city with the U S reader, the city is also described with frequent mention of its poverty. Not only is Mexico dangerous because of the frequent murders, it is also backwards because of the police corruption. How ever, frames of location and corruption tend to come from different sources. While journalists themselves are the voice describing Ju rez and its shantytowns, it is local activists and family members of the murdered women who describe the corruption of the police and government officials.
! "+# This finding is consistent with Buscalgia's (2005; as cited in Dominquez Ruvalcaba & Blancas, 2010) argument that notes that in countries where violence against women is high and the perpetrators enjoy impunity, one's valu e as a citizen is decreased along with a decreased value and legitimacy of the State itself. A low confidence in the government and democracy makes for an insecure population. Indeed, my research showed that the sources themselves expressed a feeling of in security and mistrust of the state. The implication of Buscaglia's argument is that the lack of prevention of violence against women causes an overall social discontent, and serves to create a vicious cycle of discontent and continuous violence. Regardles s of how frames emerge, the murders were accurately framed within the context of gender based violence However, as I have noted since the Introduction of this thesis, news reports were not likely to use the term "femicide." Furthermore, i t was not appare nt in my findings that U S news reports perpetuated the same victim blaming stereotypes (as noted in Tabuenca Cordoba, 2010) that were used by Mexican police and politicians and repeated in Mexican news reports. However, it may be said that the language o f the news reports, perpetuating the notion that poor women lived in conditions conducive to murder, served to desensitize the readers to the problem over time, and serve d to sensationalize the phenomenon as a "Ju rez problem." I make this assertion with t he observation that there is absolutely no mention in any of the analyzed news reports of violence against women in the U S. This is an interesting finding in relation to the notion that international news reporting tends to frame international stories in a local cultural context ( Berger, 2009 ) However, in the case of violence against women, the social problem is pushed outside of the realm of familiarity.
! "+$ Frames of the Ju rez femicides changed over time, as views of violence in Mexico changed. In the last time period in my analysis, there was a clear shift in the way the murders were portrayed. The articles tended to mention drug violence more often and there was overall le ss emphasis on individual cases of murders. Rather, the femicides were framed within the broader context of violence on the border. This finding is consistent with Staudt and Coronado (2010), who found that from the 1990s to 2005, media coverage on both s ides of the border was extensive each time new bodies were found. Then f rom 2008 to 2009, coverage of drug related violence and murder was also high. According to Staudt and Coronado by 2002, when numbers were disputed among several entities, media covera ge extended beyond the border, from Mexico City to U S dailies like the New York Times the Washington Post the LA Times, and La Opinion International coverage from Europe was also extensive. However, the effects of presenting the cases as the occurred could mostly be seen when international outrage spread after 2001. Staudt and Coronado (2010) note the media's strategic use in bi national civic action for accountability, resulting in an increased consciousness of the murders. When multiple women w ere found dead in February of 2003, the Coalition against Violence reacted to the murders with a press conference with U S and Mexican media coverage, which turned into a widespread dissemination of coverage throughout the hemisphere. The authors note tha t a resolution was passed calling for a bi national task force and cross national police resources, and there was a proclamation for International Women's day. The authors note that political representatives in El Paso had two concerns: the
! "+% human rights is sue, as well as polishing the tarnished image of the border, "which could deter investments," ( Ibid p. 171). Increased activist presence correlates with an increase in news reporting. The marches on International Women's Day in 2003 on both sides of the border brought much media attention. Overall, consciousness began to be raised through the presence of activists and in turn the actions seeking accountability were deemed more newsworthy by 2001. My findings suggest that media was used strategically by a ctivist groups, and high profile advocates like Esther Chavez Cano, to condemn the murders and the inaction of the official investigation. While it was clear in my research that the 2001 200 5 time period offered the most articles from which to pick my sample, the earlier and later time periods proved to show a starkly less significant amount of coverage. While there was more coverage at the time, it is unclear whether the increase was due to t he fact that more high profile murders had taken place, such as the cotton field murders, or perhaps because there was more malfeasance on the part of Jurez authorities on which to report. Increased reporting resulted in some government action, as well a s an increased production in cultural works condemning the femicides, which include a song by Los Tigres del Norte, the film Bordertown starring Jennifer Lopez, and a novel by Carlos Fuentes, among other fiction and nonfiction depicting the unsolved crimes With the attention of some high profile figures, such as Vagina Monologue Author Eve Ensler, Jane Fonda, and Selma Heyak, the femicides were able to remain at a newsworthy level in the last time period. However, reports following the murders and investig ation were
