Susana Chávez

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Susana Chávez Castillo

Susana Chávez Castillo (November 5, 1974 – c. January 6, 2011) was a Mexican poet and human rights activist who was born and lived most of her life in her hometown of Ciudad Juárez.[1]

She is credited with authorship of the phrase "Not one more", which was used by the civil rights organizations and their supporters struggling to clarify the plight of women in Juárez and to end a wave of killings aimed specifically at women since 1993.[citation needed]

She was found murdered and mutilated in the "Colonia Cuauhtémoc" section of the city of Juárez where she was born and lived most of her life. Positive identification of the remains took place on January 11 of that year. She was 36 years old.[citation needed]

Life and work[edit]

Susana Chávez began her foray into the poetry scene when she was age eleven. She consistently participated in various literary festivals both in Ciudad Juárez and in other cultural forums throughout Mexico. According to Chávez's blog profile, she received a degree in psychology from the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) and was working on a book of poems.[2]


Chávez was strangled in her hometown of Ciudad Juárez,[1] most likely on January 6, 2011. According to a statement released by Chávez's mother, her daughter was going to visit some friends but did not reach her destination. On the morning of January 6, 2011 her body and severed hand were found. Her head was covered with a black bag. On January 10, Chávez's family identified the body, but this information was not released until the next day after it was announced that three individuals were detained for their alleged involvement in the murder.[3]

The state attorney general of Chihuahua, Carlos Manuel Salas, said that the murder of Chávez was not related to her role as an activist. According to Salas, Chávez had inadvertently met up with a group of youths who had gone out "to have fun", and this involved drugs and alcohol.[4]

Human Rights organizations argued that he (Salas) wanted to blame the victim (Chavez) for her own murder. Norma Ledezma, organization coordinator for Justice for our Daughters, said that the death of Susana Chavez is part of the attitude of exemption that lives in Juarez. On the same note, the founder of the organization May Our Daughters Return Home, Marisela Ortiz denounced the culture of intolerance and impunity[5] as perpetuating the idea that anyone can commit a crime.[6] International amnesty then demanded swift, apparent action be taken.

Gustavo de la Rosa, an official from the State Human Rights Commission of Chihuahua, showed his concern for the recent events by emphasizing that the majority of people in Juarez think that there is no delinquency, only organized crime.[7][8] Nevertheless, he maintains his stance that he, along with others, are living in a state of criminal anarchy in which the “lumpen” (urban social group) dominate the areas that the government cannot control.[9] Incidentally the three detained minors belong to a socially marginalized group whom Susana was accustomed to working with in her humanitarian efforts.

[10] After the arrest of the young men, it became known that they were a part of the dangerous and very violent gang “Los Aztecas” and had been under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Their confession of membership in Los Aztecas[11][12] had started an intense disagreement; Susana then threatened to turn them into the police and they killed her.[11]

In 2013 Susana’s three murderers were given the maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison by a specialized court for juvenile offenders.[13]


In the summer of 2016 a demonstration about women's rights took place in Peru called "NiUnaMenos" which ignited by the treatment of Cindy Arlette Contreras Bautista, but it was called "#NiUnaMenos" in reference to the life and death of Susana Chavez.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Juarez killings activist Chavez murdered in Mexico". BBC News. BBC. January 12, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ Primera Tormenta
  3. ^ Villalpando, Rubén (January 12, 2011). "Asesinan en Ciudad Juárez a la activista social Susana Chávez". LaJornada. DEMOS-Desarrollo de Medios. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Niega fiscal de Chihuahua que homicidio de Susana Chávez fuera por su activismo"
  5. ^ Lourdes Godínez, Leal (2008). "Combating Impunity and Femicide in Ciudad Juárez". NACLA Report on the Americas. 41: 31–33. 
  6. ^ "BBC Mundo - Noticias - A Susana Chávez "la mataron por ser mujer"" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  7. ^ "Death of Susana Chavez, female activist in Ciudad Juarez, not tied to organized crime, state says". LA Times Blogs - La Plaza. 2011-01-14. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  8. ^ Washington Valdez, Diana (2005). Cosecha de mujeres Safari en el desierto mexicano. Mexico: D.F.:Oceano. ISBN 9706519882. 
  9. ^ ""Asesinato de Susana Chávez no fue ejecución": Gustavo de la Rosa - Animal Político". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  10. ^ "Caen asesinos de Susana Chávez - Animal Político". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  11. ^ a b "Asesinos adolescentes de Susana Chávez van a prisión". Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  12. ^ "Los Aztecas fueron los asesinos; en EU y México hay 5 mil :: La Razón :: 6 de marzo de 2017". Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  13. ^ "15 años a asesinos de Susana Chávez". hilo directo. 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  14. ^ "Cindy Arlette Contreras Bautista: The World’s 100 Most Influential People". Time. Retrieved 2017-08-16. 

External links[edit]