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La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico

A front-line human rights defender fighting murderous impunity in the Mexican borderlands

The Mexican border state of Chihuahua and its city Juárez have become notorious the world over as hotbeds of violence. Drug cartel battles and official corruption result in more murders annually in Chihuahua than in wartorn Afghanistan. Thanks to a culture of impunity, 97 percent of the killings in Juárez go unsolved. Despite a climate of fear, a small group of human rights activists, exemplified by the Chihuahua lawyer and organizer Lucha Castro, works to identify the killers and their official enablers.

This is the story of La Lucha, illustrated in beautiful and chilling comic book art, rendering in rich detail the stories of families ripped apart by disappearances and murders—especially gender-based violence—and the remarkably brave advocacy, protests, and investigations of ordinary citizens who turned their grief into resistance.

Reviews

  • “This book provides unique, first-person insight into the struggle for justice in what remains one of the world’s most dangerous places for human rights defenders.”
  • “No matter what you’re accomplishing in your life, you’ll realize it’s not enough when you read La Lucha … Sack’s documentary-style drawings capture vistas of villages emptied of fearful residents and details of grief and determination on the faces of activists.”
  • La Lucha provides vital information, and confirms Robert F. Kennedy’s inspiring words: ‘One heart with courage is a majority.’”
  • “A picture of violence that’s become commonplace—and everyday bravery in the face of violence.”

Blog

  • Decade of the Dead


    Panteón Municipal La Chaveña, Ciudad Juárez. Photo by Molly Molloy.

    On October 31, El Diario de Juárez said the municipal cemeteries were dying. On the Friday before Dia de los Muertos, I walked in the oldest cemetery — La Chaveña. It’s 179 years old. More than 75,000 people in the Paso del Norte have come to rest here. Graves are chiseled into hard ground in the western hills of Juárez and only cactus, ocotillo and bits of spiky brown grass adorn the stones. Someone planted a palo verde sapling in a cement-lined water holder on a newer grave. This tree grows in the driest land of the Chihuahuan desert.

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  • Verso's end-of-year highlights 2015!

    As we approach the end of the year we look back on a great year of publishing, from Patrick Cockburn's best-selling The Rise of Islamic State, to Kate Evans' graphic biography of Rosa Luxemburg; from Walter Benjamin's Archive in paperback, to Portraits: John Berger on on Artists, a beautiful history of art by John Berger, from the Chauvet cave paintings to Cy Twombly, brought together by Tom Overton.

    This blog post is split into sections - highlighted in red - such as Current Afffairs, Memoir, History, Theory/Philosophy, to help you find your favourite books!

    AMERICAN POLITICS


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  • Exclusive Joe Sacco comic: Down! Up!

    As part of our week dedicated to Graphic Novels, here we bring you Joe Sacco's take on the war in Iraq. Originally published in 2007 in War With No End, a collection of writers and activists responding to the ongoing War on Terror, in the strip Sacco puts his incisive reporting to the task of representing the US army's attempt to train a motley bunch of Iraqi volunteers.


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