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'Bordertown' producer to speak at CSUMB

The President’s Speaker Series at CSU Monterey Bay resumes on Feb. 22 when documentary filmmaker and human rights activist Barbara Martinez Jitner visits campus. Her topic: “Femicide at our Border: To be a Woman in Juarez is a Death Sentence.”

The talk will start at 7 p.m. at the World Theater, and will be followed by a question-and-answer session. Tickets are not required for this free event, but reservations are recommended and can be made online or by calling the World Theater box office at (831) 582-4580.

The border town of Juarez, Mexico, has been nicknamed the “capital of murdered women” because more than 400 women have been found raped, mutilated and murdered. Almost all of them worked in maquiladoras, American-owned factories that cropped up along the U.S.-Mexico border in the 1990s, following adoption of the NAFTA treaty.

Martinez Jitner posed as a factory worker to uncover a dark world of poverty, sexual abuse and murder. Her investigation led to the production of her critically acclaimed documentary “The Border,” and that, in turn, provided the inspiration for the feature film “Bordertown,” starring Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas. Martinez Jitner served as executive producer of the film.

The public is invited to a free showing of "Bordertown" at 7 p.m., Feb. 21 in the World Theater.

The lecture will give a personal look at the crippling poverty and gender discrimination that has made NAFTA’s “expendable workforce” into expendable human beings.

Martinez Jitner is the first Latina to be nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Emmy, honors she earned for her work on “American Family,” the first Latino drama on prime time network television. She is currently adapting Victor Villasenor’s bestselling book, “Rain of Gold,” for an HBO miniseries. For more information on the lecture or the movie showing, contact the World Theater at (831) 582-3653 or go online.