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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Mexico to aid bereaved in Juarez
Crosses commemorates the spot where the bodies of eight young women were found in 2001 in Ciudad Juarez
Many of the victims were young and poor, human rights groups say
Mexico is creating a compensation fund for the families of more than 300 women who have been murdered in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez since 1993.

Special prosecutor Maria Lopez said the fund would initially have 25 million pesos ($2.2m) in federal aid.

She said the fund would be open to further donations from the Chihuahua State authorities and individuals.

Human rights groups have welcomed the move but stress that many of the cases remain unsolved.

They said many of the victims were working mothers employed in factories in the industrial city on the border with Texas.

The brutal murders have been generally attributed to serial killers, drug cartels and also domestic violence. Some of the killings are believed to have been sexually motivated.

Last month, Ms Lopes called for criminal investigations of dozens of officials working on the unsolved cases, accusing them of mishandling cases or evidence.

Although victims' families complained repeatedly about negligence and ineptitude on the part of local investigators in Chihuahua State, the federal government did not intervene until last year.


SEE ALSO:
Lawyer to probe Mexican murders
31 Jan 04  |  Americas
Mexico 'failure' over murders
12 Aug 03  |  Americas


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