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Reporter Dwayne Parker from the 69 WFMZ TV News channel in Reading, Pennsylvania, reported on the screening of the film “Backyard”, a depiction of the violence against women that has plagued the city of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico.
Carlos Carrera directed this film, which is this year’s narrative feature film winner in the Greater Reading Film Festival. The festival included 180 films, and 35 of them which were from 16 countries, were selected for screening.
In reference to “Backyard”, Juanita Morales, President and co-founder of the non-profit organization Latina Gathering of Pennsylvania, said the following, “We just want to make everyone aware of what is going on in Mexico, and the women who are disappearing and other women who are coming up dead.”
Within the last sixteen years more than 500 women and girls have been murdered in Ciudad Juarez. Most of their murderers have not been brought to justice.
Elizabeth Tinoco, member of Latina Gathering, said the following in reference to the murders, “It occurs throughout our countries, and this is why we are migrating to the United States so we can escape different circumstances like this, where in our countries we are not protected under the law, and here in the United States, is one of the freedoms that we do have.”
The screening of “Backyard” was accompanied by an exhibit consisting of a clothesline that had hanging t-shirts, and a table with shoes. The clothing belongs to victims of domestic violence and perpetrators. This is a very visual and touching way of raising awareness regarding domestic violence. (Check out my article on the Clothesline Project.)
“Backyard” is not the only film made about these murders. Some years ago the excellent film Senorita Extraviada aired on television. Beautifully directed and full of compassion for the victims and their families, it is worth seeing.
For anyone seeking more knowledge about the femicides in Mexico, I highly recommend the book “Harvest of Women - Safari in Mexico,” by Diana Washington Valdez.
Amnesty International has conducted a world wide campaign to seek justice for the women of Juarez.