Las Guerreras Mexican Women on Motorcycles Find Bravery
Update: It has now been learned that Las Guerreras has disbanded due to a newspaper article from Spain pertaining to an article a few months ago (see below). The Spanish newspaper used a catchy title, which when translated read – “’The Female Warriors”: Ten bikers who are challenging the drug-traffickers of Juarez.” This naturally appeared as a threat to the cartel members. As a result, Las Guerreras has received death threats of course, causing them to cease their peace aiming, charitable activities. We are hopeful that with time and this all blows over, these brave women will be able to resume their good cause providing assistance – where no man ventures to go! Update KTMS News
Braving drug gang turf wars in Ciudad Juarez that have killed some 6,700 people since 2008, including hundreds of women, the club that calls itself “Las Guerreras” (The Female Warriors) rides out on custom-made choppers every Sunday to dangerous neighbourhoods that ring the factory city bordering El Paso, Texas.
In cramped, metal-roofed homes on unpaved streets, the 10-member group comprising of teachers, off-duty police officers and businesswomen volunteer their time to help single mothers, addicts, the elderly and the jobless, many of whom have no access to welfare and feel completely abandoned. They hand out cash, medicines, food, clothing and even birthday cakes, paid for out of their own pockets. Sometimes they just provide a sympathetic ear.
“There are people who have nothing, or almost nothing,” said Lorenia Granados, a co-founder of the group set up two years ago, just after gunmen killed seven young men on a soccer field not far from the place she was volunteering on Sunday.
The women say their pink bikes aim to project a less threatening, feminine image that sets them apart from drug hit men sometimes known to kill targets from motorcycles.
Despite playing host to 340 factories exporting to the United States and handling billions of dollars in cross-border trade every year, Ciudad Juarez has become one of Mexico’s most desperate cities.
In a forlorn desert region with few schools or opportunities, poorly paid or unemployed youngsters are enticed into joining gangs to kill rivals for as little as $100 a hit.
“No one does anything,” said 60-year-old Sanjuana Flores, whose daughter, a drug addict, was shot dead in 2008, leaving behind four children that Flores now looks after. Flores, receiving a handout of meat and vegetables from the pink bikers, said she was frustrated. “I’ve asked for help from the town hall and from town councillors. They promise things, but they are all lies,” she said.
The Warriors say so far they’ve not been threatened or attacked on their weekly rounds. “We’re just trying to make a difference in the hope that someday peace will return. A guerrera is someone who fights not just to survive, but to get ahead. Our slogan is: ’Women without limits, making the difference’” Granados said.