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2012 Archives

Solving the maquiladora murders: Speaker calls on Christians to end ecocide, femicide


The following story ran in the April 30, 2012, edition of the Allen American, published  by Star Local News. SMU's Migration Matters series examined important border-related issues.

May 9, 2012

By Kelley Chambers

The ongoing murders of countless women at the U.S.-Mexico border, along with devastating environmental damage inflicted by factories, were the subject of "Ecocide and Femicide on the Border: Ecofeminism and the Maquiladora Murders," a presentation held at Southern Methodist University on Thursday.

 Guest speaker, the Rev. Daisy L. Machado, dean of academic affairs and professor of church history at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, used the work of ecofeminists to call on Christians to think about the connections between poverty, violence to both the Earth and humans and immigration.

It is estimated that more than 400 female maquiladora (export assembly plant) workers have been murdered in Juárez, Mexico alone since 1993.

 "This desert area, filled with toxic air and water produced by the maquiladoras, are devalued by a patriarchal society and commoditized until they become expendable and invisible," said Machado in a release. "This concerns me because these realities remain unresolved. So I ask the Christian community: Why are we not responding? And how can we advocate social, ecological and gender justice?"

Machado spoke about ecological justice and femicide, and focused on Christianity and the role that Christian theology plays, as how its misuse and misinterpretations have contributed to the exploitation of women and the "Mother Earth."...