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Tijuana Review 2019 TV-Show Series Cast Crew Online
Creator: Zayre Ferrer, Daniel Posada
Stars: Damián Alcázar, Tamara Vallarta, Rolf Petersen
Review: Demonstrations of journalism have come in many forms, but few shots have been so moving, instantly compelling and as shocking as Netflix’s Tijuana. From the creators Daniel Posada and Zayre Ferrer, Tijuana not only touches the corrupt politics of Mexico and its bloody history of murderous journalists; goes into them. By framing the history of this high-risk drama completely around these murders, Tijuana gives a face to this disturbing problem.
The first moment of Tijuana is defined by pain, anger and rebellion. A group of protesters with signs, candles and black tape march to face a squad of armed officers. When they are only a few steps away from these trained gunmen, they stop and begin to list the names of journalists who have been murdered over the years solely for doing their job. The pilot of Tijuana only includes some names, including that of Iván Rosa (Roberto Sosa), the fictitious and revered founder of the newspaper Tijuana Front and the murder that unites the first season of this program. But even before we see the passionate cries and the palpable tension of this rebellion, Tijuana drops a shocking statistic. From 2000 to 2018, 116 reporters have been murdered in Mexico.
The real life numbers are just as instructive. According to the New York Times, by April 2017, at least 104 journalists had been murdered in Mexico since 2000. Twenty-five more journalists disappeared during that time. At the end of 2017, NPR reported six additional murders. The report that mentioned these deaths actually praised the murder rate of journalists in the country. Although it was still the highest of any country that was not in a conflict zone, six people who died for reporting the truth to the public represented a downward trend. That is the problem of violence against the press.
For years, Netflix has found a successful niche in the creation of prestigious dramas centered on stories from the history of Latin America. Narcos has become a great success for the streaming giant, as it has its own video game. This time, Netflix is not using its platform to highlight another well-known but not fully understood drug lord. With Tijuana he is exploring a horrible problem that has plagued the corrupt politics of this country for decades.
Compared to other prestigious originals in Spanish language Netflix, Tijuana feels more similar to season 1 of Narcos: Mexico. Both series begin with a shocking murder and a story of “whodunit” that is more of a farce than a true mystery. In Tijuana everyone knows who killed Iván Rosa and then independent candidate for governor Eugenio Robles (Roberto Mateos), although they refuse to say it out loud.
Similarly, in Narcos: Mexico, everyone involved knows that the Guadalajara Cartel was behind the death of Kiki Camarena (Michael Peña). However, in the case of both dramas, the purpose of the show is not simply to highlight these gentlemen and politicians larger than the drug traffickers. It is in showing the full graphic effects of your corruption. These seasons are about their victims and the discovery of the truth, not about complicated portraits of corrupt antiheroes.
Programs like Narcos have done an excellent job of contextualizing their complicated stories and taking them to an international audience. As dark and disturbing as it is, it is good to see Tijuana doing the same for the serious journalistic problem in Mexico. What is even more refreshing is to see a series doing this in a way that is consistently reverent to its fictional victims.
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