Mariposa, a young Chicana high school student photographer, crosses the Mexican border from El Paso, Texas into Juarez, Mexico after learning about another dead woman’s body found in the desert. Armed with her camera, she ditches school and goes to Juarez to document the tragic murders of hundreds of women. Her overzealous nature leads her into the hands of Victor, a corrupt cop who kidnaps women for money. Mariposa is kept in a secret holding room where she meets Gemma, the cop’s girlfriend who helps him in the business. During her capture, she attempts to get into the minds of her kidnappers and negotiate her release.