12:15 03 September 2009
A French-Spanish film-maker who made a documentary about gang life in El Salvador has been shot dead, officials state.
Christian Poveda was discovered dead in a car just north of the capital, San Salvador, police said.
Salvadorean President Mauricio Funes said he was shocked by Poveda's death and has demanded a full police inquiry into the matter.
Poveda originally came to El Salvador as a photographer in the 1980s to cover its civil war. He returned during the 1990s to focus on the Central American country's street gangs.
His highly controversial 2008 film 'La Vida Loca' (The Crazy Life) followed the violent lives of members of the Mara 18 street gang. This gang, and its rival Mara Salvatrucha group, make up a criminal network with roots that meander through Central America and many US states.
According to local media reports quoted by Spanish news agency Efe, Poveda himself witnessed seven murders - three of them subjects of his film - during the course of the 'La Vida Loca' shoot.
The film has been shown at festivals in the US, Mexico, Spain and Cuba, as well as in El Salvador.
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