5/11 Juarez, Chihuahua: Another Sad Mother ’s Day for Some Families
- Compiled by: kihuac@...FNS News serviceAnother Sad Mother’s Day for Some FamiliesMay 11, 2005
Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua News
Like in other parts of Mexico and Latin America, May
10, Mother’s Day, was celebrated in Ciudad Juarez with
gifts, musical homages and festivities. But for some
families it was a day filled with grief and anguish.
Only days before the holiday, 20-year-old Maria
Estrella Cuevas Cuevas was planning a small party with
friends and family. The celebration never happened. On
Thursday morning, May 5, Cuevas’s shoeless body was
found on a street in one of Juarez’s working-class
colonias. The mother of two infants, ages one and
two, Cuevas had been raped, beaten and stabbed.
Cuevas reportedly was last seen at a party with
friends during the evening prior to the discovery of
her body. According to her brother, Gabriel Angel
Gonzalez Cuevas, his sister worked as a temporary
domestic worker to make ends meet. Cuevas’s sister,
Socorro, added that the murdered young woman had
dreams of visiting Tijuana and seeing the ocean one
Just hours before Cuevas’ murder, 48-year-old
housewife Tomasa Echeverria was apparently bludgeoned
to death with a hammer inside her Juarez home.
Echeverria’s body was discovered by her son, Martin
Soto, who informed members of the Chihuahua State
Investigations Agency (the former Chihuahua State
Judicial Police) that Echeverria’s husband had
recently threatened to kill his wife.
No arrests have been made in either the Cuevas or
Echeverria homicides. Special Prosecutor for Women’s
Homicides Cony Velarde announced after the
Cuevas killing that three men were detained on drug
charges in connection with the case, but the trio was
later freed by the federal attorney general’s office.
The Cuevas and Echeverria murders brought to at least
13 the total number of femicides in Juarez since the
beginning of 2005. Additionally, authorities recovered
two skeletons of women believed to have been
In another development that’s jarred the border city,
the family of 7-year-old Airis Estrella Enriquez
continued to anguish over the fate of their child. The
second-grader was reported last seen playing with
friends in a working-class neighborhood on the
afternoon of May 2, when she might have been forced
into a dark-colored car with tinted windows driven by
an older man. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Juarez,
Renato Ascencio Leon, then made a public appeal for
the return of Airis, as did Chihuahua Governor Jose
Airis was described by her teacher, Miriam Solis
Facio, as a shy but excellent student. Solis said the
young girl hailed from a family with few resources and
wasn’t able to afford the class photo in which she
appears, or contribute a $3 dollar donation for
Children’s Day-the very day she disappeared.
Posters of the missing girl have been widely
distributed in both Juarez and neighboring El Paso,
Texas. Brigades of neighbors, classmates, police, and
the citizenry in general have been fanning out across
the city in a fruitless search to date for Airis.
Media reports named a school teacher, Luis Tomas
Contreras Millan, as a suspect in Airis’ kidnapping,
but the educator quickly proclaimed his innocence and
accused authorities of trying to create another
Sources: Norte de Ciudad Juarez, May 11, 2005. Article
by Carlos Huerta. Diario de Juarez, May 11, 2005.
Article by Javier Saucedo Alcala. Diario de Juarez,
May 10, 2005. Article by Guadalupe Felix. El Mexicano
(Ciudad Juarez), May 10, 2005. Article by Ruben Rios
Macias. Diario de Juarez, May 8, 2005. Article by
Ramon Chaparro. Norte, May 8, 2005. Articles by
Carlos Huerta and Teofila Alvarado. Norte, May 6,
2005. Articles by Salvador Castro. Diario de Juarez,
May 6, 2005. Article by Javier Saucedo Alcala El
Universal, May 6, 2005. Article by Luis Carlos Cano.
Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S.-Mexico border
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
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