Guilty Verdict For 5 Men In Abductions, Murders Of 11 Juárez Women

By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
July 20, 2015
Mónica Ortiz Uribe
Victims' mothers gather in prayer outside the courthouse in Ciudad Juárez before closing arguments in a high profile trial.
Mónica Ortiz Uribe
Mother Susana Montes Rodriguez addresses a three judge panel in Ciudad Juárez on the final day of a three-month-long trial. Montes Rodriguez's daughter, Lupita, went missing in 2009. Her skeletal remains were later found in a dry stream bed in the desert outskirts of the city.

A high-profile trial in the Mexican border city of Juárez ended this weekend in a guilty verdict for five men accused of sex trafficking and murder.

The victims were young women who vanished from the streets of downtown Juárez beginning in 2008 and throughout a period of intense drug violence.  The skeletal remains of some of those women were later found in the desert outskirts of the city.

On Saturday a three judge panel declared five men guilty in the abduction and murder of 11 of those women. A sixth man was acquitted.

Judges said they believe the women were vulnerable because of their poor socioeconomic status and taken advantage of by a local sex-trafficking ring with ties to a powerful drug cartel.

Women's rights organizations that participated in the trial consider it a milestone because they worked alongside police during the investigation.

Juárez has a long history of violence against women. In past murder cases, authorities have been accused of planting evidence and torturing suspects.