! "+& minimal in the New York Times in this latter period, as the few reports were focused mainly on celebrity involvement. Volk and Schlotterbeck (2010) 's analysis of the border context of the femicides suggest s that it is the combination of state and private forces alongside the machinery of late capitalist production which show that "the border on which the femicides are occurring exists both as a space where a new consciousness has generated challenges to traditional identities and a very real t erritory of power and violence," (p. 124). The authors note that o ne must look at the border through the lens of production of capital, as well as the production of gender difference. In this vein, my findings showed that a border analysis was typically of fered by investigative reports, and a gender analysis of capitalist production was offered by activists within the articles. Descriptions of the setting played a large role in many of the articles that described the city set in a dusty, industrial landsc ape. Also, while Meyer (1997) notes that news frames of violence against women serve to support, sustain, and reproduce male supremacy, my research did not show overt forms of gender bias in the reporting. Gender bias may be present if one were to analyze the origin of all of the news sources, as in the newspaper owners and reporters. However, especially given the fact that many of the AP originated reports were listed without an author name, this became a peripheral aspect, outside of the intent of my rese arch. In sum, news reports from the New York Times and the Houston Chronicle framed the murders within the realm of gender violence, in the context of a border city affected by maquiladora industrialization. Evidence suggests that the murders were only considered "potent" news in the U.S. for a relatively brief period of time in t he early
! "+' 2000s. Furthermore, the criteria for news potency of the murders came from the serial nature found in a portion of the found bodies, indicating somewhat of a gender bias in the reports. This bias was not overt, but shows that reporting on the femi cides followed the inherent hierarchy of crime that determines whose lives are deemed of interest to a readership. The unsolved femicides of Ju rez point to a clear divide among class and gender in the city. Though most of the U.S. population remains uninformed about the Jurez femicides, many know the city as one of the most dangerous in the world due to coverage of drug war violence. However, it is clear that these murders have not occurred in a vacuum, bu t rather in a border space that is inextricably linked to the United States. As feminist scholar Gloria Anzalda (1987) stated, "The U.S. Mexico border es una herida abierta in which the Third World grates against the first and bleeds" While news reports from the U S attempt to show the plight of Ju rez, the national consciousness in the U S has not been raised past the point of condemning the corruption of a "Third World" state. In order to more fully understand the dynamic process between news frames in the U.S. and perceptions of the U.S. population o n the femicides, or violence towards women in Ju rez these perceptions must be looked. So, further study into media frames and societal context would add to this research, and potentially shed light on if, why and how foreign news of violence and social problems can have less meaning for people outside of that affected population.
! "+( Appendix( i ) List of Newspaper sources Associated Press. (2001, Feb ruary 24). Suspect in killings in Mexico is deported. New York Times Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/92193621?accountid=14745 Associated Press. (1999, March 11). 456!78.90!:8;/<2!/=! /=>?/@A B !&%!A2?=C!D2E8=! 0.F/=!/=!.F01!'!A8F@0 The Houston Chronicle 3 STAR Edition. Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic/? Associated Press. (2006, February 18). Juarez report discounts serial killer; Mexican officials list diverse reasons for deaths of 379 women since 1993 The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com Associated Press. ( 2006, July 26). Mexican officials quietly close probe of 14 Juarez killings; Families learn of federal decision in local newspaper The Houston Chronicle Retrieved from h ttp://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic/? Associated Press. (1996, May 22). Judge drops charges in border slaying The Houston Chronicle 3 STAR Edition. Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic/? Associated Press. (2003, May 22). 258 Killed in Border City. New York Times. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/92826879?accountid=14745 Associated Press. (2003, May 22). G?F@8H I/../=C0 F 38J8@F.
