SHARIF: They're liars - the governor is a liar, and the chief prosecutor is a liar too. The blood of these girls is on their hands because they're hiding the truth about the crimes, and using me as a scapegoat. I'm not scared of them - I only fear God.
Archive Rebeldes Arrest 40" TV Aztec
COMM: In a much publicized raid in the city's red light district, the police then arrested a gang of drug dealers called the REBELS. The Rebels, according to the police, had been paid by Sharif to carry on killing women while he was behind bars - so as to deflect suspicion. They even produced a confession by the Rebels which stated that the killings had been masterminded by Sharif.
INT I/V SULI PONCE Press Clip
El Norte 8" Press Clipping El Norte 15" ON SCREEN CAP ROSA ISELA PEREZ,
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER Press Clipping El Norte 09" Press Clipping El
I/V SULI PONCE: He's a very intelligent man in the way that he manipulates situations. His IQ is much higher than normal. He's brilliant and intelligent. He's especially manipulative when he deals with the media. Just by talking to you he persuades you he's right...even if the evidence demonstrates exactly the opposite.
COMM: Most of the media unquestioningly reported the official line that Sharif was a psychopathic serial killer. Yet there was still no evidence to support this.
I/V: ROSA ISELA PEREZ "The media never so much as questioned the official versions. They never questioned the irregularities in the investigations. They never asked for proof. They simply published whatever the prosecutor told them - so much so and for so long, that everyone believed it. So now everyone believes that Sharif is the serial killer.
COMM: Sharif's lawyer was convinced that he had no public support because he was Egyptian - it was easy to portray him as the dangerous outsider.
I/V: IRENE BLANCO: 'It's impossible for him to have a fair trial because of the way they created the monster through the media and what they really wanted was to make him like (Hannibal) Lecter in the film the Silence of the Lambs. That's what they want to do with Sharif and that's what they mean when they say he has an evil intelligence.
COMM: The Rebels soon recanted their confession - saying they'd been tortured.
COMM: Most of the gang were then released. Sharif remained in jail - and more families were to lose their daughters.
EXT ANAPRA - GUILLERMINA'S MOTHER & BIRD CAGES Still photo Sagrario Flores 12"
EXT HOUSE GUILLERMINA I/V Archive discovery of Sagrario's body 9" Aztec TV Still photo Sagrario ex El Norte 8 sec Sagrario's family 13" Aztec TV
EXT GUILLERMINA I/V 12 39 I/V PAULA FLORES (MOTHER): The loss of my daughter changed the life of everyone in my family. It's a hole that can never be filled
COMM: Two years ago SAGRARIO, Paula's daughter, disappeared on her way home from her shift at the American General Electric plant COMM: Five members of the family worked in the factory. They lived in a tiny hardboard house in the remote outskirts of town. Sagrario was the oldest daughter.
I/V GUILLERMINA: My sister was 17 she was just starting her life ... she was always smiling. She loved working to help her family ... and for the church and children. She liked playing the guitar. She loved children, and would spend lots of time playing with them - inspiring them with her life, not knowing her life was about to end
COMM Two weeks after Sagrario went missing, her body was found in scrubland. The family learned of her death through the local papers. Adding insult to injury, the police claimed Sagrario had provoked her own death by leading an active night life The family were outraged. Sagrario had been a bible teacher who'd never even been to a dance hall.
GUILLERMINA SYNC: We didn't feel it was fair the way we were treated ... and we didn't want to keep quiet about it. We felt that if we did nothing we'd be like accomplices to the killers. From the moment we buried my sister - it was a body without a face - it was then my family decided to fight for justice, for the crimes committed against my sister and many other women.
INT GUILLERMINA'S OFFICE COMM: The lack of confidence in the authorities spurred Guillermina to form a victims support organization.
V/O GUILLERMINA We called it Voices Without Echoes because our voices have no echo: they're not heard
COMM: The organization lobbies the authorities and produces leaflets to help locate missing girls.
CROSSES ON TELEGRAPH POSTS & LEAFLETING
V/O GUILLERMINA: We realized we were not alone there were many other families who'd also suffered the loss of a daughter in similar circumstances.
