Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Director brings Mexico drug-cartel war to film

Friday, August 12, 2011 |

By Jon Vanderlaan, OA Online

The most publicized human rights violations have occurred overseas, far from the American media influence; but a New York director believes even greater problems are occurring just south of the U.S. border.

Charlie Minn, who directed “A Nightmare in Las Cruces,” has brought the Mexico drug cartel violence to the big screen in his latest documentary, “8 Murders a Day.”

Specifically, the target of the film is the violence in Juarez, which at its peak at the end of 2010 reached an average of eight murders every day.

"I don’t think people today have a grip on what’s going on. It’s barbaric,” he said. “In my opinion, it’s the greatest human rights disaster today."
Minn said he began the project in 2009, when he acquired contacts in nearby Las Cruces, N.M., while making the documentary about the bowling alley massacre in the town.

The why, how and aftermath of the drug-related killings “grabbed” him as he was working on his other project, he said, and ultimately convinced him to create this documentary.

Minn said although the violence is mainly between the cartels waging war, many innocent people are murdered in the course of those wars.

But he said that, despite a lack of commitment from the United States, he believes the situation deserves shared responsibility between the Mexican and U.S. governments.

The film has not yet shown in Washington, D.C., but Minn said he hopes to catch the eyes of enough people and high-ranking officials who can do something about the violence.
"(I want) enough of a reaction that’s going to pressure the White House into taking an active role."
Because of the large Hispanic community in Odessa and relative proximity to the border, Minn said he hopes people will see the movie. Despite being so close he said most still do not know the true extent of the violence.

Art Leal, president of Una Voz Unida in Odessa, said he believes most people of Mexican descent in the area have a good handle of what is going on in Juarez, and if they want to find out more, several news sources cover the drug war well.

However, he said if those same people have not become educated on the conflict, they should go see the movie.

“Sometimes it’s hard to not look away from it,” he said. “They don’t want to accept that that’s really going on in our neighboring country.”

Leal said he traveled regularly to Juarez for dentist appointments, but he has not gone in the last two years because of the increased violence.

The film has already played in Laredo, Houston and Dallas, as well as out-of-state markets New York, San Diego and Chicago.

Minn said although violence has gone down in recent weeks because a leader of one of the cartels was killed, he believes it will spike again when the cartel becomes reorganized.

He’s even planning a sequel, called “The Murder Capital of the World,” that will focus on an update and the possible ramifications of a new president in the country in 2012.

The film begins at 11:45 a.m. Friday at Hollywood Theaters in Music City Mall and will run for several weeks, as long as people are still coming to watch it, Minn said.

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13 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Odessa (Chachita Ojinaga) is 2 hours from me. I think I'll go watch it this week and give y'all a review.

Anonymous said...

the film has been out for quite a while initially playing in jan...it never got the attention it deserves but Minn keeps trying. I think at this point the shelf life of fickle movie goers is over and it is stale, he should cut a deal with nat geo or HBO and go for mass viewership, its simply too old to promote the way he is, even the subject is a old, perhaps Minn should go to NL and shoot another to be current:

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_17407827

http://borderzine.com/2011/03/8-murders-a-day/

Ardent said...

From the very beginning of this film, the 2 premises it begins with are totally and utterly wrong, and hit us as being way off the mark. Way off the mark.

The trailer starts off with.... 'On Dec. 11, 2006, Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels. Little did he know that it would lead to the greatest human rights disaster in the world today.'

Is the director kidding us? Does he truly believe that anybody else believes that Felipe Calderon was either concerned with or surprised by the human rights violations that occurred after Dec.11, 2006? The Mexican military has a long long history before that time of causing major major human rights violations to occur in Mexico constantly. Anybody who is versant in the least about Mexican history knows this already and one would have to be fantastically ignorant not to.

And 'the greatest human rights disaster in the world today"????? Egads, this is such a bizarrely stupid thing to say that it's kind of Alice in Wonderland 'logic' to have ever come up with what the director did! I'm replying to this idiocy on the same day that the international news is reporting that 16,000,000 are in danger of starving in Somalia this year, a country that the Pentagon has targeted for the longest time now. