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the cases in 1993. She is a retired accountant and founder of Casa Amiga, the first center to provide assistance to Juarez women who have been victims of violence. Today even the statistics have become controversial, as various NGOs dispute official and unofficial numbers. According to the Chihuahua Women’ Institute, 324 women have been murdered since 1993; 91 of those cases are considered serial killings. The Institute also reports 40 cases of women who have “disappeared.” Chavez Cano estimate, that two-thirds of the women murdered in Juarez were killed by men they knew Pla ywright a la hti Ciu dad Juarez E nsler, Mexican actresses Lilia Aragon and Laura Flores, march with Jane Fonda, Sally Field, and Christine their husbands and boyfriends. The others are victims of feminicidio, sexual homicides about which there have been many theories and almost no answers. Recently a similar pattern of murders of young women has developed in the city of Chihuahua, capital of the state of the same name and located more than 200 miles south of Juarez. Under increasing pressure to solve the crimes, last October President Vicente Fox named Maria Guadalupe Morfin Otero, a respected former human rights ombudswoman from the state of Jalisco, to head a federal commission aimed at preventing violence against women in Juarez. In January, Maria Lopez Urbina was appointed to the newly created post of special federal prosecutor. Both women marched in Juarez on V-Day. At that time, some five months after her appointment, Morfin Otero was still waiting for the commission to be fully funded before she could open an office in Juarez. In early March, Chihuahua state Solis resigned. He had long been accused of corruption and criticized for the shoddy investigations into the cases of the Juarez women. Says Chavez Cano: “The resignation of Chito Solis is good news, but it doesn’t mean that things are going to change. An investigation should be made and those responsible for the corruption, incompetence, and possible participation in these crimes should have to pay.” For Ester Luna, of course, life will never be the same now that her daughter is gone. But she has hope that Brenda’s killers will be found. And that some day the lives of all women in Juarez will be valued. Pakita Oitz is a write! in Dallas. Maria del Carmen Rodriguez traveled 17 hours from Houston, where she is receiving treatment for lymphatic cancer, to her native Juarez to attend the V-Day demonstration. “I’m here alive and they are dead. When I get tired, I think about them,” she said. 3/26/04 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31