FNS: DNA Results Raise Questions about Identities of Eight Juarez Bodies, Anothe
- FNS: DNA Results Raise Questions about Identities of Eight Juarez Bodies, Another Body Found
Date: 10/30/2002 4:10:34 PM Pacific Standard Time
The federal Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) released DNA test results that raise questions about the identities of many of the bodies found in a Ciudad Juárez cotton field in November, 2001. According to the test, only the DNA from the family of missing person Verónica Martínez Hernández matched with the DNA of a body. In this way the PGR has confirmed that Martínez's body was among those found in the cotton field.
According to the PGR, the results also confirm that Guadalupe Luna de la Rosa, Bárbara Araceli Martínez Ramos, María de los Angeles Acosta Ramírez and María Juliana Reyes Solís were not among the bodies found in the field. This was determined when DNA from the families of these missing women did not match any of the DNA from the bodies found in the field.
Besides creating doubts for the families of missing young women, the negative DNA results complicate the case of the Chihuahua Attorney General's Office against Gustavo González Meza and Víctor García Uribe, who are accused of murdering eleven women, including the five mentioned above.
Last November, according to the Chihuahua Attorney General's Office, both men allegedly named the five women, along with six others, as being those that they had murdered. Later, while showing bruises and burns to the press, the men later denied this and said they were tortured into confessing to the murders. The Attorney General's Office denied that they had threatened the men's families with violence and said that the men's wounds were self inflicted.
Incidentally, González's lawyer, Mario César Escobedo Anaya, was killed by gunfire after a car chase by Chihuahua State Police in February, 2002. However, in early October, 2002, the agents involved in the chase were found innocent of any wrong doing [for more on Escobedo's death and lingering questions go to: http://www.nmsu.edu/~frontera/mar02/feat2.html].
The PGR's study also determined that it is possible that the bodies of Esmeralda Herrera Monreal and Claudia Ivette González Banda were among those found in the cotton field. However, they have requested more "data." What was meant by "data" was not explained.
Both Herrera and Gonzalez's families accepted the bodies presented to them by state officials in November 2001, recognized them as their daughters' bodies and buried them.
Mayela González, sister of Claudia Ivette, told the Ciudad Juárez newspaper El Diario that the DNA results have disturbed her family even though they were almost certain that they were given Claudia Ivette's body. Although the body only had flesh remaining on one arm, the family felt that the hair color was the same, the hair ties were hers, and that dental work matched that of Claudia Ivette's. A curve in a finger bone also appeared to match the peculiar shape of one of Claudia Ivette's fingers, according to her sister.
Without a positive DNA match between herself and any of the bodies in the field, Benita Monárrez Salgado said that she has renewed hope that her daughter, Laura Berenice Ramos Monárrez, is still alive. Previously, Monárrez accepted a body as that of her daughter's and had a funeral for her.
"Don't Blow the Crimes Out of Proportion"
At the same time some local politicians are asking for the resignation of Chihuahua Attorney General Jesús José Solís Silva, the Assistant Attorney General in Cd. Juárez is saying that the crimes against women in that city should not be blown out of proportion. On October 29, 2002, El Diario reported that Assistant Attorney General Elfego Bencomo López said, "I don't know why people are pointing to Juárez as a black mark." He continued by saying that the killing of women is not exclusive to Cd. Juárez and stated that a man in Vancouver, Canada had killed 50 women and that as many women were raped and killed in Chile over three years as in Cd. Juárez since 1993.
Making the statements during an address to the Chamber of Commerce (Canaco) in Cd. Juárez, Bencomo said that the problem has grown larger because of politicians, artists and everyone else that is getting involved. "People are coming from New York and Mexico City . . ." Bencomo stated, "but they don't help at all."
Manuel Esparza Navarrete, who works with the Special Investigator of Crimes Against Women in Cd. Juárez, supported Bencomo's views, according to El Dario. Esparza also stated that the problem has been blown out of proportion. "Any woman's murder is thrown into the statistics," he said.
While the press and some academic studies have arrived at a figure of approximately 90 sexually-related, serial-killing slayings, Esparza said that there have been 67 since 1993.
José Jaime Hernández Rodríguez, head of the Chamber of Commerce, responded to Bencomo's statements by asking that a campaign be initiated to get out the truth and avoid a bad image for Cd. Juárez.
Another Body Found
Less than a half kilometer from where the remains of a thirteen-year old girl were found at the beginning of October, 2002, the remains of an unidentified 18-20 year-old woman were found on October 28. According to El Norte, the woman's hands had been tied in front of her, a piece of cloth was around her neck, and she had been wrapped in a light blue blanket. The body was found partially undressed but wearing at least a bra. The state police are not yet sure if the woman had been raped.
Source: El Diario, October 29, 2002. Article by Roberto Ramos.
El Norte, October 29, 2002. Article by Salvador Castro.
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