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The Engineer (2013)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Crime | May 2013 (Spain)
Israel is El Salvador's only criminologist. In one of the world's most dangerous countries, his job is to unearth the hundreds murdered and buried by the rival gangs MS-13 and 18 Street.


Mathew Charles (co-director), Juan Luis Passarelli (co-director)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Israel Ticas is the only criminologist working in one of Latin America's most dangerous countries. In El Salvador, one child goes missing every three minutes*. Many children are killed by other minors in gang related violence. Ticas has made it his mission to find the bodies of these children, identify them, and end the agony of their families. The mothers of the missing affectionately call him The Engineer. But for The Engineer, death no longer evokes fear. Death is his every day, it has become his art. He calls the bodies he finds "friends" and his office walls are a macabre tribute to them all. The State and the Church in El Salvador have recently brokered an unstable truce between the country's rival gangs. But will the let-up in the violence allow the hundreds still missing to be found? Will the murderers come forward and reveal the hundreds of secret mass graves still yet to be investigated? Through the eyes of The Engineer this film offers a unique insight into the fight ... Written by Juan Passarelli

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Plot Keywords:

gang | el salvador | See All (2) »


Not Rated

User Reviews

El Salvador's shame
28 March 2020 | by valleyjohnSee all my reviews

El Salvador is ruled by two gangs . MS-13 and 18 street . Murder is an every day occurrence but there is a truce . Or is there ? The truce is a smokescreen because all it means is instead of killings on the street the people are now going missing and being buried and there is only one man in El Salvador who retrieves these bodies and that's Israel Ticas -"The Engineer". This documentary is as draw dropping as they come . El Salvador is an horrendous place . This film shows just how death is just taken for granted. It seems only the parents and grandparents suffer .

It's probably one of the most graphic films I've ever seen . You are witness to some horrific scenes including dismembered bodies and dead woman and children I want expecting that at all . The Engineer himself is a likeable guy and takes death in is stride and that's probably what is the most shocking . How can these murders be the norm ? As documentary's go it definitely very memorable but not recommended for anyone with a squeamish disposition.

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Release Date:

May 2013 (Spain) See more »

Filming Locations:

El Salvador


Box Office


$30,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (HD)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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