Torn From Her Arms’ actors who play Cindy Madrid and Alisson Ximena (Image via lifetimetv/ Instagram)
Torn From Her Arms’ actors who play Cindy Madrid and Alisson Ximena (Image via lifetimetv/ Instagram)

Who are Cindy Madrid and Alisson Ximena? All about mother-daughter duo who inspired 'Torn From Her Arms’

Sushmita Sen

Lifetime is soon releasing a film, Torn From Her Arms, that is based on real-life events. The drama is about a mother and daughter who were detained and separated at the U.S. border.

They fled the violence in El Salvador and went to the U.S., but were detained as per the Administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy. With the help of immigration lawyer Thelma Garcia and journalist Ginger Thompson, the family was reunited.


The makers of Torn From Her Arms have used the real names of the people on whom the story is based. Cindy Madrid and Alisson Ximena are the mother-daughter duo, who underwent a traumatic experience in the country.

What happened to Cindy and Ximena?


Cindy and Ximena made it to the U.S. border illegally on foot in May 2018. During their journey, Cindy’s boyfriend was killed in El Salvador and an attempt to snatch her child from her was also made.

In the U.S., Cindy was in the detention center in McAllen and then Port Isabel, while Ximena was kept in Phoenix, Arizona.

Speaking about her experience during that period, Cindy said:

“I was so sad. I was so desperate to know exactly where she was. I have never been separated from her for so long."

They were separated for nine days and were kept at the detention center for over a month.


Ximena, who was six years old when detained, talked about her experience when she turned ten. She said:

“Sometimes, there was police that would always say I would be with my mom, but there were others who said we might live with other persons, that they were giving us up for adoption. I was in, I guess in a jail, if that's what they call it. The cold in there was really bad.”

An audiotape of Ximena crying out to the Border Patrol officer, asking about her mother, was leaked. It was apparently sent to ProPublica, where reporter Ginger shared it with the world.

In 2018, Cindy was reunited with her daughter at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. At a press conference, the mother said:

"It has been a pleasure to be with my daughter. I am happy. ... We are together. It was so beautiful, the moment that I saw her.”

After the detention episode, the duo moved to a relative’s garage in Houston while they pursued their asylum claim. After therapy sessions, Ximena started her school and began making new friends.

About ‘Torn From Her Arms’

Torn From Her Arms stars a talented team of actors. Fatima Molina plays Cindy and daughter Ximena is portrayed by child actor Camila Nuñez. Other actors include Gloria Reuben (Ginger Thompson), Judy Reyes (Thelma Garcia), Julian Sedgwick, Vicky Araico, Lisa Owen, and Kerry Ardra.

With a powerful storyline and incredible cast, Torn From Her Arms seems like it's worth your time.

The official synopsis of Torn From Her Arms reads:

“True story of a mother and daughter who finds their way back to each other after being separated.”

Directed by Alan Johnson, Torn From Her Arms is penned by Ali Laventhol and Tawnya Bhattacharya.

Torn From Her Arms premieres Saturday, October 30 at 8.00 pm (ET) on Lifetime.

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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