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. We 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 height, 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. While 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 Grande 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.
We gave the finished film to The Women's Crisis Centre in Juarez and they used it to highlight the crimes against women in the city, as well as distributing it at International film festivals to raise awareness of the violence and disorder the inhabitants of this city were living under.