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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Human Rights > Rape trees prove Mexican violence has crossed the border and there are women who need justice

Rape trees prove Mexican violence has crossed the border and there are women who need justice

LatinaLista — The violence along the U.S.-Mexico border is unprecedented, to say the least. To think that it will not cross the border into the United States as the Mexican attorney general believes is delusional thinking and disturbing since he refuses to acknowledge the fact that the violence is already here.
There may not be mass executions and beheadings in the United States yet but there is evidence that crimes with a distinct Mexican MO are being committed on this side of the border. Why else would Phoenix be crowned the kidnapping-for-ransom capital of the United States — second only to Mexico City?

Example of a rape tree along the U.S- Mexico border.
And there is further proof that the inhumane level of Mexican violence has infiltrated the U.S. border — rape trees!


This week, it was reported by the Cronkite News Service that the Arizona legislature heard from law enforcement officials that two counties in the state are seeing more and more “rape trees” — “places where Mexican drug cartel members rape female border crossers and hang their clothes.”
We can only imagine the trauma and terror that these women, whose only crime was that they wanted to come to work in the United States, must have felt not only during the assault but afterwards as well. Seeing that these rape trees were in Arizona, the probable assumption is that these migrant women were on their way deeper into Arizona on their journey’s elsewhere.
Yet, after having been subjected to such horrendous violations, they are forced to suffer silently.
It is gratifying to see that our new Attorney General, Eric Holder, is already aggressively combatting the cartel threat in this country by arresting suspected cartel members and seizing drug shipments but in the midst of all these proactive actions, it is not right for these women who have been raped in such a brutal manner to be afraid to come forward.
While the Justice Department may lodge a host of crimes against those captured — drug smuggling, human trafficking, weapon smuggling, kidnapping, etc — there is one more crime that is needed to be added to the list — rape.
Chances are the women who were raped know their rapists and they probably would come forward if they knew they wouldn’t be sent back to their home country.
Though popular opinion always seems to say that these women got what they asked for, the truth is that no woman asks to be raped.
The rape of a woman is more serious than smuggling drugs or weapons and as such needs to be included in any list of charges against a cartel member. The added charge of a rape also elevates the threat to society that person is and may have the potential for a longer and stiffer sentence in both the United States and Mexico or their country of origin.
For that reason, it’s time to craft a federal program that gets these women out of the shadows so they can tell their stories, identify their attackers and begin the healing process with the professional counseling that they need.
The long-term psychological damage of a brutal rape is a price no woman should have to pay to support her family — no matter what side of the border she’s on.

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Comment(38)

  • Avatar
    Irma
    February 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Marisa,
    You are right about this , but the nay sayers will continue to be blind to the
    fact that the Mexican government needs
    help with dealing with these cruel and immoral people. If the US doesnt do something, it wont be just Phoenix, –
    this thing could spread all over the Southwest.

  • Avatar
    laura
    February 25, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Marisa this is so incredibly painful to imagine.
    Mexico is falling apart under its corporate president Calderon, whom the Bush administration in 2006 helped cheat his way into office. The election was stolen from the labor-friendly candidate who likely won the electoral vote, López Obrador – not unlike in the 2000 US elections. As a result, the people of Mexico are suffering under rampant corruption, exploitation by Mexican and US corporations, and drug violence.
    As these drug lords are now moving into the US, they are barely opposed by the agencies whose duty it would be to fight them. ICE is busy hunting workers without visas who are only trying to hold down a job, and arresting parents as they bring their children to school. Local police – most glaringly Sheriff Arpaio of Phoenix – are acting out their brutal instincts on workers without visas (who are the easiest targets for a coward) while the drug cartels run rampant in their region.
    It is time for change. ICE raids on residences and workplaces must stop. ICE must be redirected to do its job of actually protecting us.
    And as you say, Marisa, women who are victims first of their need to eat – which drives them to walk across the border – and then of the druglords to whom the Mexican and US governments are ceding control of the border – must receive full legal and immigration law protection as witnesses against the drug criminals.
    I am losing patience with the Obama administration – ICE just raided a factory in Washington state. What is wrong – what about human rights don’t they understand?

