Thefilm, MissingYoung Women byLourdes Portillo can be used to explain the history of the Latinos inAmerica. In the story developed in the film, more than 300 women fromJuarez, Mexico were kidnapped, raped and murdered in the 1990’s.Thefamilies of the young women have also been the victims of corruptionand abject poverty in the Latino American land, Mexico. The filmdirectly relates to the history of America, in that, the Latinoexperience was as a result of the United States harsh treatment ofthe immigrants. The film starts with a background of the Juarez cityof Mexico where the public and private sectors are run by corruptpolice officers, politicians and businessmen. Juarez is the home ofthe drug business as well as the American-owned assembly factories.The film explains the brutal murder of women that usually happened in1990’s in the United States (Portillo 3). The movie features thetime when many immigrants worked in the assembly factories commonlyknown as the Maliquidora.The factories exploited these immigrant workers through giving lowpayments and poor working conditions.
Thedocumentary film relates to the Latino history, in that, themigration of workers addressed in the movie is similar to Latino’smigration in the history. The director of the movie points out thatmost people who worked in the industrial plants were immigrants.Following the establishment of factories in the southern border, inMexico, most people from the poor states migrated to work in thefactories in search for quality life.Research has shown thatimmigration is one of the major aspects of the Latino history. In thefactories, there were inadequate facilities such as schools, housing,electricity and more. The poor living conditions in the US-Mexicanborder mostly affected women who worked in the assembly factories(Portillo 13).
Thereare horror stories in the movie where women kill other women, policeexhume wrong bodies and torturing of women. The assembly factorieswere involved in the kidnapping of young girls who are later rapedand murdered in bordering desert to the city of Juarez.The film makershows some pictures of young women before they were tortured in thedesert (Portillo 17). The stories and scenes depicted in the moviedescribes the Latino experience in the US-Mexican border andparticularly the young women who were murdered at that time. TheLatinos were also subjects to oppression by the politicians andpolice who were very corrupt in the 1990’s.
Afterthe killings in the desert, many people were later arrested inconnection with those crimes. The filmmaker identifies the factoryengineers and bus drivers who were prosecuted in the court of laws.However, some suspects were not convicted, which made the families ofthe young women lose hope with unjust criminal judiciary systems. Inother scenes murders and sexual harassment of women continues, whichportrays how the Latinos remained as subjects to the corruptjudiciary systems (Portillo 23).
Thebook,Harvestof Empire: A History of Latinos in America byJuan Gonzalez can be used to analyse the film, as well. When Americastarted trading freely across the borders, many immigrants from thepoor nations moved to the cities. Factories acquired cheap labourfrom the Latino lands since many people were hunger for work(Gonzalez 249). Free trade economies were meant to boost theeconomies during the 1990’s, but, they also led to massiveimmigration of Latin Americans to the United States. Due to poorliving conditions in the factories, shanty towns developed, whichforms the basis of the mistreatment of young women as depicted in themovie (Gonzalez 250).
Gonzalez,Juan. Harvestof Empire: A History of Latinos in America.New York: Viking, 2000. Print.
Portillo,Lourdes MissingYoung Women (movie, Preview),New York: Cengage Learning, 2001. Print.