The women of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico have seen more than their fair share of violence over the years. In recent weeks, two more killings have the police are working around the clock and citizens of the community griped in fear. However, it’s not the murders of these women that have police officials and civilians sweating buckets, but the murder of the women’s suspected killers.
At the end of August, two bus drivers were killed while making their rounds by a middle aged woman wearing a blond wig. An email was sent to the Police signed by “Diana, the hunter of bus drivers”, where the writer claimed “I am the instrument of vengeance for several women.” The case also brings up memories of the women who were brutally raped and murdered in previous cases years ago. The fact that these current killings are occurring on the same bus routes is one of many pieces of evidence leading people to believe that these are not mere random killings, but a link to the misogynist atrocities dating back years.
The investigation is ongoing, and some suspect the email may be a hoax altogether. They fear that the murdered bus drivers are no more than innocent victims of a killing spree, perhaps the prey of one of the infamous female assassins of the area.
If this sounds like the description of the latest Hollywood crime thriller, let me stop you right there. This ain’t a privileged white woman played by Jodie Foster who’s out for the revenge of her slain boyfriend. Instead, it’s a Latina fighting for the destroyed lives of women who’ve endured decades of rape and abuse aboard while minding their own business aboard public transportation. Mainstream articles have caught on to her self-ascribed moniker “Diana the Huntress”, but I prefer the title of “Diana the Avenger”, dubbed by @Bad_Dominicana on Twitter. To quote the Latinegra feminist, “huntress sounds like she seeks random innocents. She goes for known abusers.”
While I’m reluctant to revel in murder, the abuse of women in these communities has been going unchecked for decades. Centuries even. With little to no action being taken by the law enforcement of the area, one must if anything will ever be done the “right way”. There’s something very satisfying about seeing someone stand up for those who’ve been systematically victimized for longer than anyone cares to admit. And this someone isn’t a police officer, but an unknown entity. A former victim has donned the cap and cowl of a crusader of justice. Not justice in the legal sense, but a sense of justice none the less. And in the end, can we really fault her for her actions when we do nothing? Can we blame her for taking her fate and those of her abused sisters into her own hands for protection? In this world, silence is consent. And in these cases, our collective consent of abuse outweighs the consent that these women are never asked for. Consent canceling out consent.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need Diana. We wouldn’t need a stranger to literally take up arms for these women. But this is the farthest thing from a perfect world, especially for women of color. To quote @Bad_Dominicana again:
“…I’m of speculative existence. Bitches like me dont get recorded, usually. Many argue i dont exist in many facets. I’m mythical.”
Indeed Women of Color, specifically Afro-Latina women in this instance, have a long history of being left out of history. According to the “official” history books, they haven’t contributed to society in any meaningful way whatsoever. They’re also all but completely left out of current news stories. Their issues are non-issues. So what does it matter if a few of them go missing or turn up dead in a ditch?
This chapter in the ongoing fight for women’s humanity is sure to be a bloody one. While I’d love to see a movement without violence, I’m not naive enough to think it’s going to happen. As long as abuse goes rampant and unchecked, there will be Diana’s waiting in the darkness as silent stalkers of vile misogyny.