  • Avatar
    Horace
    February 25, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    “It is gratifying to see that our new Attorney General, Eric Holder, is already aggressively combating the cartel threat in this country by arresting suspected cartel members and seizing drug shipments ……..”
    It’s absurd to anyone with good sense that Eric Holder should get credit for this. You’d give credit for this to a man who just took office at the end of an investigation that began during the Bush administration. Ridiculous!
    And why should we admire a man who was instrumental, through his inattentiveness or through deliberate disregard for the safety citizens, in commuting the sentences of terrorists held in a federal prison?
    I’m amazed how Marisa spins and spins and spins! It never ends.

  • Avatar
    Grandma
    February 25, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    “It is gratifying to see that our new Attorney General, Eric Holder, is already aggressively combatting the cartel threat in this country by arresting suspected cartel members and seizing drug shipments”
    There you go, spinning the facts again. I’m sure you want to believe that the new AG was the hero in this, but he’s not. This started 21 months ago.
    WASHINGTON Today Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., announced the arrest of more than 750 individuals on narcotics-related charges and the seizure of more than 23 tons of narcotics as part of a 21-month multi-agency law enforcement investigation known as “Operation Xcellerator”.

  • Avatar
    Grandma
    February 25, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    “It is time for change. ICE raids on residences and workplaces must stop. ICE must be redirected to do its job of actually protecting us.”
    It’s not ICE’s job to protect us, ICE’s job is to enforce immigration laws, which it seems to be doing, even if you think arresting illegal aliens are not criminals.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    February 25, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Since these women are aware of the dangers of crossing our borders illegally beforehand, including possibly getting raped, why are they so stupid as to do it anyway? And no, they and their families are not starving as the propoganda BS keeps getting spread.

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    February 26, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Horace, I don’t seem to be as masterful a spinner as you’re proving to be!

  • Avatar
    lynette
    February 26, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Good lord, what a bunch of yahoos you have commenting here, Marisa. I am sorry for that. This ranks as one of the most callous comments I’ve read on any blog anywhere:
    Since these women are aware of the dangers of crossing our borders illegally beforehand, including possibly getting raped, why are they so stupid as to do it anyway? And no, they and their families are not starving as the propoganda BS keeps getting spread.
    Really? And you know they’re not starving why? The unprecedented violence in Mexico has left thousands of women widowed with children to support.
    NAFTA has ensured that farmers who had successfully made a living in Mexico for generations were no longer able to do so, unable to compete with the welfare queens we call US agribusiness.
    “Since these women are aware . . . ” That argument has been used to curtail the freedom of women for centuries. We should know that going out at night makes us targets for rapists. We should know that wearing a lowcut blouse makes it impossible for some weak ass man to control himself, and therefore responsible for the rape that follows.
    Are you serious? Your argument is so incredibly insulting to men, and yet you and your kind continue to blame the victims of male violence, while absolving yourself of any need for compassion and heart.
    Unbelievable. What’s happening in Mexico is a tragedy. As usual, what happens in the violent culture of men most severely affects women and children. Same as it ever was.

  • Avatar
    Lea Ortiz
    February 26, 2009 at 9:50 am

    ICE can not discriminantly survey illegals and make a determination between drug dealers and regular families. That is not their job.
    There is no way of knowing who is doing this. Once a defenseless woman or girl crosses illegally she is a target of any man. Not just the drug cartel. Some of these women are being brought here for the sole purpose of prostitution. There is no greater shame to a woman of conscience with a family to endure that sort of humiliation on a daily and nightly basis at the hands of a human trafficker or a coyote, or any other man that is used in the transportation of these women and girls.
    What we ask you is to please please please have a change of heart about coming to America illegally. We ask you for the sake of women to reach across the aisle and work with us on this. By going through the proper channels of legality a woman and child will have protection from this sort of horrible thing as an American citizen and can come out of the shadows and report this scum.
    No amount of perceived wealth, or trinkets in America is worth a woman’s, or girls dignity, or life.

