Living Juárez: Collateral Damage in Mexico's Drug War 

Chiapas Media Project (Mexico, 2010) 25 min



In December 2006, during his first week in office, Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared war on the drug cartels. Since then close to 50,000 people have died in Mexico as a result of the “War on Drugs”. Cd. Juárez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, is now considered the deadliest city in the world, where close to 7,000 people have died since March 2008. There are now an estimated 10,000 security forces patrolling the streets of Juárez where the violence continues to escalate.
Living Juarez tells the story of the real victims in Calderón’s Drug War: regular people just trying to survive in a city overrun by senseless violence, and corruption. The neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar is organized and speaking out against the arbitrary and frequent abuses that are committed by the armed forces against civilians and particularly the youth in Cd. Juárez.

Señorita Extraviada | Missing Young Women. Lourdes Portillo (Mexico, 2001). 70 min


Missing Young Woman tells the story of the hundreds of kidnapped, raped and murdered young women of Juárez, Mexico. The murders first came to light in 1993 and young women continue to "disappear" to this day (2005) without any hope of bringing the perpetrators to justice. Who are these women from all walks of life and why are they getting murdered so brutally?

The documentary moves like the unsolved mystery it is, and the filmmaker poetically investigates the circumstances of the murders and the horror, fear and courage of the families whose children have been taken. Yet it is also the story of a city of the future; it is the story of the underbelly of our global economy.


ERC Auditorium, Durham Technical Community College


Interview with the Director, Lourdes Portillo