COMM: Their first action was to paint crosses on the city's telegraph poles - a reminder of the women killed.
V/O GUILLERMINA: We don't want to beg for justice any longer: we're demanding justice is done.
EXT: PROCURADERIA ON SCREEN CAP: "POLICE HEADQUARTERS, JUAREZ"
CANDICE SKRAPEC WALKS IN
COMM: Dr. CANDICE SKRAPEC is a Canadian criminologist, and an expert in the psychology of serial killers. Her experience with the FBI brought her to Juarez. She's spent several months helping local police investigators. She's just returned from her home in California to see how the detective work is developing.
INT Dr. SKRAPEC & SULI PONCE WITH COMPUTER SOFTWARE PACKAGE Faces programme on computer screen. 5 " Copyright cleared
COMM: She is trying to assess whether there is one, or more serial killers at work. The task in hand is to improve the police procedures. Dr. SKRAPEC
SYNC: Right now if there is a criminal like a serial killer or bank robber, they are able to print in the code, 'cos each face you make has a particular code, a number for the eyebrows and a number for the nostril. Together there will be a number of numbers that will give you a code for that particular face. Then you can just send it to anywhere in the world that has this particular programme and they will be able to print the picture just like that.
ON SCREEN CAP: DR. CANDICE SKRAPEC, CRIMINOLOGIST
DR. SKRAPEC I/V: "I estimate that since 1993 there have been four different individuals working alone, killing at least three or four people over a period of time. And that for a city of this size over a period of time - that's a significant number...normally in big cities we may see one or two over a period of say half a dozen years. I suspect there have been more here. Probably it's the complexion of the city being a border city that facilitates this kind of criminal behaviour..."
INT POLICE HEADQUARTERS WOMEN WITH POSTERS
COMM: A new name has been added to the list of missing teenagers. Sixteen year old factory worker VERONICA MARTINEZ went missing seven days ago. Her mother has come to the police HQ accompanied by neighbours and fellow workers to pressure Suli Ponce into action. Guillermina is here to advise them. But Suli Ponce is nowhere to be found - so they set off on their own investigation.
EXT PICK UP TRUCK
COMM: They suspect Veronica, may have been abducted by a boyfriend. The young man is not there: they confront the boy's father
EXT BOYFRIEND'S HOUSE Ist WOMAN: (SUB-TITLED) We're asking for permission. If we don't get permission, we'll search the house regardless. We know we're breaking the law, but we don't care Because the law doesn't do anything for us So we're taking the law into our own hands
FATHER: We live here .. and my neighbour lives there.. If my son had your daughter .. I'd have reported it. I'd have taken her by the arm and brought her back.... I'd have told her let's go... your parents are worried. Why did you take the day off from the factory the day my daughter disappeared? You knew your son was going with my daughter ... and you were nervous about it... Look if he had her I'd tell you
COMM: The women aren't convinced. They search the compound anyway.
SUBTITLES: No one else there? Did they tell you not to say anything? Don't be afraid!
INT POLICE HEADQUARTERS WOMEN TAKE ON SULI PONCE
COMM: Leaving a poster behind they decide to return to the police headquarters. SUBTITLES Three people came out - when they saw us one of them turned and ran away
SUB TITLES: SULI 'You're giving the game away ... by letting them know you suspect them... Now that he knows you're onto him If he'd had plans to leave the city now he'll make sure he does it quickly!!! That's exactly what we mean. We don't know if you even know about this man. It's great that we women worry about another woman! It's great if we can all join together... in this search. It's really good! And it's also a help for the mother. We're all women and we know the risks we run and the disadvantages But it's about time you saw us as friends .. not as enemies
COMM. Dr. Skrapec has taken an interest in Veronica's case. Veronica's mother is still convinced that her daughter's boyfriend is involved in her disappearance.
INT PROC. CANDICE TALKS TO THE MOTHER POLICE OFFICER (SUBTITLES) You suspect her boyfriend?
VERONICA'S MOTHER: Yes
POLICE MAN (translates) She has some concerns about the boyfriend.
