In May 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives condemned the abduction, sexual assault, and brutal murders of young women in the Mexican cities of Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua. Since 1993, more than 400 women have been murdered and the overwhelming majority of their cases remain unsolved. See below for the complete text of the resolution.
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One Hundred Ninth Congressof theUnited States of America
AT THE SECOND SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the third day of January, two thousand and six Concurrent Resolution
Conveying the sympathy of Congress to the families of the young women murdered in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, and encouraging increased United States involvement in bringing an end to these crimes.
Whereas the Mexican cities of Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua have been plagued with the abduction, sexual assault, and brutal murders of over 400 young women since 1993;
Whereas there have been at least 56 murders of women in Ciudad Juarez and the city of Chihuahua since 2004;
Whereas at least 152 of the victims were sexually assaulted prior to their murders; Whereas more than half of the victims are women and girls between the ages of 13 and 22, and many were abducted in broad daylight in well-populated areas;
Whereas these murders have brought pain to the families and friends of the victims on both sides of the border as they struggle to cope with the loss of their loved ones;
Whereas many of the victims have yet to be positively identified;
Whereas the perpetrators of most of these heinous acts remain unknown;
Whereas the Mexican Federal Government has taken steps to prevent these abductions and murders in Ciudad Juarez, including setting up a commission to coordinate Federal and State efforts, establishing a 40-point plan, appointing a special commissioner, and appointing a special prosecutor;
Whereas the Mexican Federal special prosecutor's review of the Ciudad Juarez murder investigations found evidence that over 100 police, prosecutors, forensics experts, and other State of Chihuahua justice officials failed to properly investigate the crimes, and recommended that they be held accountable for their acts of negligence, abuse of authority, and omission;
Whereas the Government of Mexico has recognized the importance of the work of the Mexican Federal special prosecutor and has shifted the mission of the prosecutor's office to assist local authorities in investigating and prosecuting crimes of violence against women throughout the country;
Whereas in 2003 the El Paso Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the El Paso Police Department began providing Mexican Federal, State, and municipal law enforcement authorities with training in investigation techniques and methods;
Whereas the United States Agency for International Development has begun providing assistance to the State of Chihuahua for judicial reform;
Whereas the government of the State of Chihuahua has jurisdiction over these crimes;
Whereas the Governor and Attorney General of the State of Chihuahua have expressed willingness to collaborate with the Mexican Federal Government and United States officials in addressing these crimes;
Whereas the Department of State has provided consular services on behalf of the American citizen and her husband who were tortured into confessing to one of the murders;
Whereas Mexico is a party to the following international treaties and declarations that relate to abductions and murders: the Charter of the Organization of American States, the American Convention on Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the United Nations Declaration on Violence Against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention of Belem do Para, the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance, and the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance; and
Whereas continuing impunity for these crimes is a threat to the rule of law in Mexico: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress–
(1) condemns the ongoing abductions and murders of young women in Ciudad Juarez and the city of Chihuahua in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, since 1993;
(2) expresses its sincerest condolences and deepest sympathy to the families of the victims of these murders;
(3) recognizes the courageous struggle of the victims' families in seeking justice for the victims;
(4) urges the President and Secretary of State to incorporate the investigative and preventative efforts of the Mexican Government in the bilateral agenda between the Governments of Mexico and the United States and to continue to express concern over these abductions and murders to the Government of Mexico;
(5) urges the President and Secretary of State to continue to express support for the efforts of the victims' families to seek justice for the victims, to express concern relating to the continued harassment of these families and the human rights defenders with whom they work, and to express concern with respect to impediments in the ability of the families to receive prompt and accurate information in their cases;
(6) supports ongoing efforts to identify unknown victims through forensic analysis, including DNA testing, conducted by independent, impartial experts who are sensitive to the special needs and concerns of the victims' families, as well as efforts to make these services available to any families who have doubts about the results of prior forensic testing;
(7) condemns the use of torture as a means of investigation into these crimes;
(8) encourages the Secretary of State to continue to include in the annual Country Report on Human Rights of the Department of State all instances of improper investigatory methods, threats against human rights activists, and the use of torture with respect to cases involving the murder and abduction of young women in the State of Chihuahua;
(9) encourages the Secretary of State to urge the Government of Mexico and the State of Chihuahua to review the cases of murdered women in which those accused or convicted of murder have credibly alleged they were tortured or forced by a state agent to confess to the crime;
(10) strongly recommends that the United States Ambassador to Mexico visit Ciudad Juarez and the city of Chihuahua for the purpose of meeting with the families of the victims, women's rights organizations, and Mexican Federal and State officials responsible for investigating these crimes and preventing future such crimes;
(11) encourages the Secretary of State to urge the Government of Mexico to ensure fair and proper judicial proceedings for the individuals who are accused of these abductions and murders and to impose appropriate punishment for those individuals subsequently determined to be guilty of such crimes;
(12) encourages the Secretary of State to urge the State of Chihuahua to hold accountable those law enforcement officials whose failure to adequately investigate the murders, whether through negligence, omission, or abuse, has led to impunity for these crimes;
(13) encourages the Secretary of State to urge the Government of Mexico to ensure that the Mexican Federal special prosecutor's office, responsible for assisting local authorities in investigating and prosecuting crimes of violence against women throughout the country, gives particular attention to the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City;
(14) strongly supports the work of the special commissioner to prevent violence against women in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City;
(15) condemns all senseless acts of violence in all parts of the world and, in particular, violence against women; and
(16) expresses the solidarity of the people of the United States with the people of Mexico in the face of these tragic and senseless acts.
Attest: Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Attest: Secretary of the Senate.