Great article by Debbie Nathan called “Making a Killing: Land Deals and Girl Deaths on the U.S.-Mexico Border”. She profiles a little community on the outskirts of Juarez called Lomas del Poleo, where many of the bodies have been dumped in the past, and talks about the culture where females are disposable. She argues that land deals, the mundane facts of real estate, are not nearly as interesting as talk of serial killers. That’s why nobody talks about Lomas del Poleo. But, in fact, it is a strange story–how hundreds of people who have lived and built houses on apparently abandoned land for decades are now living under concentration-camp like conditions, with thugs in a tower patrolling the land, preventing people from entering the town unless they live there, and razing houses if people leave to go to work or get groceries. People who live there are so desperate that they now deny that girls’ bodies were ever dumped there. Why? They need to re-gain some sort of reputation for the town so that they have recourse, perhaps, to legal help–or at least so that people won’t be quick to say we should just clean it up, forget about the people who live there, because it’s nothing but a dump.
There’s a documentary video about Lomas del Poleo on Unlikely Stories.
Every time I read something about El Paso & Juarez–hell, every time I write something about El Paso & J-Town–I realize once again that it is one of the most interesting places on earth, certainly one of the most interesting places in North America. And yet nobody goes there, nobody seems to care.