Toughest Place To Be Highlights Slaughter of Women

BBC2’s Toughest Place To Be is one of a handful of things worth turning the TV on for and last night’s programme took an A&E nurse form Preston to the murder capital of the world – Juarez in Mexico. Producer director Victoria Bell showed that, despite the constant flow of male victims to the hospital, it’s the female victims of the Juarez drug wars who aren’t lucky enough to even make it there. Since the early 1990’s women and girls have been disappearing from Juarez in their hundreds. As the programme highlighted when the Preston nurse, Maria, visited a local mother, the police don’t investigate and the bones are found years later. Only the remaining body parts hint at the unspeakable torture, rape and mutilation that is the fate of these Mexican women and girls.  We are given an insight into the suffering of Trine, the nurse in charge of the prison ward. Risking her life to come to work, her story showed how the women who do live suffer, that no one is untouched by the violence. Trine lost her home. Her courage and giving compared to the men who destroy with guns was brought home when she and Maria visited a gun shop over the border in Texas. Of course the journey of the Preston nurse was the purpose of this programme but it could easily have focused on the drugs as the backdrop. Instead it reminded us that Juarez is a hole that swallows women. It’s important that it’s not just the mothers who never forget.

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