Being Latino published an article stating that young Latino readers embraced literature more when they could relate to or see themselves portrayed in the stories. Does this hold true if it’s a negative image? This was my initial thought when I learned FX will launch a television show about border crime, “The Bridge.” They want to attract the 48 million TV viewers who identify as Latino.
The description and trailers indicate the show setting is the border between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. A body left on both sides of the border line brings together law enforcement from both cities to solve the murder of a young woman. The trailers allude to an unstructured and violent environment in Ciudad Juarez. The show will no doubt introduce the struggles with drug traffickers.
Will FX address the U.S. contribution in both creating a demand and enabling the trafficking? The books ‘White Out’ and ‘Underground Empire’ imply the CIA’s (Central Intelligence Agency) was involved in moving illicit drugs from Latin America to fund wars as far back as the 1970s. Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon said it best: “If America wants to fix the drug problem, it needs to do something about Americans’ unquenching thirst for illegal drugs.”
The trailer shows a young girl dressed for a night on the town. What a contrast to the findings of author, Stella Pope Duarte. She has dedicated five years to research, interview with victims’ families, and visits to the factories to write ‘If I Die In Juarez.’ Her website states the victims are mostly young women between the ages of 11 and 22 with hundreds showing signs of violent torture and sexual abuse. The women were abducted coming or going to work in the factories. A smaller number of innocents were taken in broad daylight or on the way to school. Stella shared with me “the research seared my soul…and it took all from me, tears, darkness, pain, and much love.” Will FX honor the victims?
In one trailer the female investigator asks if they have a serial killer and the response is ‘we don’t know.’ Duarte’s extensive research indicates the culprits of these unspeakable femicides include cartels and narco-traffickers, gang members, satanic cults, porno industry and the making of ‘snuff videos,’ and possibly jealous husbands and/or boyfriends. Will FX cover this complexity and the alleged cover-up by Mexican police in some situations?
The Bridge will launch July 10, 2013. FX will hold a mural contest in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Chicago. Why not include border towns such as San Diego, Nogales, or the show setting, El Paso? Perhaps, FX is afraid people on the border will understand this is a complex issue with broad implications. They have an opportunity to enlighten and entertain, is FX as courageous as author, Stella Pope Duarte?