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Ciudad Juárez — A Documentary Mythology (The Guardian)

In September 2013 a woman in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, wrote an email to a local news outlet claiming responsibility for the murder of two bus drivers. She signed the note with a curious nom de guerre: “Diana, Huntress of Bus Drivers”. The email announced that these killings were reprisals, an act of revenge for all the women who had been brutalized along Juárez bus routes over the years. Since the 1990s, hundreds of young women were disappearing in Juárez: kidnapped, raped, killed, then discarded in the desert.

The murders were too widespread to attribute to any single person or group. And yet, it was worse to consider the murders for what they were: a social trend, an epiphenomenon, a case of bloody mass misogyny. Some of the city’s bus drivers are said to have been involved in the rash of murders, as they ferried lone, vulnerable women to and from the factories where they worked, at odd hours of the night and on remote, dark stretches of desert road. It was believed that the men driving these buses had ties to drug cartels, or else committed barbarities simply because they could get away with them.

Diana, Huntress of Bus Drivers, soon captured the attention of the international press, and before long local authorities were investigating. The pursuit was short-lived. It began to look like her initial email was a hoax, but even so Diana’s myth spread just the same. Her notoriety had made her real. Local residents told journalists that they admired her, that her killings were justified; some even seemed to take solace in the fact that she was out there – somewhere – meting out justice.

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