Justice for Mexico’s Children: Guarderia ABC


Justice For Mexico’s Children:
Guardería ABC

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To push for accountability for the deaths of 43 toddlers in a fire in northern Mexico that was the result of negligence. The case had been sitting in waiting at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for 5 years at the time of production and we were trying to get it taken on by the court to provide accountability to victims and ensure new laws to prevent such tragedies again.


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Create a film with victims and victims families, as well as lawyers and other experts, to present at an Inter-American Commission hearing.


In 2000, a tragic and avoidable fire burned down the state-run Guarderia ABC nursery and killed 43 toddlers in Northern Mexico. Until the time of production, no accountability had been provided to victims of the fire and as a result, the possibility of such a tragedy taking place again was a serious concern as there were no appropriate laws to protect against such a disaster. This video was created for the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center and the Parents of ABC Guarderia Victims, known as the Movimiento 5 de Junio.

We worked closely with both the victims of the fire and their legal representatives to come up with a strategy to use film to help push for the case to be taken on by the Court. We decided to use the film both in a presentation at the Commission itself which is the body that would determine whether the case was taken on. We also worked with victims to include the film in their advocacy work and in nationwide commemorative events on the anniversary of the fire. The production itself took place in Mexico City and Northern Mexico and included over a dozen interviews with victims and lawyers. We also worked closely on distribution strategies with both the lawyers for the case and the victims groups.

This film was ultimately used in an in person presentation at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, something we were not sure would be allowed at the time of production, to push for the case to be taken on by the Court after five years of impunity. It tested how video could be used in such a setting successfully.  The film was also used by victims’ groups in their own organizing and communications efforts to tell the story of the Guarderia ABC tragedy. It served as the centerpiece for a broad, national campaign to influence the Commission and promote accountability.

Created with the New Media Advocacy Project. Available in English and Spanish.


Sin Embargo (Mexico), local radio.