Juarez - City of Dreams
I undertook a personal project, with colleague Alex Tweedle, to visit the Mexican Border town of Juarez - one of the largest border towns on earth which is situated across the Rio Grande from the US city of El Paso. I went there to make a documentary about life on both sides of the border but especially to film what life is like for those living in one of Mexico's most violent and unstable areas. Juarez is the most dangerous city in the Americas - In the year we filmed (2008) 1300 people had been killed on it's streets largely due to the Mexican narco cartels fighting for the plazas or corridors of narcotics flowing into the US.
Juarez, formally called El Paso del Norte - The Northern Pass - is a smuggling route as old as the border. According to the DEA ,at its hight , the Juarez cartel was the biggest drug trafficker in the world, trafficking more than 50 percent of all narcotics consumed in the America.
Juarez was always a city of transit and became infamous for the torture and mass murder of 400 young women in the 1990's. Whist we were there we investigated the proliferation of murders on women and the impact decades of violence had on this city and its inhabitants.
Visually life either side of the Rio Grade could not be more dramatic. Oil rich Texas overlooks the shattered city of Juarez - which proved to be an incredible backdrop for the stories and people that we met.