Marta and the Missing

Marta and the Missing is a graphic novel based on the periodic rape and murder of girls and women in Juarez, Mexico, over the last decade.
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Maureen Burdock
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The raped and mutilated bodies of hundreds of girls and women have been found dumped in the desert, in fields, along roadsides, in the garbage.  Although the perpetrators remain unknown, Diana Washington Valdez, an investigative reporter for the El Paso Times who has covered the murders for several years, contends that the killings are connected with parties hosted by prominent Juarez citizens.  In her book "Harvest of Women", she states:

"The authorities know who the killers are, and nothing's being done about it.  We have two issues here: people who are getting away with murder and ...authorities who have become accomplices, and so this has become crimes of the state."

The protagonists of this novella are Marta and Pepito, a dog with a strong sense of ethics and humor, are visited by Alma, a ghost of the disappeared, who leads them to sites where violence is about to occur.

Marta & the Missing opens and closes with oil portraits of some of the actual girls and women involved in the atrocities, depicted as they were before becoming victims, as seen in snapshots posted on the Internet.  The intimate and upbeat portraits are meant to celebrate the women's memories and increase awareness of the beauty and humanity being lost as a result of such violence.


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