The Invisibles: Four films by Gael Garcia Bernal and Marc Silver for Amnesty International

Gael García Bernal, Marc Silver and Amnesty International have come together to create THE INVISIBLES – four short films documenting the plight of migrants travelling without legal permission through Mexico, García Bernal’s home country.

Every year thousands of migrants are kidnapped, raped and sometimes murdered in Mexico. Those responsible are usually criminal gangs, or sometimes public officials, but virtually no one is held to account.  Driven by grinding poverty and insecurity back home, the mainly Central American migrants travel through Mexico in hope of reaching the USA with its promise of work and a new life. But all too often their dreams are turned to nightmares.

Told over four parts, THE INVISIBLES uncovers the reality behind one of the most dangerous journeys in the world and reveals the untold stories of the people who make the journey north through Mexico.

Gael García Bernal said:

“The flow of migrants will never stop. There will always be ebb and flow, a coming and going, a present and a future. The international economy is also bound by this relentless law. The Mexican authorities must protect migrants in our country. The law must protect us all, whether nationals or foreigners. It’s essential Mexico sets a good example in the way it treats migrants to be consistent with the valid demands we make for the fair treatment of migrants in the United States.”

Amnesty International’s Mexico Campaigner and executive producer of the films, Sarah Shebbeare said:

“As the world’s experts on migration gather in Puerto Vallarta for the Global Forum on Migration and Development this week, hundreds of miles away migrants in Mexico are facing terrible dangers.

“The Mexican government has promised to improve protection for migrants. It is time to turn that promise into action. As a first step, we are calling on the government to establish a clear action plan and to collect and publish nationwide data on abuses against migrants and on the action taken to hold those responsible to account.”

The premiere of THE INVISIBLES will be held in Mexico City on 8 November to coincide with the start of the 2010 Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The four short films include:


People are filled with hope of reaching the USA; a young girl travelling with her family dreams of visiting adventure park Seaworld. Filmed at a migrant shelter in southern Mexico, this film reveals the dangers that await them.

Six Out of Ten:

Gael García Bernal talks to three Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights from Honduras who are travelling in search of a better life for their families. They are taking a huge risk. Six out of ten Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who attempt the journey are sexually abused.

What Remains:

Relatives in Central America may never know what happened to their loved ones. In El Salvador a mother tells us of her desperation at not knowing where her son is ten years after he left for the USA saying he’d call home in 12 days.


Despite the danger and the risks, the migrants will keep coming. They sleep rough, beg for food and grab lifts by clinging to the outsides of moving freight trains. Many are seriously injured, but there will always be those prepared to brave the journey.

THE INVISIBLES is part of an ongoing campaign by Amnesty International to improve protection for migrants in Mexico. As a first step towards demonstrating its stated commitment to address the human rights crisis facing Mexico’s invisible victims the Mexican government needs to collect and publish nationwide data on abuses against migrants and on the action taken to hold those responsible to account.

Viewers will be able to watch the films and take action online at  from 8 November.

Notes to the Editor:

In August 2010, the bodies of 72 Central and South American migrants were found on a remote ranch in north – eastern Mexico. The victims had been on their way to the USA in search of work and a better future. A survivor of the brutal attack said the killing began after the migrants refused to be coerced into working for one of the drug cartels operating in the area. The mass killings attracted the world’s attention, opening a window on the brutality and violence routinely inflicted on thousands of migrants – Mexico’s invisible victims.

Every year tens of thousands of people leave their homes in Central and South America and journey north through Mexico, seeking a better life in the United States. As irregular migrants they do not have legal permission to enter or remain in the country.

In April 2010 Amnesty International launched a report and campaign to expose the grave dangers and abuses facing migrants in Mexico. The report is available here:

The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is an intergovernmental forum that takes place every year to discuss migration and development issues. The Forum started by recommendation of the UN High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in New York in September 2006.

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