Lilia Alejandra García Andrade was only 17 years old when she disappeared on February 14, 2001 in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. She worked in a maquila factory and the money she earned was to support her two children, a 5-month-old girl and a 1-year-old 8-month-old boy. She had just resumed to high school because her dream was to be a journalist.
That Valentine's Day the last thing that was known about Lilia Alejandra was that she was on her way home, to which she never arrived. After reporting her disappearance with the authorities, her body was found on a coverlet in a vacant lot near her work just a week after, on February 21, 2001.
According to the autopsy, she died of asphyxia only 24 hours before her body was found, her body showed signs of violence and was raped multiple times by different people. Her mother, upon hearing the news, knew that her grief and the pain she felt could not leave her alone and that only justice would help her to live in peace.
That is why for 17 years, Norma has ventured to discover the truth after the murder of her daughter and has not been tired of fighting to find the murderers of her daughter who are still missing today and have participated in other femicides of girls. Only in the first six months of 2018 there have been 49 cases of femicide against girls under 17 years of age. However, in a map and records carried by María Salguero, it indicates that there are 118 cases of girls murdered in this period of time. Check the map here.
How to fight this cruel reality?
Norma Andrade (mother of Lilia Alejandra) along with Marisela Ortiz (teacher of Lilia Alejandra) and other relatives of murdered and disappeared young people joined forces to create the organization named ‘Our Daughters of Homecoming’ which arose as a result of impunity and lack of justice on the part of the Mexican government to resolve these cases.
‘Our Daughters of Homecoming’ has been leading the charge of seeking justice in different ways, and, over 17 years, they have managed to bring these cases of the deaths in Juarez to national and international levels in order to spread awareness of these atrocities. The situation has even been taken to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where the international community has been asked to intervene to stop the disappearances and killings of women.
Similarly, this association has allied with various institutions, foundations and personalities of all kinds to help both victims and their families for their recovery as well as the hard work of raising awareness about the issue and the urgency that exists in Mexico to clarify and put an end to all this.