Publication details

In/visible Gender Violence in Desert Blood : The Juárez Murders by Alicia Gaspar de Alba



Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper discusses the novel Desert Blood (2005) by a Chicana academic and writer Gaspar de Alba that provides an informed fictionalized account of the femicides in Ciudad Juárez. The paper analyses how the author addresses gender violence in her novel, determines what she identifies as the main causes for the continuance of gender violence on the U.S/Mexican border, and discusses the irony of the reality of marginalized women who are both visible and invisible. The paper demonstrates that the author implicates the authorities and the media and by exposing their inactivity and indifference, she questions the silence surrounding the crimes which, she argues, protects the perpetrators. The analysis further shows how Desert Blood challenges the conventions of traditional patriarchal detective fiction by introducing a strong, intelligent, queer, Chicana protagonist and how it represents both Mexican and American society’s misogyny and homophobia as well as racism and xenophobia. Gaspar de Alba portrays the crimes as a result of patriarchal, neoliberal economic and political agreements and highlights the transnational aspects of the issue. The analysis also illustrates how she uses Marxist-feminist perspective to explain how neoliberalism capitalizes on poor female victims who, she argues, are first exploited as maquiladora workers and then murdered when they are no longer considered a productive workforce, but instead seen as a reproductive threat. By suggesting that the murder of pregnant women is a precautionary measure to regulate immigration to the US, Gaspar de Alba is able to emphasize the US involvement in the crimes.
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