Letters to stop violence, murder

Gustavo Xicara, left, and Samantha Miland work on paperwork for Riverland Community College’s Amnesty International group to bring attention to the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez. Riverland’s Amnesty group is highlighting Ciudad Juarez this week as part of Human Rights Week.

Riverland Community College students aren’t just concerned about immigration nowadays. They’re worried about the murders in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

More than 400 women have officially been killed in Ciudad Juarez since 1993, but Amnesty volunteers say the death toll could be as high as 3-5,000 women, according to Juarez locals.

“There’s been a lot of killings and murders,” said Gustavo Xicara, Riverland student.

Riverland’s Amnesty International group is bringing attention to the murders in Juarez as part of Human Rights Week. Though the group annually celebrates Human Rights Week by highlighting a cause, students and volunteers are outdoing themselves.

The group will mail more than 400 pink crosses to the Mexican government, including Mexican President Felipe Calderon and the chief of police in Juarez. Pink crosses are the recognized sign of the women who have been kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered near Juarez since 1993.

“There’s ongoing murders and violence, mainly because of the drug trade,” said Marie Lechelt, Riverland instructor and Amnesty adviser.

Though 400 is the government’s official tally, Amnesty volunteers say Juarez locals, who claim between 3,000 and 5,000 women have been murdered, are probably closer to the truth. What’s more, since Juarez is on the border with Texas, many Americans are swept up by the murders, as well as the gang-related violence.

“It’s not just a Mexican problem,” Lechelt said.

Volunteers are also mailing letters to Calderon and Leyzaola begging them to stop the murders by first doing away with the reportedly widespread corruption among Mexico’s law enforcement and political offices.

Riverland students invite the public to share in a few events at the college this week. There will be a presentation about the ongoing murders in Juarez all week at the main entrance of Riverland’s East building.

A viewing and discussion of the documentary “Radioactive Challenge,” which deals with nuclear weapons, will take place 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in room C125 at the East building.

There will be a bake sale Wednesday at the main entrance from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with a presentation on the murders in Ciudad Juarez at 1 p.m. Wednesday inside room C123 in the East building.

Students hope their efforts can help the situation in some way.

“Hopefully it will get their attention that other countries are taking notice,” Xicara said.

Mower County

Honor those who served this Memorial Day

Education

‘Light the world on fire:’ Pacelli graduates the Class of 2024

Education

Signing ceremony a first step for students hoping to get into education

Education

Hook, line, and sinker – Lyle students made the best catch

Mower County

Austin Stormwater Resilience Plan – Open House slated for Tuesday

Mower County

Mueller awarded fellowship to attend leadership institute

Mower County

Nominations to open June 1 for APS Distinguished Alumni

Mower County

Great River Energy donates fire test hose station to Dexter Fire Department

Mower County

In Your Community: Austin Masons donated to area fire departments

Brownsdale

In Your Community: Brownsdale Study Club

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge

Education

Education Briefs:

News

National Guard joins search for 2 missing canoeists in BWCA

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions: May 13-20

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Austin man charged with possessing child pornography

News

As Walz signs $30 million for rural EMS, providers worry it’s not enough

Education

SMEC graduates tell their own tales of success

Business

Company that owns Austin radio stations lays off on-air personalities, part of sweeping move

Mower County

Institute dedicated to moving forward despite missing out on bonding dollars

Mower County

Institute Community Outreach and Education manager receives grant to expand STEM education offerings

News

Tornado devastates Iowa town, killing multiple people as powerful storms rip through Midwest

Mower County

Unmarked grave of Civil War veteran who fought at Shiloh, among other battles, gets memorial plaque

Mower County

Tuesday storm knocks out power to many, downs trees and branches

Business

Going hog wild for ice cream