The UCLA Library Writer Series inaugurated a new component this last year, detective fiction and the Central American Experience, bringing to a standing only room award winning journalist and writer Hector Tobar. The series aims to bring to the UCLA community more awareness of Central American cultures and communities.
Marcos McPeek Villatoro screened a short film based on five women from El Mozote. El Mozote is the name of the rural village of Morazan, El Salvador where a mass murder of many civilians took place. A U.S. trained battalion–ironically named after Atlacati, the indigenous hero that fought against Spanish colonization–murdered men, women, and children accused of being members of a communist group. One woman survived the ordeal. The film recuperates part of this tragic history, but more important, shows the resilience and the strength of the women who were affected by it. The event required additional rows of seating and mdae apparent the interest of this subject to the UCLA community and beyond. We were honored to have been chosen as the site for the documentary’s screening that will make its world prmier showing at the Guadalajara International Film Festival next.
Kevin Mulroy, Villatoro, and Gloria Chacon
Marcos McPeek Villatoro is the author of five novels, two collections of poetry and a memoir. His Romilla Chacon crime fiction books have won national acclaim (named a Best Book of 2001 by the Los Angeles Times) and are also published in Germany, Japan, Russian, and Brazil.
Marcos holds the Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair in Writing at Mount St. Mary’s College. He as performed on NPR and appears regularly on KCET, the PBS Television station in Los Angeles. Recently he returned from his other home country of El Salvador, where he shot the documentary Tamale Road.
Marcos teaches and lectures on poetry, fiction, nonfiction, Latino and Appalachian worlds and tamales. His books are taught in colleges and high schools across the country. Marcos, his wife, and four children live in Los Angeles.