Unsolved disappearances in cities just over the U.S.-Mexico border were latest Genocide series topic
Mexican Silvia Arce disappeared March 12, 1998, in Juarez on her way home from work one night. Despite there being a witness at the scene who claims to have seen Arce getting into a car, the case is still unsolved after six and a half years. Her mother, Evangelina Arce, discussed Arce's disappearance, as well as the unsolved disappearances of more than 400 other Mexican women in the U.S.-Mexico border cities of Chihuahua and Juarez, on Thursday, March 3, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library, on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus.
Arce's visit to HWS was part of a speaking tour organized by the Mexico Solidarity Network (MSN) to advocate for justice for the women in Juarez and Chihuahua. In April of 2003, after reporting the failure of authorities to effectively investigate her daughter's disappearance to the National Commission on Human Rights, Arce was robbed and assaulted in downtown Juarez. To this day, she continues to receive intimidating phone calls and, since May of last year, has been the focus of a campaign by Amnesty International demanding that the Mexican government guarantee her safety.
Joining her was Christina Obregon, of the MSN, who talked about ways in which local, national and international organizations can establish a network of solidarity. Their presentation, titled “Justice for the Women of Juarez and Chihuahua,” was part of the Genocide and Human Rights lecture series at the Colleges.
The Mexico Solidarity Network is a grassroots-based organization dedicated to profound social change that challenges existing power relationships and builds alternatives. It struggles for democracy, economic justice and human rights on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
By sponsoring this Genocide series, the Hobart and William Smith community hopes to improve understanding of all life-annihilation processes inherent in our modern world and to help participants learn more about the circumstances under which life-destruction processes tend to focus on specific groups in events known as genocide. The discussion series features numerous speakers, as well as faculty-student reading groups and special seminars.