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Juarez Alert: U.S. Senators Introduce Resolution on Juarez Murders, Write Your Local Representative

07/21/2004

Congressional resolutions on the unsolved murders of women in Juarez and Chihuahua are currently gathering support in both the House and the Senate. Contact your members of Congress today and urge them to support these important initiatives! The aim is to get as many co-sponsors on both the House and Senate resolutions before Congress adjourns in early October. August is an opportune moment for action. Not only should activists send letters, but because members of Congress are on recess in August and therefore are in their district offices, it is an ideal time for activists to seek meetings with their representatives and Senators to discuss the Juarez murders and encourage them to co-sponsor the resolutions.

The House and Senate resolutions condemn the murders, express condolences to the victims' families, and recommend actions the State Department should carry out to assist the investigations.

The House Resolution (H Res 466) was introduced in November 2003 by Hilda Solis (D-CA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX), Jim Ramstad (R-MN), Christopher Shays (R-CT); Martin Sabo (D-MN), and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL).

Mr. Ramstad represents Cynthia Kiecker, a U.S. citizen tortured into confessing to the murder of a woman from Chihuahua.

The Senate Resolution (S Res 392) was introduced in June 2004 by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
These resolutions are an excellent way to educate members of Congress about the Juarez and Chihuahua murders and encourage the U.S. government to become more involved in resolving this crisis. Please urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor House Resolution 466 and Senate Resolution 392. (See how-to below.)

Tell your members of Congress that they should co-sponsor the resolution
because:

  • Over 370 women have been killed in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua since 1993. Over 100 of the victims were sexually assaulted prior to their murders and these cases are believed to be related.
  • The authorities have done little to investigate the murders. In fact, only one person has been convicted of any of the more than 100 serial killings, and only for one murder.
  • The authorities have used torture to obtain confessions from several people, although no physical evidence connects them to the crimes.
  • The Juarez murders are a bi-national issue: U.S. citizens have been arrested for the murders, have been victims to the murders, and have lost loved ones to the murders.
  • Mexico will respond to U.S. and international pressure. As a result of recent international pressure, the federal Mexican government appointed a special commissioner to prevent violence against women in Juarez and also named a special prosecutor to investigate some of the murders.
  • International pressure must continue to ensure that the Mexican government implements this plan.
  • House Resolution 466 and Senate Resolution 392 will send a clear signal that the United States is concerned about these murders and willing to assist in the investigations.

Click here for background information about the unsolved murders in Juarez and Chihuahua.
http://www.wola.org/Mexico/Juarez/whitepaper.htm

Concern about violence against women in Juarez and Chihuahua has been building steadily in the House and Senate. Click here for information about congressional actions regarding this issue.

For more information, contact Laurie Freeman at lfreeman@wola.org or 202-797-2171.

How to contact your members of Congress:

`To contact your member of Congress by telephone, you can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your member of Congress. Ask to speak to their foreign policy aide, and be sure to tell them that you're a constituent and that this issue matters to you. You can also send a message via email. To contact members of the House of Representatives, go to www.house.gov and select "Write Your Representative" to send an email message. To contact your Senators, go to www.senate.gov, select "Choose a State" (in the box under "Find your Senators"), and email address forms for both Senators will appear.

To check if your Representative is already a co-sponsor of the House Resolution, go to http://thomas.loc.gov and type in H Res 466 in the box titled "Bill Number" under the heading "Search Bill Text 108th Congress (2003-2004)." The text of the resolution will appear. Towards the top of the screen, click on "Bill Summary and Status," and then on "Co-sponsors" to consult an up-to-date list.

To check if your Senators are already co-sponsors of the Senate Resolution, go to http://thomas.loc.gov and type in S Res 392 in the box titled "Bill Number" under the heading "Search Bill Text 108th Congress (2003-2004)." The text of the resolution will appear. Towards the top of the screen, click on "Bill Summary and Status," and then on "Co-sponsors" to consult an up-to-date list.

More information available at http://www.wola.org/Mexico/hr/ciudad_juarez/congressional_concern.htm