COMM: In March last year, fourteen year old NANCY GONZALEZ finished her night shift at the factory... and took the bus specially provided to protect female workers at night. The bus made its way through the poor suburbs on the outskirts of town. Nancy was the last on the bus - but the driver changed direction, and drove the bus into the wasteland.
Still photos ex. El Norte newspaper x4. 13" Nancy was raped and beaten and left for dead. But the 14 year old survived her horrific injuries.
COMM: As she was the only victim to survive such an attack, she gave the police their strongest lead yet. Nancy identified the driver as JESUS MANUEL GUARDADO - known as EL TOLTECA
Archive El Toteca 10" TV Azteca Archive Drivers gang & Sharif in custody. 21" TV Azteca Archive corpse in grassland 5" TV Azteca Archive drivers showing signs of torture 13" TV Azteca
COMM: He later named several other bus drivers - who he claimed were also raping and killing women.
SUBTITLES ON ARCHIVE NEWS CLIP: A judge will hear the case... against the five drivers. They all confirmed that the Egyptian ... played a major role in the killings.
COMM: Sharif was once again blamed for orchestrating the killings from his prison. The drivers then recanted, accusing the police of torturing them into signing the confession. They showed evidence of beatings, cigarette burns and electric shocks
EXT JUAREZ PRISON
COMM: When he was interviewed in prison, Sharif challenged the authorities.
INT PRISON - SHARIF: They always say I was a genius and very intelligent...
IRENE BLANCO (LAWYER) TRANSLATES INTO SPANISH
SHARIF: Ok well thank you. How come a genius would make the same mistake twice... if I did the "Rebels" why would I do the same thing the same way? Paying people killing women outside which is very stupid... (to Blanco) .I'm sorry...
INT JUAREZ PRISON
Still photo (ex: El Norte) Elizabeth Castro 5 sec
COMM: The series of murder charges against Sharif were so flimsy they were all thrown out - but in 1998, he was sentenced to thirty years for the murder of a teenage factory worker named Elizabeth Castro. And once again the key evidence was seriously flawed.
ON SCREEN CAP: IRENE BLANCO, SHARIF'S DEFENCE COUNCIL
INT I/V BLANCO: That body is not Elizabeth Castro. The body is one metre and sixty three centimeters and Elizabeth Castro is one metre and seventy four centimeters. That's quite a difference. Also the body that was found has very thin lips and Elizabeth Castro has very thick lips.
COMM The police had also miscalculated the time of death. Elizabeth Castro had been missing for only four days: forensic evidence showed that the body presented by the police had been dead for much longer.
I/V IRENE BLANCO
The body was completely and absolutely decomposed ...that body was dead for at least three weeks or a month - not four days and seventeen hours.
EXT TRAVELLING CAR SHOT
COMM: Sharif won on appeal. The re-opening of the case was a serious embarrassment for the authorities who'd staked their reputation on Sharif being guilty. He was transferred to a maximum security prison 400 kilometres away in the state capital of Chihuahua - and placed in solitary confinement. Even his lawyer was denied access to him
SYNC INT I/V. IRENE BLANCO
I/V IRENE ON SHARIF'S CONDITION
SYNC: He was going crazy, he wasn't allowed to talk to anybody not even his inmates.. no telephone calls and when I went to see him to tried to talk to him, they didn't allow me to talk to him which is also illegal because I am his defender
INT I/V ROSA ISELA PEREZ Whenever Sharif talks to the press he challenges the authorities. Sharif is a very intelligent man. He always points out very clearly the irregularities in his case. And obviously the government doesn't want the embarrassment - especially with foreign media.
ROSA PEREZ CONT. If the Sharif case were to collapse then all the other cases would collapse with it because they're all linked. It would be a big scandal
EXT CHICHUAHUA PRISON
COMM: Sharif has been in prison for over five years. But there is no proven connection between him and any of the killings. Despite repeated requests, the authorities refused us an interview with him. Meanwhile the killings continue, and new names appear on the list of missing women.
LUPITA PHOTO INT I/V. LUPITA'S PARENTS
COMM: The latest is a college student - LUPITA. Two weeks ago Lupita left home in the middle of the day, to visit a school friend - she never arrived.
EPITACIO LUNA: (FATHER) I was strict with her...like fathers are, but not too strict. I just wanted her to have fun but I also warned her of the dangers .. I don't know why this has happened to us.
CELIA de la ROSA (MOTHER) My daughter was still like a child. She was still not grown up. She enjoyed the simplest things...
TILT UP "MISSING" POSTER LUPITA
INT ROOM WITH LUPITA's COLLEGE FRIENDS
COMM: Lupita's college friends now live in fear.
