Director describes process of making ‘Tracing Aleida’

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

The reunion of Aleida Gallangos with her long-lost brother Lucio is a long and painful story. The two siblings were separated in Mexico after their parents and uncle were ‘disappeared’ during the country’s dirty war in the 1970s.

The Times’ Richard Boudreaux reported in January 2005:


‘In a rare story of closure to the conflict, Gallangos traced her brother to Washington, D.C., found him living under the name Juan Carlos Hernandez, and convinced him of his identity, making the immigrant construction worker the first of Mexico’s more than 500 desaparecidos, the disappeared ones, to be found alive since the ‘dirty war.’

Aleida’s search for and reunion with her brother was documented by the filmmaker Christiane Burkhard over a series of years. The result of that project -- the documentary ‘Tracing Aleida’ -- is showing in theaters across Mexico and is out on DVD in the United States.

We visited the German director in her Mexico City home to talk about the process of making the film.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City