JUAREZ VIVE (50' & 65')

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Motivated to take over one of the most lucrative trade routes into the United States & Canada, the Sinaloa Cartel- one of Mexico?s oldest and most powerful drug cartels - moved in to challenge the Juarez Cartel head on in the city of Ciudad Juarez in early 2008. The Sinaloa Cartel has attempted to topple de Juarez Cartel by launching an open war on the streets of Juarez. Whoever controls this supply line will have full access to the multi-million dollar drug market that is the North America.

The results are horrific: thousands of young lives have been lost, most of them between the ages of 16 to 25 (which make up most of the foot soldiers employed by these criminal groups). By the time you get to the end of this text, another Mexican will be killed by a bullet made in the U.S. while at the same time a hipster in New York will snort a line of cocaine imported through Mexico. Policemen & women are ambushed and killed in broad daylight and politicians and journalist who are considered trouble-makers are similarly threatened. The result is a city living in constant fear for themselves and their children. In Juarez Vive we hear the stories of residents of Juarez, both civilians and police, who are affected by the conflict.

The arsenal of weapons, which continues to be smuggled into the country from the United States and South America, has produced over 42,000 deaths in recent years.

Money laundering- which funds the operation of these criminal groups - remains largely intact. Estimates by some Mexican government officials point out that only 1% of all illegal drugs have been targeted.

Director Javier Manzano spent a year in Juarez documenting the war. Bravely, he followed journalists and police to areas where shoot outs took place often being one of the first to arrive. His use of still photographs throughout the film at the scene to capture the raw emotion of the tragedy having just taken place. Manzano also portrays the issue as a continent-wide problem and not just an issue affecting Mexicans. The citizens of Juarez are literally crying out for order.

Each state in the Republic has a different story to tell. This is the story of Ciudad Juarez.

About the Filmmaker

Javier Manzano is a photojournalist and filmmaker based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Born in Mexico, Manzano moved with his family to the US at the age of 18. To a large extent, Manzano's work has focused on the many cross-border issues that bind these two nations together - as estranged neighbors, vital partners and at times feeble associates. His career started in the newspaper industry and later expanded into television and electronic media. He works as an independent filmmaker and documentary photographer.

His latest long-form project in Afghanistan - The Forgotten Victims - is a compilations of stories of loss and survival through interviews and testimonies of the victims themselves. He will base himself out of Kabul for the foreseeable future.

For more info: http://www.documentaryfilmproductions.com/cine.html