Julissa Ramírez and Nohemí Medina Martínez were found dead Sunday. Their bodies were found dismembered in plastic bags on the side of the highway in Ciudad Juárez. Police believe they were shot and tortured before their deaths. An investigation is ongoing.
According to reports, Ramírez and Martínez were visiting family in Juárez when they died. The couple was originally from the Mexican state of Chihuahua, Nohemí Medina Martínez lived in El Paso, Texas, while Julissa Ramírez lived in Ciudad Juarez just across the border.
No suspects have been identified and a motive is unclear.
Their family said that they last saw the couple on Saturday before their bodies were discovered. The gay couple from Texas, who were in their late 20s, were married last summer. They left behind three children, two girls and a boy.
While authorities have not released a statement about the crime, this is the second set of women who have been found dismembered in the area. Last Monday, another pair of women were found in bags in Ciudad Juarez.
That couple was in their early 30s. Their names have not been released, but according to reports, one woman was already dead, and the other was still alive and crying when police found them. The second woman later died from her injuries.
Officials in Ciudad Juárez are currently investigating 65 murders this year, 11 victims were women while 50 were men. With these recent deaths, many people are calling for change and protection in the city. Chihuahua Committee for Sexual Diversity released a statement and a series of tweets begging the Mexican government to take this case seriously and not let it go unsolved.
One tweet said, “We cannot allow Chihuahua to continue to be the second state in the country with the most hate crimes, and that each year there are more.”
Ciudad Juarez is known for its violence, specifically against women. Last year, the Mexico town reported that nearly 1,000 women were killed because of their gender. In all, over 30,000 murders were reported in 2021. The city is also known for drug violence and public killings.
Over 40 protesters took to the streets on Jan. 18 to demand justice. Specifically, they were protesting the death of women’s rights activist and artist, Isabel Cabanillas de la Torre. The 26-year-old was murdered two years ago in the city, and her death remains unsolved.
The crowd, who carried torches and pictures of Cabanillas’ art, reportedly chanted, “The street and the night also belong to us.”
According to reports, the 26-year-old was reported missing after she never returned home. The young woman was found shot beside her bicycle in the city’s center. Police found two bullets in her body and a motive for the killing remains unclear.
Her death has caused widespread protesting throughout Mexico, specifically in Mexico City. Many of the country’s feminists have become enraged and believe that their government isn’t doing anything to solve her death.
Last year, in a similar protest, the young woman was remembered through her art. Friends of the 26-year-old made art inspired by her. All the art helped to raise funds for Cabanillas’ orphaned son.
“Isabel Cabanillas was an artist from Juárez, she was our colleague, our friend, and she was part of our family,” said Arón Venegas, the cofounder and project director of Puro Borde (Pure Borders). “I decided to remember her with an image of her bike with a pot with a sunflower on the back.”