CITY OF DREAMS
PRODUCER GIANFRANCO NORELLI
WRITER/DIRECTOR BRUNO SORRENTINO
SERIES PRODUCER FARAH DURRANI
EDITOR FIONA MURCH
PRODUCED BY PALIO PICTURES LTD
96 Brondesbury Road
London NW6 6RX
13 January 2001
Running Time 44 min 02 sec inc. front titles
CONTRIBUTORS Soledad Hernandez Philips Factory Worker Maribel Salas
Lear Corporation Factory Worker Suli Ponce Head of Women's Homicide
Unit, Juarez Police Irene Blanco Defence Counsel for Abdel Latiffe Sharif,
accused of multiple homicide Rosa Isela Perez Investigative Journalist
Paula Flores Mother of murdered factory worker Guillermina Flores Sister
of murdered factory worker Dr. Candice Skrapec Criminologist Esther
Chavez Cano Director, Casa Amiga Women's Support Group & Rape Crisis
Centre Epitacio Luna Father of missing girl Celia de la Rosa Mother
of missing girl Sandy Amaya Friend of missing girl
10.00.00 CORRESPONDENT GENERIC TITLE EXT JUAREZ. POLICE CAR Archive
corpses in desert. Aztec TV (Channel 44) 5" Corpses in desert Aztec
TV 5" (NB: ALL ARCHIVE FROM AZTEC TV/CHANNEL 44) Stills missing & dead
women 19 sec. ex: El Norte Newspaper Music (commissioned) Liz Drew 68
secs COMM: Death stalks this city. Over two hundred women have been
killed in the past few years. Their bodies turn up regularly on the
wasteland outside town This nightmare has transformed what was supposed
to be a city of dreams.
ON SCREEN TITLE: CITY OF DREAMS BORDER SEQUENCE
ON SCREEN CAP: JUAREZ, MEXICO
COMM: Juarez is a border town - within yards of the American city of
El Paso. For many Mexicans it's just a stopping-off point. A large number
here are in transit. They dream of a new life in the United States.
Some even try to cross illegally.
For others, the dream is here, in the form of jobs in the many factories
built by multinational companies The factories called MAQUILADORAS have
drawn workers from all over Mexico. Their numbers have swollen the population
of Juarez six fold in recent years. But the jobs are mostly for women
- and most of the women killed were factory workers .
EXT PHILLIPS FACTORY
INT ROOM MARIBEL & SOLEDAD ON SCREEN CAP: SOLEDAD HERNANDEZ
EXT WASHING SEQ ON SCREEN CAP: MARIBEL SALAS COMM:
SOLEDAD left her parents farmhouse in a poor region of Mexico when she
was just 14. The death of so many young women is a constant source of
SYNC INT SOLEDAD: I'm frightened by all the bad things that happen in
Juarez. You have to be constantly on your guard against being robbed,
beaten or dragged into cars by strangers. The best protection is to
make sure you have someone with you when you leave the house
COMM A stranger recently tried to drag Soledad into his car late one
night as she walked home from the factory. By chance a friend happened
to be passing by.
I/V SOLEDAD 10 03 10 My friend yelled out my name 'Soledad!" The driver
thought he was coming to help me and he sped off.
COMM Soledad shares a room, with a fellow factory worker called MARIBEL
Women's bodies have been found near their home. Maribel is terrified
of walking home alone through the unlit streets at the end of her shift.
MARIBEL - I have to walk 5 blocks. It frightens me but I try to give
myself courage. I have to do it because I don't want to lose that job.
MARIBEL V/O: Now I'm used to earning my own money, buying what I want,
going out dancing and having fun. Back home it's not like that. Where
would I earn the money?
SOLEDAD: V/O: As for me, I could never go back to my old life... because
I'm used to buying my own clothes and shoes - back home how would I
ever manage that back home?
EXT MARIBEL & SOLEDAD EXIT BUS AT NIGHT ONTO STREET
COMM: All week long Soledad and Maribel look forward to their Friday
nights on the town. But their new-found freedom comes at a price. Young
factory workers are the most likely targets of rape and murder.
COMM: Juarez is considered to be the most dangerous city in the Americas.
EXT STREET TRACKING SHOT COMM:
The only release for young assembly line workers, is in the discos and
night clubs of the red light district. Many of the men involved in the
huge local narcotics trade also come here. It's a dangerous mix - 200
men are killed here every year in gun battles between rival drug gangs.
Disco music Choque Norteno 8" It's here that the police believe many
of the women meet their killers.
INT POLICE HQ - ROLE CALL
COMM: Every so often the Juarez police carry out coordinated raids into
the city's night clubs. The heavily armed units include the Women's
Homicide Team - who've been under intense pressure for the past eight
INT I/V: SULI PONCE ON SCREEN CAPTION: SULI PONCE. HEAD OF WOMEN'S HOMICIDE
INT I/V SULI PONCE: Hardly did we pick up a corpse when another body
would appear. We're under so much pressure that we're working 24 hours
a day. This job demands you sacrifice your family, social and personal
COMM In tonight's raid three hundred officers - half of the Juarez police
- will search 25 clubs and several hundred people for drugs and weapons.
The raids are such a poorly kept secret that they hardly ever produce
results. Critics say these operations are for show and the real centers
of the drug trade are never directly challenged Tonight's operation
yields one under aged drinker, and a tiny trace of cocaine. This is
a society in transition. The police are swamped, and the women are vulnerable.
I/V SULI PONCE ON SCREEN CAP: SULI PONCE, HEAD OF WOMEN'S HOMICIDE UNIT
I/V SULI PONCE Of the 200 women killed here, not all were raped and
strangled. There were different kinds of murder. OK, they were all women,
but some were killed in crimes of passion, others in drug dealings...
others for revenge, and others in robberies and assaults.
HISTORY OF KILLINGS
Archive corpses in desert 36"
COMM: It all started in 1993 when locals first stumbled upon the bodies
lying in the wastelands surrounding the city. Since then, the death
toll has reached well over 200. Most of those killed were female factory
workers - teenagers who'd come to Juarez in search of a better life.
. Many had been raped, their bodies mutilated.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT
COMM: The police concentrated
their effort, trying to find the killer in the red light district. Then
in October 1995 they stumbled upon an Egyptian who'd frequented many
of the local haunts.
Archive Sharif Press conference
25" Aztec TV
COMM ABDEL LATIF SHARIF was arrested
and accused of the abduction and rape of a local prostitute - a charge
which was later dropped. But it turned out that in the USA in the 1980s
Sharif had been convicted of sexual assault. The authorities quickly
branded him as the serial killer.
I/V IRENE BLANCO ON SCREEN CAP:
IRENE BLANCO, SHARIF'S DEFENCE COUNCIL
IRENE BLANCO I/V: The same day
he was arrested, the police held a press conference to announce they'd
found the serial killer of women in Juarez. And that was Sharif.
COMM: The police had got their
man, and put him behind bars. Sharif was charged with the murder of
4 women whose bodies had been recently found. He had been a brilliant
industrial chemist with a string of manufacturing patents to his name.
Media interest in the case and the authorities' relief at having captured
the serial killer of Juarez made Sharif a celebrity prisoner. They were
keen to put him on show at press conferences. Sharif took the opportunity
to claim his innocence. Archive Sharif Press Conference Aztec TV
to Part 2