Los Angeles, CA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 21, 2006–Over the last decade, more than 500 women have been abducted and brutally murdered in the Juarez City, Chihuahua State, Mexico and El Paso, Texas (U.S.) Border Region, an area often referred to as “The City of Death.” Most of the victims were poor, young working girls. Some victims were as young as 5 and 6 years old, and the majority of the victims were teenagers and young women between the ages of 17 to 22. Although numerous suspects are in custody, activists and families of victims believe the Mexican authorities have not solved most of the crimes and the killings continue.
Hollywood and L.A business owners are stepping up to the plate to make a difference. During the month of September the restaurants listed at http://www.wereallycare.org are holding Dine Outs in a display of solidarity for the young women losing their lives. Until September 27, 2006, participating restaurants will donate a generous percentage of receipts to Peace at the Border Films LLC for their work on projects designed to help create a non-violent and quality living and working environment in the area such as their work with victim’s mothers on a film about the Femicide, “Border Echoes-Ecos De Una Frontera.” This is a documentary based on the investigation efforts of Diana Washington, a journalist in El Paso, Texas, who put her life on the line to expose the high-level corruption that she believes has protected the killers. She contends that serial killers, drug dealers, violent gangs, a group of powerful and copycat killers are among the suspects who are still at large.
The Juarez femicides have gained Hollywood’s attention and are the focus of several forthcoming movies: “Bordertown” with Jennifer Lopez, “The Virgin of Juarez” with Minnie Driver, and “Loteria” (in development with HBO). “Border Echoes-Ecos De Una Frontera” is a factual account about the disturbing and tragic crimes occurring next door that should stir us all to action.
Some of the prominent citizens involved in advocating against the gender violence in Ciudad Juarez include Jane Fonda and Sally Field, who led a protest march in Juarez in 2004; Dolores Huerta, co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers; and Oscar-nominated Salma Hayek, a spokesperson for Avon’s anti-domestic violence initiative. In response to pleas for help from U.S. constituents, U.S. Representative Hilda Solis of Los Angeles led a U.S. Congressional delegation in 2003 to Ciudad Juarez on a fact-finding mission to learn more about the persistent murders called femicides. She introduced a resolution in Congress condemning the murders that the House and Senate passed unanimously this year.
In this year’s human rights report to Congress, U.S. State Secretary Condoleezza Rice referred to the Juarez women’s murders as “a problem.”
The film in English chronicles the chilling story of the deaths that Amnesty International called “Intolerable Killings” in its 2003 report on Ciudad Juarez and explains why the murders are likely to continue. It also provides previously unreported and shocking details about the murders.
Film Director Lorena Mendez-Quiroga is the founder of Justice for the Women of Juarez in Los Angeles, which aims to raise awareness about the issue and to support the families of victims.
The documentary will be screened at 7:00 pm on Sept. 27, 2006 at the Laemmle’s SUNSET 5 on 8000 Sunset Blvd. An invitation only reception in honor of Diana Washington-Valdez, the victims and their mothers will be held directly after the screening. Attendance at the screening is by RSVP only. Reception tickets are an optional donation.
For a list of participating restaurants, please go to http://www.wereallycare.org. To RSVP for the screening and reception contact S. Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Peace at the Border Films, LLC (323)934-9667.