  • Avatar
    Irma
    February 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Dear Sandra,
    You should be ashamed of suggesting that those women essentially deserved it .
    Rape is wrong – anywhere, anytime.
    You wont be so judgmental when those hoodlums start raping women in their
    homes along the Southern border on the American side.
    The US needs to help Mexico deal with the drug cartel – NOW.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    February 26, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Holder was instrumental in releasing Hispanic terrorist Puerto Rican nationalists.
    This from the LA Times:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/washingtondc/la-na-holder9-2009jan09,0,6643509.story
    Eric Holder pushed for controversial clemency
    As deputy attorney general in 1999, Holder — now attorney general nominee — pressed subordinates to drop objections to clemency for 16 members of violent Puerto Rican nationalist organizations.
    Or perhaps you have no objections to terrorists, as long as they’re “La Raza”.

  • Avatar
    Lew Waters
    February 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    “You are right about this , but the nay sayers will continue to be blind to the fact that the Mexican government needs
    help with dealing with these cruel and immoral people. If the US doesnt do something, it wont be just Phoenix, -”
    I thought the left believed in non-interference in another country’s matters? After all, wasn’t President Bush blasted for helping the Iraqi’s gain their freedom from an oppressive regime that raped and looted at will?
    As my Cubano friend says, el doble estandard?

  • Avatar
    Lew Waters
    February 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    “Good lord, what a bunch of yahoos you have commenting here, Marisa.”
    Interesting, Lynette. A small display of leftist bigotry against Yahoos? Don’t Yahoos have rights too?
    Just what is it you have against those who migrate here from Yahoogoslavia?

  • Avatar
    Lea Ortiz
    February 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    “Good lord, what a bunch of yahoos you have commenting here”
    Thank you. 😉 I pride myself in being free of the ball and chain of Democratic think.
    These women deserve so much better than to be treated like cattle. Will you Miss Lynette join us in helping to change the mindset and abiding by our laws?
    Lives will be saved.
    Imagine the power of women all women all races coming together. Can you and Marisa cross the aisle and work with us to be a united America?

  • Avatar
    Irma
    February 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I am not on the left or the right. I stand firmly in the middle…..This problem is not Mexico’s problem – it is HERE now.
    Personally, I thought we should have let
    Saddam Hussein REMAIN in power.
    Now, Iraq is just another Al Qaeda training ground.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    February 27, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Quid pro quo. It’s a deal; we’ll help Mexico get out of it’s fix with the cartels and the rapists if they stop issuing Matricular Consular Cards, stop opening new consulates, stop aiding and abetting their illegal alien expatriates and actively prevent illegal border crossings, otherwise, nada. We’d be nuts if we did anything for these people after they display of contempt for our laws and the will of U.S. citizens. Go pound sand if you don’t like the conditions on our help.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    February 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    “What is wrong – what about human rights don’t they understand?”
    You’re full of crap, Laura. Immigration without permission of U.S. people is treated the same way by every other country, by deportation, and by heavy fines as well, in others. I challenge you to cite the “human right”, as identified in an international accord, that is being violated? If ICE is violating a human right, it’s not one agreed upon by any other nation on the planet, including Mexico. You apparently have some ploys of your own, as you try to deceive us by stating that countering illegal immigration is criminal, and only a practice of the U.S. and that we are violating human rights. That makes you a liar.

  • Avatar
    Panchito
    February 27, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Mexico and most of Latin America lacks the vision, the discipline, and the passion to pull themselves out of the deep hole they are in. The drug cartels, the illegal migration north, and the mass poverty are the products of the corruption and selfishness within the culture. Change must come from within. Their problem cannot be solved by throwing money or foreign soldiers at them.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    February 28, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Irma said: “Personally, I thought we should have let
    Saddam Hussein REMAIN in power.”
    So much pity for our illegal aliens and so much callous disregard for the rest of humanity, including U.S. citizens I suspect.

  • Avatar
    ilyka
    February 28, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Yeah, Horace, let’s not look at why those drug cartels exist in the first place, or who their best customers are, or anything that might contradict your “it’s all Mexico’s fault” narrative. Facts don’t do what you want them to, huh?

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    February 28, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Irma, I never said nor implied that those women deserved to be raped. You are spinning it to fit your agenda now. But anytime you put yourself in danger you are setting yourself up for harm. I am sure these women knew from what happened to other women before them that the danger existed but they chose to take a chance anyway. It is all about choice and personal responsiblity to keep YOURSELF safe from harm.

