Jane Fonda, Salma Hayek Pressure Mexican Government

May 10, 2006 -- Jane Fonda and Salma Hayek are pressuring the Mexican government to end violence against women in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, where more than 300 women have been murdered over the past 12 years.

   The actresses spoke Monday ahead of a Tuesday evening performance of “The Vagina Monologues.” They were joined at a news conference by the play’s author, Eve Ensler.

   “It’s really an embarrassment,” Hayek, 39, said of Mexican authorities’ inability to catch those responsible for the Ciudad Juarez killings and end the violence against women there. “In 10 years, it’s not possible to secure this area?”

   The Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, native said she has taken time off from her film career to promote women’s rights. She vowed to continue her fight until justice is done in Ciudad Juarez.

   Mexican officials say 340 women have been slain over the last 12 years in Ciudad Juarez, a city of about 1.3 million across from El Paso, Texas. But human rights groups say the number of women killed is much higher.

   Fonda said she also believes U.S. corporations had some responsibility in Ciudad Juarez, where they benefit from low factory wages. Citizens cannot afford sufficient street lighting and guards to create a safe environment, the 68-year-old actress said.

   All proceeds from Fonda and Hayek’s performance were to benefit organizations aiding women and girls in Ciudad Juarez.

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