Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Plaza by Guillermo Paxton: Character Interview

Plaza-in Mexican culture, a slang word describing the territory of a certain cartel.

"I've been a reporter for years, and a resident of Juarez, Mexico all of my life. I've never seen anything like it. No one thought the drug war would be like this...My town has become the battleground for drug cartels. Even the police are being killed on a daily basis. Bands of teenagers working as paid assassins & extortionists are hitting every business, no matter how small. Things I took for granted like going to a restaurant, getting a haircut, or even an evening at the movies with my family put all our lives in danger. Robberies and public executions have become common place. Now when I report only five homicides in twenty-four hours, it is considered a good day." - Saul Saavedra, crime reporter for The Juarez Daily in THE PLAZA.

Saul Saavedra is a crime reporter for the Juarez Daily newspaper. In just a year’s time he saw his city change from decent place to live and work to a crime-infested inferno. He reports the happenings in a city that is experiencing total social decay and writes against the government that at best does nothing about it. Two major drug cartels battle it out in Juarez and Saul soon finds himself in the crossfire between La Linea and the Sinaloa Cartel.

Guns for hire are a dime a dozen in a war among cartels, but Felipe stands out as one of the best. His only love is for money, or so he believes, until he meets a beautiful young prostitute named Ruby. As he rises in the ranks of La Linea his relationship with Ruby changes as well, and soon he learns that she too has a taste for blood.

Thousands of Mexicans are deported to Mexico every year, Juarez being a dumping ground for many. Some are convicts that have spent years in federal prison and now have lost their status as residents. Juan, a psychopathic killer, is given the option to return to Mexico or finish out his sentence in the federal penitentiary. For him the choice is obvious and he soon finds himself at home in violent Juarez and finds work in the Sinaloa Cartel.

Based on true events in the city of Juarez, The Plaza is about the people, the government and the cartels that make up both the innocent victims and the criminals that are the pawns in the drug war of Mexico.


Saul Saavedra, crime reporter for The Juarez Daily.

Tell us about your family.

My wife, Edilia, is the love of my life. For me, it was love at first sight, for her, well, I grew on her. We have two beautiful daughters that still think I am the best thing since ice cream and chocolate.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

The first time I received threats to my phone from a cartel. I knew that someone had leaked info and that my life, and more importantly, my family’s lives, were now in danger.

What are you passionate about these days?

 My country. Rampant crime, a completely corrupt government system, and wealthy, powerful cartels have brought Mexico to its knees. No one is safe, and the future looks grim. I wish to bring to light the corruption and all of the factors that ill Mexican society and hope to contribute to making at least a small change and leave a better Mexico for my children.

Who should play you in a film? 

Demián Bichir

Tell us about your favorite restaurant.

Los Canarios. They serve the best flautas in the world, with a light cream, guacamole and a red sauce that is made of toasted Japanese peppers.

Do you have any special routines or rituals?

I always look for an escape route, be it in a vehicle or when I am in a building, just in case there is a sudden firefight.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I never wanted to be a crime reporter, or any kind of reporter, when I was growing up. I wanted to be a superhero, or a policeman.

Guillermo Paxton and his family lived in Juarez, Mexico and he researched the escalating violence from 2008 until 2011 when he was forced to leave.
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The reviews of THE PLAZA are excellent. It is the only book of its kind, written by an author from Juarez that lived the drug war. He has been able to write a fictional account of real events in a way that transports the reader to his home as it became a war zone and truly experience it. The contest is for two copies of THE PLAZA to be given out, one ebook and one a hardcopy. The hardcopy will be signed by the author. There are only three requirements to enter this contest.

One: Like this Facebook page:
Two: Send a message to the FB page admin that you would like to enter the contest.

Three: Repost what the admin sends to you on your FB page.

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