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Every person vacationing Mexico has visible the nation Indians in the markets of the greater cities. Their ill-fitting, once-white, cotton outfits are ragged and soiled; the males have uncut hair and craggly beards and torn straw hats with excessive crowns and large brims. The girls wrap themselves in darkish blue shawls, the regularly occurring rebozo, and take a seat at the floor in the marketplace streets, with their naked ft tucked less than them.
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As in other places in Latin America, the women of Juárez used religiosity subversively to stage a confrontation with the historical and social trauma in the region. The use of religiosity—crosses, luminarias, vigils— is a form of indirection and nonliteralness for healing the trauma of the unrepresentable: death as the ultimate other. As a political and discursive strategy, religiosity gives voice to a new consciousness, one that recognizes the contradictions in the interface between woman’s visibility as abject subject (murder victim) and the invisibility of woman in the public sphere (citizen).
And in March 2002, hundreds of women dressed in black (elderly women, campesinas, housewives, factory workers, students, and professionals) marched for 370 kilometers, from Chihuahua City to the Juárez-El Paso border, in the Exodus for Life campaign. Staging demonstrations to publicize the murders, the transnational campaign Ni Una Más is working to extend citizenship rights to women in Mexico. HorriWc forms of violence against women have had an unintended and spiraling eVect. In the wake of feminicide in Juárez, this emerging formation of feminist and cross-border activism is part of the new space of planetary civil society, of the movement for global justice, of the challenges to global capitalism, neoliberal state policies, and the rise of the global police state.
44 It is an old colonialist (and now neocolonialist) narrative indeed, this construction of Mexicanas on the border in terms of sexual excess and chaos. S. and Mexican factory workers is surely in part related to a narrative of objectiWcation prevalent about workers in Mexican factories in general. qxd 12 8/13/2003 9:35 AM Page 12 CHAPTER ONE and culture in elements of fashion and dress style. In a study of managers in the maquiladora industry, Melissa Wright observes: “Throughout the maquilas, attention to women’s dress style is continually articulated as an American or Mexican aVect, and often in reference to cultural representation rather than to a national divide.