September 18, 2013. Ciudad Juarez. The local police reports and news accounts read like a movie script. Women forced to work late at night to earn an honest living in one of the most violent and deadly towns on the US-Mexico border are being raped by the bus drivers they trust to get them home safely. With police turning a blind eye, a dark, female superhero has repeatedly appeared, leaving justice and dead bus drivers in her wake.
The ancient Goddess Diana - always from the shadows of the night, guarding womankind with deadly & ferocious vengeance. Image courtesy of HowardDavidJohnson.com.
We at Whiteout Press love a good, colorful story. But this is no story. It’s really happening in a US-Mexico border town known as the murder capital of the northern hemisphere due to its violent and deadly wars between rival drug cartels.
Super hero or super villain?
Taking a page right out of Batman and the Lone Ranger, authorities are calling this midnight angel of death a violent criminal. Women and many honest, average citizens however, are calling her a guardian angel. In a city admittedly overrun by drug lords and their foot soldiers, where authorities work for drug cartels and not the people, justice has proved nearly impossible for the many rape victims in the border town of Ciudad Juarez.
It’s become a regular occurrence over the past couple years for vulnerable, lone women to be raped while traveling to or from their jobs in the middle of the night. Shockingly, according to the victims who’ve had no luck seeking prosecution of their offenders, the rapists are often the bus drivers they’re forced to trust. Now, police have posted undercover agents on busses, not to stop the rampant rape of the town’s women, but to catch this elusive vigilante. “If she really exists,” they say.
As detailed by the Los Angeles Times, the bodies of two more dead bus drivers were discovered three weeks ago, both murdered on consecutive days at the end of August. And if authorities and nervous rapists thought this dark hero was nothing more than a ghost story, they found out they were dead wrong.
Diana – Huntress of Bus Drivers
Unlike most other unsolved murders in Ciudad Juarez, someone called a host of local news outlets claiming responsibility for the two most recent bus driver slayings. The caller identified herself as ‘Diana – Huntress of Bus Drivers’. In ancient mythology, Diana is one of the most well-known goddesses and a favorite among women for her divinity over childbirth and motherhood. And like any mom, the only thing that rivals Diana’s love for children is her fierce and deadly protection of them.
As detailed by MythEncyclopedia.com, ‘Diana's nature was as varied as her many associations. As goddess of forests and hunting, she was considered to be pure and virginal. Yet she could also be arrogant and vengeful. As goddess of the moon, she had a changeable, unpredictable nature. As goddess of the dark world of the dead, she was unforgiving and bloodthirsty.’
If witness descriptions didn’t conjure up images of a powerful and deadly guardian angel of defenseless women, the email message this mysterious killer sent to local media outlets after the two most recent bus driver slayings certainly did.
“You think because we are women we are weak, and maybe we are. But only to a certain point,” the message claiming responsibility for the murders said, “We can no longer remain quiet over these acts that fill us with rage. And so, I am an instrument who will take vengeance. Diana, Huntress of Bus Drivers.”
Who is she?
If it weren’t for the multiple eye-witnesses, authorities would have dismissed the colorful stories long ago. But they can’t help but admit someone, or a group of people, are behind the bus driver killings and the claim of responsibility in Diana’s name. At this point, officials aren’t willing to assume that the person who sent the email to the press is the same person committing the murders, or even that some deadly blonde-haired female superhero even exists.
What they will concede is that for years, there has been an epidemic of raped and murdered female workers traveling to and from their factory jobs on the midnight shift. The Times article explains, ‘For the last two decades, hundreds of women, many of them maquiladora workers, have been killed or have gone missing in Ciudad Juarez. Some disappeared after boarding buses, their raped and tortured bodies later found dumped in the desert. Few of the cases are ever resolved, and families have endlessly protested the lack of justice for their daughters, sisters and mothers.’
Due to the witnesses’ statements and descriptions, Diana’s fame and mystery have spread throughout Mexico like wildfire. As detailed by local news accounts, both of the two most recent murders happened in the exact same way. A woman with bleach-blonde hair, possibly a wig, boards a local bus and immediately shoots the bus driver dead with two bullets to the head.
That was the description of the first murder. It happened on a Wednesday at the end of August. The very next day, on the exact same bus route and at the exact same time of day, the same blonde-haired woman boarded the same bus and shot and killed the replacement bus driver with two bullets to the head. Dressed completely in black each time, the agile, gun-toting blonde then fled the scene, seemingly disappearing into thin air.
Feeling Diana’s wrath
Already, local police and the city’s bus drivers are openly expressing their fear, concern and anger. In the case of the Ciudad Juarez police, they’re more obsessed with catching Diana than they are in stopping the epidemic of rapes. For their part, the town’s bus drivers are just plain scared. One driver told a local news outlet, “You go around terrified, but you have to work.”
As the Los Angeles Times reported, the city’s local prosecutor has enlisted at least two special operations to catch Diana. “We have undercover police, dressed in civilian clothes, riding the buses in hopes of preventing another such murder and also to try to find this woman,” a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said. He also confirmed the department’s cyber detectives were working tirelessly to break apart the email claiming responsibility in hopes of tracking down the killer that way.
Echoing this author’s sentiments, the local women’s shelters and human rights organizations in Ciudad Juarez see this female avenger from a different perspective than local authorities. As the Times reports, ‘Human rights activists in Ciudad Juarez said they wished authorities would work as hard investigating rapes on buses as they were trying to find Diana the Huntress.’
Imelda Marrufo, coordinator for a network of women’s organizations in Ciudad Juarez, expressed the feelings of millions of women. When asked about the black-clad, blonde-haired, female goddess-avenger, Marrufo replied, “I have no way of knowing if this is true. But if it is confirmed, remember, we are talking about a victim, someone who was raped and has probably lived with such a lack of justice that she has no hope that whoever did that to her will ever pay for the crime…like so many women in Ciudad Juarez.”
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