Documentary in Progress: Atrocities in Michoacán
In early June 2014, Stella Flora Films began filming in the town of Apatzingan, Michoacán, former stronghold of the Knights Templar drug cartel. The film will tell the story of one family that lost 13 members in August 2013. All lime pickers and their children, they were murdered and disposed of in a mass grave because the orchard where they worked happened to be a strategic location for the cartel’s illicit activities. The family did not report the disappearance of their loved ones for six months because they were terrified of retaliation. Much of the world’s attention has gone to the armed self-defense movement in Michoacán, also known as “los autodefensas,” which put an end to the cartel’s reign of terror. But few stories have been told of the atrocities that spurred the autodefensas into being in the first place. The documentary will be in production throughout Summer 2014 and will feature an interview with autodefensa leader José Manuel Mireles.