Juarez missing women
A poster about missing women in Juarez was sponsored by a Mexican government agency investigating crimes against women. (Jesus Alcazar / El Paso Times)
Up to 82 women have been slain in Juárez so far this year, and the Chihuahua Attorney General's Office in Juárez is linking 59 of these cases to organized crime.
The 23 other cases are labeled as genre crimes, because the victims were killed with knives, were beaten to death, or sexually assaulted, according to Silvia Nájera, a spokeswoman for the Crimes Against Women Special Unit in Juárez.
Chihuahua authorities attribute 59 slayings to organized crime, because the victims were shot to death, Nájera said.
But advocates for women's rights are in disagreement with the way those homicides are labeled.
"Those cases had not been thoroughly investigated by authorities," said Cecilia Espinosa, a member of Workshop for Women in Juárez. "Therefore, officials weren't able to determine the motive of the killings."
Instead of elaborating on those cases, officials label the victims as if they were at fault, Espinosa said.
Cases of women shot to death are turned over to the office as linked to organized crime, while the rest are handed for investigation to the Crimes Against Women Special Unit, said Arturo Sandoval, spokesman for the Chihuahua Attorney General's Office.
Compared with the past two years, the tally of women slain by organized crime has decreased in 2012, Sandoval said.
Espinosa pointed out the vicious ways the women were killed.
On Sept. 3, Belinda Aidé Moncayo, 42, was killed with an ax, officials said. Her body was found in the Valle de Juárez rural area.

Five women have been killed in Juárez in September alone, officials said.

April was the deadliest month for women, with 18 victims reported, according to figures released by the Chihuahua Attorney General's Office.

Humberto Robles, with the May Our Daughters Come Back Home organization in Juárez, said the impunity of these killings contributes to worsening violence against women.

Authorities "take advantage of the so-called war against drugs cartels to link the victims to organized crime, instead of inquiring into the causes of those killings," Robles said. "It is good fishing in troubled waters, I guess."
Robles said that victims are labeled as prostitutes, the same way they were categorized in the 1990s, he said.

Robles said he doesn't believe the statistics provided by Chihuahua officials because those numbers conflict with figures released by Mexican national news media.

According to figures released by the Chihuahua Attorney General's Office, 98 women were slain in Juárez in 2008. The number of women killed increased in 2009, to 183, and the number in 2010 was 325, when the feud between drug cartels in Juárez peaked.

In 2011, 196 women were killed in Juárez, according to Chihuahua state figures.

A report released by Amnesty International in July indicates that the bodies of 13 young women were discovered in the Valle de Juárez rural area earlier this year.

In addition, 115 young girls remain missing in Juárez, according to the Amnesty International report. Those deaths have not been investigated appropriately and that leads to impunity, according to the report.