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Oct 9, 2014

Bono and Javier Bardem endorse Blood Rising film about Juarez femicides


http://www.rte.ie/presspack/2014/05/08/blood-rising/


“Blood Rising”

(Film about femicides endorsed by mega star rock band Bono & Academy Award winning actor Javier Bardem; free showing at the University of Texas at El Paso,the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center  El Paso, Texas, followed by panel; 6 p.m. Oct. 14)

FEMICIDE SYMPOSIUMS IN TOP US UNIVERSITIES
Press Release - Oct. 3, 2014
Beginning Sept. 29 in Harvard and ending Oct. 29 in UCLA, Blood Rising director, Mark Mc Loughlin and head of the victims group Marisela Ortiz Rivera, will host a series of symposiums in top US Universities as the first step in a major inernational human rights campaign to bring more attention to the issue of femicides in Mexico.
This campaign has been endorsed by rock music band Bono and actor Javier Bardem, winner of the Academy Award.
“The mothers of the femicide victims of Juarez, Mexico, have been abandoned by their government - they have engaged the artist Brian Maguire to bring their stories to the international community. Art has become the last weapon available to them to fight the drug cartels and serial killers. Only 2% of these murder cases have been investigated and many of the mothers have themselves received death threats for simply demanding justice.”
In 2010, 438 innocent women were murdered in Juarez. The mothers and families of the femicide victims of Juarez have bravely chosen to openly express their emotions through the work of the artist Brian Maguire as a last resort to find justice – for Brian it is a means of exploring how he can provide a voice for the mothers and a deeper understanding of their personal grief through his artworks.
Brian Maguire has spent three years working in Juarez. He spends time with the mothers of the victims gaining their trust and learning from their own experiences. From these meetings he paints a picture of the murdered person in his studio in El Paso, offering a deep sense of their spirit and personality and celebrating their life. 
After a period of time he returns to the family or friends and presents the painting to them. He then paints a much larger work. These paintings are being used in a series of international exhibitions, the first of these was in the centre of the European Parliament in September 2012. The film was also screened in the European Parliament at the end of February 2014.
The narrative revolves around two central stories of Elia and her murdered daughter Erika and Bertha Alicia and her disappeared daughter Brenda, tracing the final hours of their lives in detail. From this central strand we move in and out of the emotionally fueled worlds of other mothers who have lost their daughters. Brian moves through these locations and maps the stories of the innocent young women who have lost their lives.
His journeys take him from studio to body dumps, to poor barrios, to the dangerous streets of the city centre, to other people who are inextricably connected to the story and back to the studio, always seeking a deeper meaning and understanding. It is also a very personal journey for Brian who has been entrusted by the mothers to produce art at a level which will speak in a provocative voice to the international community about the wanton destruction that has been visited upon their lives. Together they are fighting a battle for justice.
Blood Rising is a celebration of beauty through art and a revelation of the power of the human spirit to rise out of the most extreme and destructive situations. Its role is to honor the spirit and energy of the dead and to contextualize and understand the destruction of these lives and the mark it has left on the community.
The film and human rights campaign has been publicly endorsed by Bono and Javier Bardem.
It is also supported by Frontline Defenders, Amnesty International, the Equal Rights Trust and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development.

Jun 14, 2014

El Paso journalist and author is honored today

El Paso journalist to be honored

By Kelly McKenzie

EL PASO, TEXAS -- Ms. Diana Washington Valdez will be recognized at today's session of the International Wise Latinas summit in El Paso, Texas, along with other stellar Latinas. The conference is taking place at the Camino Real Hotel in El Paso.

Here is a bio that lists some of her accomplishments

Bio

Diana Washington Valdez is a journalist, educator, author and poet based in El Paso, Texas. She is co-founder of Journalists for Justice, and has conducted workshops for U.S. and foreign journalists. She wrote The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women, a 2006 book about women’s murders and drug corruption in Juarez, Mexico. Her El Paso Times series "Death Stalks the Border” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and received a First Place Award from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Association.

The documentary “Border Echoes” by Lorena Mendez-Quiroga features her Juarez investigation. She’s traveled to more than 30 cities in North America and Europe to speak about her work, and has received numerous national and international awards and recognitions. She has collaborated with dozens of U.S. and international publications, films and documentaries on topics related to drug violence, human trafficking and violence against women. A political science teacher, she is busy at work on the forthcoming books Mexican Roulette: Last Cartel Standing and The Desert Killer (with Trish Long) and other projects.

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