University of Texas at Austin

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reading ahead: Mexico City kidnappings

Ricardo Ainslie

Ricardo Ainslie

Kay Randall writes about a documentary film that Ricardo Ainslie, an educational psychology professor, made about an epidemic of kidnappings in his hometown, Mexico City in the feature story that will be posted Monday on the university’s main Web page.

Here’s the top of the story:

This isn’t fiction and these aren’t actors. The torture is real.

The film is “¡Ya Basta!” (”Enough!”), and it’s a disturbing, intimate documentary of an epidemic of kidnappings and related crimes that started in Mexico in the ’90s.

The film was directed by University of Texas at Austin educational psychology Professor Ricardo Ainslie, and it’s not the first record he’s made of a community in crisis. It’s just the first time the community has been his hometown.

Ainslie, who has a dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship, was born and raised in Mexico City and remembers it as a wonderful place to be a kid. The streets were bustling, children played outside past dusk, neighbors stopped to chat, families felt safe in their homes.

In 2004, after being away from his native town for several years, Ainslie revisited Mexico City and was chilled to see the empty streets, apprehension in friends’ eyes, the armored cars, elaborate home security systems and bodyguards.

“During my visit, I was hearing horror stories from friends and family about the chaos, fear and explosion of kidnappings,” said Ainslie. “Everyone knew of someone who had been kidnapped in the previous 10 years.”

Go to www.utexas.edu on Monday for the rest of the story.

Ricardo Ainslie

Ricardo Ainslie

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