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La Sierra
A film by Scott Dalton & Margarita Martinez

84 minutes, documentary, color, Spanish w/ English subtitles, 2005

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La Sierra is part of The Human Rights Watch Collection.

La Sierra is a barrio in Medellin, Colombia - the cocaine capital of the world.

Here, lives are defined by drugs, guns and violence. A state of perptual urban warfare exists, with paramilitary gangs, leftist guerrillas and the US-sponsored Colombian military battling continually for power and control.

This award-winning film portrays three of La Sierra's inhabitants: 22-year-old paramilitary leader Edison, a self-professed killer and father of six children by six women; gang soldier Jesus, ready for death at any moment; and Cielo, only 17 and already a mother with a boyfriend in prison.

Entering a world where few journalists dare to venture, La Sierra reveals not only startling moments of violence and its aftermath, but also those of tenderness and faith which give the community hope for survival.


"Reminiscent of CITY OF GOD- only real. Stunning...devastating power." - AUSTIN CHRONICLE

"An intimate, powerfully disturbing look at the violent barrios of Medellin, Colombia, where baby-faced youths tote guns, commit murder and snort cocaine with a live-fast-die-young abandon. Sobering stuff you'll likely never forget." - LA WEEKLY

"Vibrant, fascinating and devastating." - TIME OUT

"Riveting!" - NEW YORK POST

"Astonishing...harrowing!" - AIN'T IT COOL NEWS

"An unforgettable, singular entry into one of the world's oldest civil wars." - MIAMI HERALD

"A stark, relentlessly deglamourised vision of thug life, LA SIERRA is essential viewing!"


La Sierra official website

Click here to learn about Human Rights Watch work in Colombia.

Disc Features

●  Film Notes

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