! "+) Associated Press. (2004, August 11). -@@801 EFJ8 /= I/../=C 23 D2EF= /= G?F@8H The Houston Chronicle Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hott opics/lnacademic/? Associated Press. (2004, November 26) 42; L2D0 78.9 12 I/= 23 0.F/= D2E8= :8;/
! "+* Broeske, P. (2006, May 21). 400 dead women: Now Hollywood is intrigued. New York Times. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/93241035?acc ountid=14745 Dillon, S. (1998, Apr 18). Rape and murder stalk women in northern Mexico. New York Times Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/430960528?accountid =14745 Dillon, S. (1999, Feb 28). Feminist propels outcry at brutal Mexico killings. New York Times. Retrieved from http://search.proquest .com/docview/110102548? accountid=14745 Houston Chronicle News Service. (2001, November 07, 2001). W2@.J O@/830 The Houston Chronicle Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic/? Houston Chronicle News Service. (1996, January 18). W2@.J O@/830 The Houston Chronicle 3 STAR Edition. Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic/? Kuntz, T. (1997, Jul y 06). Juarez, Mexico: On the border, between extremes. New York Times Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docvie w/430816379?accountid=14745 Lloyd, M. (2006, May 4). \6XX6R]Z!6R!:V^6[KB! 60 !178!L/2.8=<8!23!G?F@8H!O8/=C! @898F18J_!`/<1/E0a!FJL2
! ""+ Malkin, E. (2009, April 13). As Mexican Killings Rise, Groups Take Envoy to Task. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic/? Malkin, E. (2009, December 11). Mexico: Rebuke On Investigation of Murders. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic/? McKinley, J. (2004, October 26). Little evidence of serial killings in women's deaths, Mexico says. New York T imes. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/92772497?accountid=14745 Staff Wire. (1996, April 16.) 8 linked to gang held for questions in deaths of 17 Jurez women. The Houston Chronicle 3 STAR Edition. Retrieved from http://infoweb.newsbank.com Stevenson, M. (1999, April 04). W2E8=a0 J8F170 1@/CC8@ F=C8@ F1 EF>?/.FJ2@F0 2L8@ 0F381A 23 D2@I8@0 The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic/? Thompson, G. (2002, Dec 10). Wave of women's killings confounds Juarez. New York Times Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/92180004?accountid =14745 Thompson, G. (2005, Sep 26). In Mexico's murders, fury is aimed at officials. New York Times. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/92938633?accountid =14745 Villafranca, A. (2001, November 10). VL/J8=<8 92/=10 12 08@/F. I/..8@ /= [/?JFJ G?F@8H
! """ Villafranca, A. (2001, November 10). :8;/<2!233/
! ""# Appendix ( ii ) Average Word Count and Number of Sources Used per Article per Time Period per Paper !"#$%&'()' *&+,-.%/ 01%&*2%' 3(&4'-("5+ 01%&*2%'6'()' /("&-%/ "**' b #+++ 7("/+(5'89&(5,-.% '! $*& $ '''''' !%3':(&;'<,#%/ # "$#* ) #++" b #++& '''''' 7("/+(5'89&(5,-.% ( $'( # '''''' !%3':(&;'<,#%/ ( '#( % #++' b #+"+ ''''' 7("/+(5'89&(5,-.% ( $$# $ '''' !%3':(&;'<,#%/ $ ('+ & ! ! !
! ""$ Appendix ( iii ) "Selective Bi National Timeline of the Jurez Femicides" taken from Making a Killing : Femicide, Free Trade, and La Frontera Gaspar de Alba, A. and Guzmn, G. (Eds) University of Texas Press: Austin. 2010.
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