Mexican producer Matthias Ehrenberg of Titan Prods. (Sex, Shame And Tears) beat stiff competition for the rights to best-selling novel Rosario Tijeras by hot new Colombian writer, Jorge Franco Ramos, hailed as the precursor of a new generation of writers in Colombia.

Up to 15 million copies of Rosario Tijeras have been sold in Colombia. With this film adaptation, Ehrenberg will launch a new production company specialising in high profile Iberoamerican projects, Mano Producciones.

Ehrenberg is in talks with Spanish and Colombian companies to co-produce the film. Spain's Alquimia is likely to come on board. Author Franco Ramos, who studied film in London, has been writing the screenplay and Mexican-born Paris resident Emilio Maille, has signed on to direct the drama.

Casting is currently underway in Mexico and Colombia. Principal photography is slated to begin in the summer in Mexico.

Set in the drug-torn city of Medellin, Rosario Tijeras centres on a beautiful woman who seeks vengeance on those who sexually abused her as a child. Rights to another novel by Franco Ramos, Paraiso Travel, have been snapped up by Conquistador Entertainment, the company of Colombian director Sergio Cabrera (The Strategy Of The Snail).

The story inspired by the experiences of Colombian immigrants in the US will be directed by Colombian filmmaker Simon Brand and will allegedly have the backing of a major Hollywood producer. The drama will be shot in New York, Bogota (Colombia) and a Mexican border town.