The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

A mother’s unconditional fight for justice: Gender violence in Mexico 

Courtesy photo
“Las Tres Muertes de Marisela Escobedo”, a Netflix documentary, was shown to movie night guests on March 6, 2024.

Inefficient judges, negligent officials and a complicit government are some of the obstacles that individuals must overcome when fighting for gender equality in Mexico, along with the incessant pain of losing a loved one. NMSU students had the chance to contemplate one of the most jarring cases of feminicide that happened just 56 miles away.  

The documentary Las Tres Muertes de Marisela Escobedo (The Three Deaths of Marisela Escobedo) was selected for a screening at the CMI Theater located in Milton Hall on Wednesday, March 6 as part of the Latine week list of events. 

“This event was an initiative student-centered,” said Rio Lopez, director of Chicanx programs.  

The documentary was released in 2020 through the streaming platform, Netflix, and narrates the story of a mother who becomes an activism icon for fighting for justice and the punishment of his son-in-law for the assassination of her 16-year-old daughter, Rubí in 2008. 

“I wanted to share a film that kind of encompassed what 8 de Marzo, or International Woman’s Day, really means to us not only in the borderlands but in America,” said Karla Robles-Guzman, the student organizator of the event.   

The name of the film refers to the three instances where Marisela Escobedo faces severe, life-threatening tragedies. The first one being when she finds out about her daughter’s murder, the killer being set free after the evidence was inculpatory was undoubtedly the second blow, and the third one being her actual death in 2010. She was shot in front of the Government Palace of Chihuahua while conducting a sit-in to demand the arrest of Sergio Barraza, her daughter’s killer.  

Student Sofia Reynoso invites guests to march with her against feminicide. March 6, 2024 (David Castañeda)

The film underlays a bigger problematic that harms women worldwide in heartbreaking numbers. Feminicide/femicide is the most vicious manifestation of gender violence. It is defined by UN Women as an intentional killing with a gender-related motivation, femicide may be driven by stereotyped gender roles, discrimination towards women and girls, unequal power relations between women and men, or harmful social norms.  

On average, 10 feminicides occur daily according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), though it is important to note that these figures may not capture the full extent of feminicide due to underreporting and other factors. In Mexico alone, 243 women over the age of 18 are raped daily, without considering the alarming underage cases that take place all over the country. The impunity and failures of the Mexican justice system is tainted and hunted by relentless fights, like the one of Escobedo.  

While progress on the issue has been minimal, stagnant and impunity clearly prevails, activism has grown tremendously. The Mexican movement against feminicide emerged in 1993 following a tragic incident of mass feminicide in Ciudad Juarez. Alma Farel, a maquiladora (factory) worker, became the first documented victim of feminicide, sparking outrage and mobilizing to address the violence of the region.  

“Having these spaces is very meaningful because you feel very separated from your reality,” said Sofia Reynoso, an NMSU student from Ciudad Juarez. “No one is talking about it but here we are, a lot of like Chicanas feeling that movement…Growing up just like normalizing violence and then realizing that it’s not normal and that we deserve justice is a lot.”  

The resistance is marked by the now emblematic 8M marches around the country led by feminist groups and collectives and transnational movements such as Ni Una Menos.  

“Free together and without fear”. March 6, 2024 (David Castañeda)

“A lot of our students do go to la marcha, a lot of us are impacted by these violences, myself included right, in different ways,” said Lopez. “So, it’s very important to acknowledge that reality in students and also to identify ways in which we can bring visibility.”   

Activists and organizations in Mexico have been working to push for legal reforms along with grassroots organizations and community initiatives. Artists, writers, performers, filmmakers, and journalists have also used their platforms to raise awareness such as Carlos Perez Osorio director of the documentary along with Karla Casillas and Alejandro Melgoza, journalists who conducted thorough investigations for the film.  

“It really touches me because I grew up in Juarez, it touches me because I have been there in Chihuahua. I saw like the memorial, all the stuff that they put there for Marisela,” said Reynoso.  

Escobedo was commemorated with a plaque that lays where she was shot and killed. Protesters and activists make sure to place wreaths and candles in the site in remembrance despite the government’s placement of dozens of metal fences around the State Government Palace in Chihuahua City this year.  

 A survey was conducted at the end of the film projection. The objective is for Chicanx programs to gather accurate data to offer students educational and qualitative content that can create awareness within the community.  

 “It’s just not talked about enough being so close to Mexico and I just wanted to bring some awareness here on campus given that we are so close, yet the experiences of women are not being talked about,” said Robles-Guzman.  

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About the Contributors
Andrea Vasquez
Andrea Vasquez, Staff Writer
Andrea Vasquez is a second semester transfer senior at New Mexico State University, majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. Although she was born in Mexico, her life has been shaped by the border experience and having the chance to be part of a tri-city adventure (Juarez, El Paso, Las Cruces). She previously attended El Paso Community College and Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. In 2022, she interned at KTSM Channel 9 News in El Paso, Texas and completed a photography internship at The Santa Fe New Mexican during the summer of 2023. She also participates in NMSU’s student broadcast News 22 as a Spanish anchor and producer for Noticias 22. She intends to pursue a career in the journalism field as both a reporter and a photographer. She is entering her first semester at The Round Up as a staff writer and photographer. For her, having the opportunity to learn and contribute to the NMSU community is a great privilege that she does not take for granted. Journalism offers a chance to observe events closely and more professionally, but disconnecting is also important for her. She likes to enjoy outdoor activities as well as spending time with family and friends and catching up with series and documentaries.
David Castañeda
David Castañeda, Multimedia Director
David Castañeda is starting his second year here at The Round Up, this being his first year as Multimedia Director. This is his second year at New Mexico State University and is majoring in Journalism & Media Studies. He was born and raised in El Paso, Texas as an only child but is extremely happy to be able to call Las Cruces his new home. David has had an affinity for photography since he was in elementary school and has only fallen deeper in love with the art through this job. Though David enjoys nothing more than to be behind a camera he loves to try to explore new hobbies and career options. He’s currently focused on improving his photography at The Round Up and working with the Multimedia Specialists to make the Multimedia team the best it can be. When he isn’t taking photos or editing them on Photoshop, David loves to spend his time with his 3-year-long girlfriend in their apartment where they frequently cuddle up in bed to watch some trash TV and films. On his own, he loves to play the bass and listen to music. His favorite artists are The Strokes and Gorillaz.    

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