Mar 21, 2008

Juarez film Border Echoes debuts in El Paso

Copyright (C) 2007, 2008 Peace without Borders, Peace Books

For immediate release

By Lorena Garza

March 21, 2008

(El Paso, Texas) -- The documentary "Border Echoes" (Ecos en Una Frontera) by Lorena Mendez-Quiroga made its debut in the border area this week.

By special arrangement, Ms. Mendez-Quiroga also allowed the film to be shown on Cable Channel 14, the El Paso Community College education channel.

The remarkable and shocking film received many positive comments. One of the viewers in El Paso who saw it, Teresa Ortiz, said "It's better than the Hollywood movie Bordertown." The viewer was referring to the movie that stars Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas, which was released on DVD this year and is available for rent at Blockbuster and Hollywood Video outlets.

The "Border Echoes" documentary had its theatrical screening in Los Angeles, where it received rave reviews.

The film is based on the investigation by El Paso journalist Diana Washington Valdez, author of the book The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women (in Spanish also as Cosecha de Mujeres: Safari en el desierto Mexicano).

The author and the filmmaker teamed up to bring the news of the plight of women in Juarez to a worldwide audience. They were determined not to let a cover-up bury the issue.

"Lorena Mendez-Quiroga mortgaged her home to produce this film," Washington Valdez said. "I am proud to be part of her film project. Lorena is a journalist of great integrity and cares very much about what is happening in Juarez, Mexico, where women live out each day in fear.

"The Mexican border city has become a war zone. Since Jan. 1, the city has reported more than 140 homicides, including many execution-style murders in broad daylight of police and others. Business people have been kidnapped for ransom, while others have been disappeared.

"The bloodbath is the result of dueling drug lords who are competing for the profitable Juarez-El Paso corridor. They have even taken their battle to the Internet, where they exhibit the alleged corruption of rivals via blogs and videos. It truly is a dangerous time. Everyone is at risk, but women and children are especially vulnerable."

Last week, the Mexican authorities ended excavations in a residential home that unearthed 36 bodies, included three of women. The authorities did not disclose the identities of the victims.

"About five years ago, our sources told us the neighborhood where the excavations took place was linked to the femicides somehow," Washington-Valdez said. "The authorities have attributed the murders to the Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel."

Anyone with information about these crimes may call the FBI-El Paso police hotline (800) 237-0797. Calls will be handled confidentially.


Books The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women and Cosecha de Mujeres: Safari en el Desierto Mexicano are available at Barnes and Noble and through online booksellers.