  • Avatar
    Michaela
    March 1, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Irma saud:
    You wont be so judgmental when those hoodlums start raping women in their
    homes along the Southern border on the American side.
    NEWS FLASH IRMA, there have ALREADY been hundreds of American women and children brutally assaulted by those “hoodlums.” Why the heck do you think Americans want our border secured? Your side fights against having our border secured and, in my opinion, you are to blame for these vicious crimes against Americans. Your hypocrisy makes me sick.

  • Avatar
    Michaela
    March 1, 2009 at 2:36 am

    Irma :
    “The US needs to help Mexico deal with the drug cartel – NOW.”
    Negative Irma, MEXICO needs to deal with their cartels. You whine and gripe about the U.S. “interfering” in your quest to infiltrate our country with illegals but then you turn around and DEMAND the U.S. help Mexico with their own self-induced problems. The U.S. has a duty to protect Americans only.

  • Avatar
    Kelly Hendricks
    March 1, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Dumb…
    If you offer them amnesty for rape claims there will be a lot of false rape claims.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 1, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    ilyka said: “Yeah, Horace, let’s not look at why those drug cartels exist in the first place, or who their best customers are, or anything that might contradict your “it’s all Mexico’s fault” narrative. Facts don’t do what you want them to, huh?”
    If Mexico didn’t have a corrupt government and an elitist plutocracy that care nothing for their people’s welfare, the poverty that serves as the fertile ground for the cartels wouldn’t exist. We have our own home grown criminal element in this country, but it doesn’t compare with the vicious cartels who have no compunctions at committing the most heinous of violent acts and are on the verge of taking over of parts of Mexico. No, Mexican cartel crime is in a class by itself, having an undeniably Mexican flavor.

  • Avatar
    napthia9
    March 1, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Here from Feministe. Great post! Sorry about the bad troll infestation.
    Michaela- What do you mean, secure the border against “hoodlums”? American men rape women too. “Securing the border” won’t stop rape. Besides, the rape trees exist because the laws leave certain groups of women without protection, and US foreign policy then forces them into vulnerable positions.
    Drawing distinctions between nationalities when it comes drug cartels crossing borders isn’t very helpful. Hello, if their business is to cross a freaking border, they are not “Mexico’s cartels.” They are US-Mexican cartels. Neither the US nor Mexico can be solely responsible for this problem. Of course, the US looks like it’s handling its end of the business because kidnappings and rape trees aren’t as widespread. But the US’s interference in Mexico’s economic and political spheres makes it impossible for Mexico to take care of its at-home problem. And then of course rape trees, kidnappings, etc spill into the US- because over here all problems relating to Mexico are made into problems about a specific group of people, not the behavior of drug cartels.

  • Avatar
    Irma
    March 3, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Hello ? Mexico is a corrupt mess.
    If the US doesnt help them deal with the
    drug cartels – the effects will be felt all over the USA.
    Right now, some of that obscene amount of money that was wasted in Iraq, could be used now to PROTECT US citzens from
    the Mexican drug cartels. And yes, I DO think we should protect Americans over anybody else.

  • Avatar
    Michaela
    March 7, 2009 at 1:04 am

    napthia9 :
    “Michaela- What do you mean, secure the border against “hoodlums”? American men rape women too.”
    Oh, no kidding napthia….however, there are literally thousands of American female victims of vile Mexican rapists and this would NOT have happened if our borders had been secured.
    “Securing the border” won’t stop rape.”
    What? Of course securing the borders would stop the rape of Americans. What an ignorant thing to say.
    “Besides, the rape trees exist because the laws leave certain groups of women without protection, and US foreign policy then forces them into vulnerable positions.”
    Oh, so now it’s the fault of the U.S. that Mexican women are raped by their vile sex pervert coyotes? You are just another blame America for everything whiner. I wish these Mexican women would just stay in Mexico, problem solved, but ohhh no, gotta come over here and suck the blood out of American taxpayers and blame us for all their problems. Why don’t you fight for Mexico and just leave the U.S. out of it. We are not here to cater and cowtow to all the Mexicans and WE OWE THEM NOTHING, NADA!!

