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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

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    Black Panther women, West Oakland, 1970.

    Jo Ann Gibson Robinson (ed. David J. Garrow), The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson (University of Texas Press, 1987)

    Many people know that Rosa Parks was a trained and seasoned political activist before the famous day when she decided to stay in her bus seat. But few are aware of the large, well-organized network of black women in Montgomery that transformed her arrest into a historic campaign of mass noncompliance. This engaging memoir by Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, a key initiator of the Montgomery bus boycott, reveals the behind-the-scenes work of local organizers who had long been waiting and planning for the right opportunity to challenge racial segregation in their city when Parks was arrested. In an era when movements rely heavily on the internet to mobilize participation, there's much to learn from the extraordinary tale of how black women in Montgomery sprang into action the moment Parks was arrested, secretly distributing more than 50,000 leaflets throughout their community in fewer than 24 hours, and thus launching the boycott without tipping off the city's white leadership.

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  • Decade of the Dead


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

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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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