Warner Bros. Discovery: Masacre de los Mormones for Max delivers the documentary narratives audiences are seeking

April 12, 2024

Aliana González

Cecilia Abraham, director of Non-Fiction Content Development for Warner Bros. Discovery: True crime continues to be a trend, not only on Max but on the platforms

Cecilia Abraham, director of Non-Fiction Content Development for Warner Bros. Discovery, said we are facing the revival of the documentary, especially the type that offers another narrative that incorporates different rhythms and quality technical aspects, transcendent stories, and multiple voices. This is just what Max offers with Masacre de los Mormones, produced by Pacha Films and debuting on April 11.

The story features the voices of the protagonists, the children who survived, and the victims’ families, as well as experts, recreations or dramatizations, and archive images, with the quality of a film edition, said Abraham.

The four-episode miniseries portrays the crime that occurred on November 4, 2019, between the states of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico, in which nine members of the Mormon community, members of the Lebaron, Langford, and Miller families, all women and children, brutally murdered in an ambush.

“True crime continues to be a trend, not only on Max but on the platforms. With Narcosatánica and Pacto Brutal, we did extremely well and Pacto Brutal traveled to the US Hispanic with great success. It is a search that the audience continues to have,” said Abraham, who pointed out that the story told by Masacre de los Mormones is in the hearts of Mexicans, it is known throughout Latin America and transcends the US, as it is a story that crosses borders, being Americans the protagonists on Mexican soil. “In addition, it has social overtones of a special culture such as the Mormon culture. It has many ingredients to generate interest, including the fact that, unfortunately, justice has not been served yet.”

Fernando Sugueno, VP of General Entertainment Content for Mexico at Warner Bros. Discovery, commented that the documentary is part of the valuable original content that they incorporate into the Max platform and that since its recent launch it has had a great reception. “Month after month we have great premieres, and this is one of them,” he stated. He announced that this month they will also launch the Mexican series Tierra Madre, of which they will give more details soon.

Masacre de los Mormones is a harsh and sad story but must be told. And it was told in the best way by Pacha through the vision of the survivors,” said Sugueno, who added that it also has no bias because it relies on the testimonies of all the parties in the story, including the voice of a hitman. In turn, this impartiality is a wall of security for those who gave their testimony in the story, she explained.

Luis del Valle, managing partner of Pacha Films, commented that they went through an arduous process to get the necessary elements from the journalistic investigation, where they also found exclusive information from the survivors and from the people who participated in the investigation. “We have been as rigorous as possible so that the viewer can draw their conclusions,” he said.

They faced enormous challenges, he explained. One was working in the area where the events occurred and where organized crime dwells. In addition, they did not find the answers to many of the questions. “In the end, there are no keys that fully open the doors to a single answer, but we are satisfied with the work,” del Valle explained.

Guillermo Galdós, also director of Pacha Films, said that one of the biggest challenges was gaining the trust of the victims and survivors. “I spent months between La Mora and Colonia Le Baron, located between Sonora and Chihuahua. Finally, they trusted us. I usually work by putting myself in the shoes of the people we are portraying, and it seemed difficult to approach these grieving people to ask them to film a documentary. So we spent a lot of time getting to know each other, and little by little, we convinced them,” he said.