top of page

The Red Note podcast profiled in Artistas no musas

The Mexico City journalist Fernanda Campos has posted a wonderful profile about The Red Note podcast and its exploration of systemic gender violence in Ciudad Juarez on the website Artistas no musas.

You can read an English translation of the profile piece posted below the fold on this page.

Fernanda's original article about the podcast is available in Spanish on the Artistas no musas website at:


The red note: a podcast about Ciudad Juárez and its 27 years of femicides and impunity

By Fernanda Campos

The Red Note is a podcast by journalist Lydia Cacho, who served as a consultant and narrator. It recounts the last 27 years of femicides and impunity that have taken place in Ciudad Juárez; They seek to give a voice to all those murdered, raped, disappeared and kidnapped in "The city that kills women." They do this with the help of a team of specialists in the field; made up almost entirely of female researchers, reporters, mothers, feminist groups, and workers from both the Mexican and American governments.

The events that have occurred in Ciudad Juárez for more than two decades are narrated. Where, with the help of a corrupt government, more than 10,000 cases of femicides and disappearances have been “shelved”. These atrocities have left families broken, dreams unfulfilled, orphans without their mothers, and fathers without their daughters.

This city has been classified as the most dangerous in the world, which is not a title won in vain. During the 1980s, Armando Carrillo, known as The Lord of the Skies, introduced drug trafficking to Mexico through Colombian drug traffickers. This occurred due to their inability to traffic cocaine to the United States through the ocean, so they saw a great opportunity at the Mexican borders; Carrillo took airplanes and border cities to start his drug empire, which began with a rise in violence and corruption throughout the north of the country.

Drug trafficking brought with it the kidnapping of women for prostitution or human trafficking at the special request of their clients. Furthermore, the innumerable femicides as well as the rapes went unpunished due to the nexus between the government and criminal groups.

However, drug trafficking was not the only factor in the rise in violence against women. The third factor was the Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the availability of cheap labor. This generated that the maquiladoras and the foreign businessmen who run them were attracted to the possibility of labor exploitation of women. In this way, the maquiladoras attracted thousands of Mexican women who emigrated from towns and rural areas to large industrial cities in search of better opportunities. However, they found low wages justified by the “temporary nature” of female jobs; this led to a high turnover of workers, which created a conception of "disposable" women. A fourth factor is machismo and the fact that women who worked in the maquiladoras were increasingly independent; this caused their bosses and husbands to need to be more dominant, due to the lack of economic control they had over them.

The last cause: impunity is like a second death for the murdered. Less than 1% of cases are solved and convicted, so in a justice system that fails women, femicides are untouchable.

You can hear testimonies from mothers and fathers who for more than twenty years have had to live with the pain of the deaths of their daughters; knowing that at the autopsy their corpses shouted everything they had suffered in their last days alive, their stories of impunity and lack of empathy on the part of the authorities; heartbreaking stories of her life in the midst of a limbo of pain. In addition, awareness is raised about the fact that never, not even when Juárez was in the eyes and mouth of the whole world, was any real action taken to end all these murders.

We invite you to listen to the Podcast: The Red Note, which consists of ten chapters with approximately forty minutes each, in which you will remain in limbo of impotence, fear and pain of the reality of our country. It is an incredible documentary work done by the producer Estefanía Bonilla, the journalist Alicia Fernández, as well as the advice and narration of Lydia Cacho.

You can listen to it on almost all online platforms. Here we leave you the podcast on Spotify! Trailer:


bottom of page