POLICEMAN (SUBTITLES:) Does he work?
MOTHER (SUBTITLES) Yes My daughter works in the print room. This boy works on the machine just behind her. He came up to me and asked for permission to date her. I said - 'this isn't the time to talk about this... Can't you see I'm working? The next day he came to work with love bites on his neck...
POLICE OFFICER TRANSLATES: One thing she remembers is that when her daughter was missing is that the next day, Friday, the boyfriend showed up with kisses on his neck
Dr. SKRAPEC: Oh... hickeys!
COMM: Veronica's life is more complex than it appears. Dr. Skrapec learns from detectives working on the case that there's tension within the family.
CANDICE & DETECTIVES
Dr. SKRAPEC SYNC TO POLICEMEN: It seems that there is some very good reason to believe that there was a lot of trouble between Veronica and her father?
MALE DETECTIVE: Yes, her father was over jealous. He took her out of school and put her in the maquila so she could start working. He was over-jealous he didn't want her to have a boyfriend or anything like that.
Dr. SKRAPEC: If he did actually did kill her ... intentionally ... what have you learned about the case? Did he actually threaten to kill her?
DETECTIVE: Yes. He even told her I wish a lot of guys would kill you or rape you... he told Veronica. One of the things we saw in her letters to boyfriends was "You're the love of my life.. you know stuff like that...I want to spend the rest of my life with you... then two weeks later she'd be writing the same thing in another letter...
DR. SKRAPEC: To the same boy?
DETECTIVE: No to a different boyfriend.. so within only a few weeks she was writing the same thing to another guy..."
CANDICE REFLECTS ON Vs LIFE
Dr.SKRAPEC: I could quite understand how a teenage girl coming from a home such as Veronica's could easily find herself attracted to a dream that a young man who comes into her life might offer her. But that dream of course is in terms of an immediate future. But it's a way out. That's the hope. That's the dream. That's the fantasy. But the reality that she would find herself in is more of the same. She's going back into the same kind of situation her mother married into.
EXT WOMEN ON STREET
COMM: It turns out the prime suspects the detectives have identified in Veronica's case are unlikely to have been strangers. The role of women is changing in society and the picture is complicated by domestic violence.
INT CASA AMIGA - ESTHER CHAVEZ CANO ON DATA BASE
ON SCREEN CAP: ESTHER CHAVEZ CANO, CASA AMIGA WOMEN'S SUPPORT CENTRE
COMM: CASA AMIGA is a women's support organisation that helps victims of abuse. They maintain a database that includes domestic violence against women - something the police statistics do not account for. Their research indicates that the changes brought about by the new job opportunities are pushing traditional gender roles to the limit - and that this provides the key to understanding much of the violence.
SYNC: ESTHER CHAVEZ CANO Women have got independence for themselves but men haven't caught up yet...men still want to be in command, spend their wives' money, and have the right to beat them and the children, because machismo here has not been eradicated
EXT JUAREZ BILLBOARDS YOUNG WOMEN OUT OF FACTORY
COMM: Casa Amiga's experience provides a different vision of Juarez ... of a city where the new independence gained by women through work is breeding dangerous resentment.
V/O to In Vision: ESTHER CHAVEZ CANO: "...these women come here with the dream of earning the money to survive.. but here they find many things they knew nothing about...independence... the opportunity to go dancing - alone... to choose how and where they spend their money. Here they free themselves from the control of their fathers, their husbands their brothers....
I/V MARIBEL & SOLEDAD
MARIBEL: In a marriage they'll beat their wife and do what they like, and outside the marriage they do the same. They pick up a woman, do what they want with her, and dump her - and there's nothing to stop them
SOLEDAD: I think men who do that feel inferior to women, because now women know how to work, they have a more important role... and men think of us as a threat to them when all we're doing is to show that we're equal. They shouldn't feel inferior.
COMM: Maribel and Soledad have made their choice - they will risk the danger in order to have their freedom.
V/O: SOLEDAD It's 100% certain - if I'd stayed in my old town I'd already be married with 4 kids.