Skip to main content

What’s Really Behind the Missing Women at Mexico’s Border?

Four people sitting on a stage in front of an audience
102:19

Tijuana, already known as one of the most violent cities in Mexico, has become increasingly dangerous for women. Epidemiologist Dan Werb, who has been tracking HIV in Tijuana since 2013, calls the phenomenon of dead and missing women at the border a femicide. His research is detailed in a new book, City of Omens: A Search For the Missing Women of the Borderlands.

Despite its reputation as a carnival of vice, Tijuana was, until recently, no more or less violent than neighboring San Diego, its sister city across the border wall. But over the past 10 years, the murder rate in Mexico’s third-largest city has skyrocketed, producing a staggering number of female victims.  

At a recent event, Werb—along with award-winning reporter and former Open Society Fellow Maia Szalavitz, and Tijuana-based physician Patricia Gonzalez Zuniga—cast new light on Tijuana’s femicide, U.S. border policy, sex work, harm reduction, and the true cost of American empire-building.

Watch the entire event above.

Read more

Subscribe to updates about Open Society’s work around the world