  • Avatar
    Irma
    March 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Hello,
    The US OWES the American public -security.
    So, if the Mexican drug cartel is raping women/kidnapping people on the American side then it is the responsibility of the US government to STOP it.
    It is happening in Phoenix – soon to happen all over the US , unless the government does something about it.
    This is no longer a “Mexican ” problem.
    To quote a line from a famous movie
    ” they are here………”

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    March 11, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Sandra you make alot of assumptions about the women that crossed over. Maybe you should spend some time abroad and you will learn the difference between the thought pattern of a central American woman that is crossing the border and an American woman. To suggest that these woman knew what they were getting into when they attempted the cross the border is ridiculous. Alot of these woman grew up in mountain areas that are rural and they do not know what to expect. Some of these woman that crossed over lost their virginity through rape. You can not make assumptions about women when they are raped. You need to separate your discussion on this issue from those other issues in your head.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    March 12, 2009 at 9:06 am

    ME, even if some of these women didn’t know the possibility of getting raped by these coyotes, they knew that crossing our border without papers was illegal. Anytime you break the law bad things can happen to you. It is unfortunate but a fact of life. The answer isn’t to have open borders so that women don’t get raped. The answer is to secure the border so that the coyotes have no one to smuggle or rape.

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    March 12, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    If you read what I post you would notice. Secure the Borders is the first part of the plan Sandra!! but we need to reform the rest and that includes the 12 million undocumented that you want the private industry jails to cash in on. As far as women deserving RAPE…under no circumstances should a woman ever justify another womans RAPE!! You Sandra…I question?? Are you a woman?? Maybe Panchito is wrong?? maybe you and Horace are both men and that is why you never fight!! and if you are a man you are a poor excuse of a man because most men feel sympathy when it comes to rape!! Sandra if you are a woman I have to ask you this question. If you break the law because you were speeding on a road and you get a flat tire by accident and now you get out of your car for help and you get rapped…Do you think you deserve it?? Do you think a women deserves rape EVER??

  • Avatar
    RShep
    March 13, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    “Though popular opinion always seems to say that these women got what they asked for…”
    This has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard anyone say. I don’t know anyone with this alleged “popular opinion” and I am guessing Ms. Trevino doesn’t either. When you have to use hyperbole and falsehoods to make a point, the point probably has no merit.
    The fact is, if we decriminalized drugs, there would be no more cartels, black markets, thugs, profiteering smugglers, or rape trees. Calling for more government is a foolish and childish reaction to a serious problem.

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    March 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Rshep…and everyone knows the idea of decriminalized drugs is politically unrealistic. Calling for more government on these issues is a much wiser decision than calling on the government to detain migrant workers useing tax payers dollars is a foolish and childish solution to such a serious problem as an immigration crisis.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    March 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    As I said before, we are nation of laws and incarcerating people for breaking our laws whether they be citizens or illegal aliens is necessary as a deterrant and as a penalty for breaking our laws. How convenient to call illegal aliens just “workers” and totally disregard that they first broke our immigration laws and second have no right to work here in the first place! Many commit the felony of stealing someone elses I.D. or SS in order to work also. All convenient but very relevant facts that you leave out in your description of them.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    March 18, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    ME, you are one of the densest persons I have ever encountered! I have never said that rape was alright or deserved under ANY cirumstances and yet you continue with your false accusations of me! I am a woman and I don’t give a rat’s behind if you don’t believe it! Why in the world would you doubt that or try to claim that I am Horace or some other man? There are men in here that agree with your opinion also! Does that make you a man or one of them?? God, you are dumb!

  • Avatar
    Milica
    April 20, 2009 at 11:42 am

    This line…
    “The rape of a woman is more serious than smuggling drugs or weapons…”
    …brought tears to my eyes. It’s true! Why have I never thought of it like that before? Not just in reference to illegial immigrants and Mexican cartels… but in general. Why are our policy more concerned with policing drugs, gangs and guns than they are with *actually* protecting women?

  • Avatar
    Harold
    May 7, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I used to be an officer in the frontier, I know that this incidents are performed by U.S. officers and covered with the story of the drug cartels… It is difficult to accept that our country enforces this and needs it: drugs increase the wealth of a bunch of American people, like Cheaney and company…

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