Nude Photographs Taken of Mexican Women
One could surmise the reason behind Carmelita Torres’s refusal to be disinfected as being directly related to the speculations that American soldiers and other health officials were taking voyeuristic photos of the women as they stripped during the delousing process and posting them in local American bars (as cited in Romo, 2005, p.226).
"El Paso Jail Holocaust" (Romo, 2005, p.226)
The other reason could have been the awareness of a jail fire caused by the ignition of two tubs of “gasoline, creosote, and formaldehyde” (as cited in Romo, 2005, p.226). During Lea Sr.’s “disinfection campaign,” twenty-seven men (nineteen Mexican, one African American, and the others unidentified) were burned to death and others were critically injured by a lit match igniting the chemicals used to bathe the inmates.
Some suspect the rise of the riot could be directly connected to the inhumane uses of the ‘gas baths’ as there were not primarily used to cleanse bacteria, but to social and ethnically cleanse the Mexican race. The anger and humiliation by Mexicans boiled over and the riots were a perfect opportunity to lash out their emotions against Americans promoting the disinfecting plant.