SYNC INT I/V: SANDY AMAYA. We're a frontier town, people come here from all over.. criminals - from the US... or from the south of Mexico come to commit crimes in Juarez. It will carry on so long as the authorities do nothing
EXT RADIO MAST INT RADIO STATION CHAT SHOW Radio Canon ident (cleared)
COMM: Lupita's disappearance has caused an outrage in Juarez because she was a local student, and not a migrant worker. Local radio stations have taken up the lead and have appealed to people to join search parties on the outskirts of town.
EXT BODY SEARCH ON LOTE BRAVO
COMM: The appeal is successful. Most of those who've showed up also have daughters and fear for their safety. They're concerned that the killers have now moved on from migrant workers and are furious at the incompetence of the authorities.
MALE SEARCHER All that's left is for us to take the law into our own hands - nothing less. If we catch the killer we should kill him ourselves and dump him with the garbage.
COMM: Suli Ponce is also making an appeal on radio.
INT RADIO STATION - SULI PONCE
SULI PONCE. I can't believe that in an entire neighbourhood at 2:30 in the afternoon, nobody, absolutely nobody saw or heard anything. Forgive me but the truth is that we must all be cowards, that we don't have the guts, character and conscience to come forward. It's too easy to say "I don't want to get involved. This is a struggle. As a woman I want to give something to the community and especially to other women.
COMM: In the next door studio, the rival chat show hosts are questioning Suli Ponce's credentials.
INT RADIO CANON
(SUBTITLES) (ANTONIO) A public question for Suli Ponce: What does she know about catching criminals? If she only got that job as a political favour... ...she should resign! She should have the honesty to resign. She should be less concerned about the money and just resign!
SAMIRA: (WOMAN HOST) Out of shame... Out of dignity... I'd resign, if I was in her shoes. I'd have never taken the job in the first place! How could anyone do that job when they haven't got a clue?
VALENTIN: (2nd MALE HOST) Our callers think you should do the job!
SAMIRA: Very funny... but why should a job people's live depend on be left to politics?
EXT W/S ANAPRA (JUAREZ)
COMM: Emotions are running high, and the public want answers. Someone has responded to the public appeals - but it turned out to be a hoax caller demanding money from Lupita's parents.
INT I/V LUPITA'S PARENTS I/V EPITACIO AND CELIA DE LA ROSA:
EPITACIO: They don't care about our pain... .. that we're trying to find my daughter... they just play with you... ...and if the law does nothing ... there is a God who sees all this.... and hopefully she will come back. I never hurt anyone ... why do they have to hurt my family?
CELIA: We just want to know where our daughter is.... if anyone has seen her... a hope... every time the telephone rings I imagine a thousand things, and hope many things...but nothing. We don't have a single clue about how to find our daughter
COMM: Lupita's disappearance has angered people. Public confidence in the authorities is at an all time low. This is one of the biggest demonstrations ever seen in Juarez The crowd besieges the police headquarters. SULI PONCE is the target. She's unwavering.
INT I/V SULI PONCE
SULI PONCE: Sharif raped the women, and so did the gang members. And then they strangled them so as to destroy the evidence - so they'd never be able to identify them.
I/V ROSA ISELA PEREZ, BRUNO (INTERVIEWER): Will he ever be released?
ROSA: I don't think Sharif will ever be released because the government controls the judges, and the police. I really don't think they'll ever give up on Sharif. There is such strong evidence that the investigation is flawed, and that they invented many things. If the case has not collapsed yet it means he has no chance.
I/V ESTHER CHAVEZ CANO It's husbands, lovers and relatives who are doing the killing. And they are killing innocent women because even if we wear miniskirts, even if we walk alone at night, we are not asking to be raped and killed.
EXT TIERRA NUEVA
COMM: Within a few days of the demonstration, another body of a murdered woman has been found.
EXT MORGUE CORPSE REMOVED FROM
COMM: In the City of Dreams, it's those with the most to gain from social changes who've become the victims
END PHOTOS SEQ 13 stills ex El Norte 34" Music Liz Drew 34"
END CREDITS Written & directed by BRUNO SORRENTINO Music LIZ DREW Sound recordist JAIME LAMPREA Dubbing Mixer GEORGE FOULGHAM Picture Editor JUSTIN AMSDEN Producer GIANFRANCO NORELLI Series Producer FARAH DURRANI A PALIO PICTURES PRODUCTION ON SCREEN CORRESPONDENT LOGO Editor FIONA MURCH BBC (c)BBC MM1 1