May 18, 2012
LatinaLista — There is no other geographic location in North America that is as synonymous with violence and death as Juarez, Mexico. The weekly killing sprees, daily random shootings and continuous gruesome discoveries of mutilated bodies or shallow buried bones, at the hands of warring drug cartels, give credence as to why the city is consistently among the top five most dangerous in the world.
Frontera List founder Molly Molloy
Yet, while the world knows Juarez is under siege by drug cartels, the extent of that terror has only been hinted at by Mexican journalists too afraid to report the whole truth, and non-Mexican media outlets who must rely on a government that is desperate to retain its standing as a world-tourist destination and so doesn’t release completely reliable information.
But getting a reliable picture of what is happening in Juarez is important, especially to a research librarian named Molly Molloy.
Molly Molloy is a reference librarian at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Since 2008, she has shouldered the grim task of tallying the murders in Juarez, due to the drug cartel violence, and sharing that information with her nearly one thousand members of her Google listserve.
She does it for a couple of reasons:
I think it raises awareness of the day-to-day reality of the violence in Juarez. When you see, read about, even the most basic details of the murder victims, it makes it much more difficult to believe the rhetoric of both Mexican and U.S. government officials when they say that “90 percent” of the victims [throughout Mexico] are criminals being killed by other criminals…
I also use the list as a “proto-archive,” a place to store thousands of original articles that document this time-period in Juarez and in other places in Mexico and the border region. I’m working on a plan to develop these archived articles into something that will be a real database that will allow us to find out more about the characteristics of the victims (ages, gender, circumstances of the murders, etc.) This information will be an important piece of the record of what happened.
Until now, Molloy’s list, known as the Frontera List, was only available as a GOOGLE group. Anyone wanting to read the latest calculations by Molloy or articles posted by members, who range from academic scholars, journalists, policy makers and those just interested in the topic, had to belong to the group.
Visitors to the site will read Molloy’s analysis of the violence and US newspapers’ coverage of it, the latest tally of victims and new reports of murders in Juarez. Yet, what has made the list valuable, in addition to the information, are the discussions.
Unfiltered by political correctness or censorship, the Frontera List offers true insight into what will be forever recognized as a low point in Mexican history and a possible turning point in US-Mexico relations.