Joyce Schuman

search termsI don’t normally write “newsy” types of posts unless they’re representative of larger issues that have personal meaning and on which I feel I can comment. Last week I posted about Joyce Schuman’s death because an American woman’s death in a Mexican city thought to be “safe” and “magical” might have been something to sensationalize, and I wanted to prevent a misunderstanding of events by those who might have wanted to mistort the tragedy.

An example of this comes from one of the ex-pat forums where a poster wondered “What’s Going on in San Miguel de Allende?” and concluded his post with “Has there been more cartel “activity” in the area?” The first person to respond to this posting, jacking up the potential hysteria, wrote:

This sounds like another in a series of similar murders in San Miguel de Allende, all of which have been attempted to be withheld as much as possible from the media, and all of which so far have been unsolved.

The most shocking and gruesome one in the series, was a few years ago…

The first poster had obtained his information via Mexican television news, so in this case there was no attempt to “withhold” information. If the second poster means that many cases go cold and are unresolved in Mexico, then yes, that is true. Local Mexican police staffs are frequently underfunded and do not have resources that local police in other countries may have. It is possible for people – including Americans – to go unnoticed in Mexico. Also, as far as I have learned, there has been no “series” of murders here; however, there have been isolated murders as occur elsewhere in the world.

The company that publishes my blog – WordPress – provides me with statistics such as the number of times a phrase or word has been used to search for information. It does not provide unique identifying information regarding readers, so I have no idea who you are, but I do know how many times yahoo or google or bing or whatever have been used to search for “Joyce Schuman” or “murder” or whatever. I usually pay no attention to these statistics, but Ms. Schuman’s name in just a week has become the most-searched item since I started the blog.

My hope is that the searchers had known Ms. Schuman and wanted to know what had happened to their friend or that they wished to know about her memorial service (which took place this past Sunday). I did not know Ms. Schuman; therefore, I didn’t attend her service and I am not keeping up with whatever revelations might be occurring regarding her death.

Periódico Correo, which focuses on news originating in the state of Guanajuato, was my source of information. It is a Spanish language publication and it may have additional information on the story. The article that I read had stated that Ms. Schuman had been found dead at her home by someone who rented from her. She had apparently been the victim of an attack, and her adopted daughter was a suspect; the whereabouts of the daughter were not known at that time. I have not followed the story since that initial publication.

As sorry as I am for the friends and family of Ms. Schuman, my interest was to dispel the “Mexico is not safe” type of rumor that could have arisen as a result of this sad event. The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics show that women are almost four times as likely as men to die at the hands of intimate or other family members. At this time Ms. Schuman’s tragic death is considered the result of domestic violence.


I didn’t see the superbowl, but Feministing did mention a commercial about farmers featuring the voice of Paul Harvey.  Cuéntame published an alternate version that better reflects today’s world. Here’s another version that modernizes the view of farms and farmers.

They’ve also updated Woody Guthrie’s telling of the story of the Deportees.



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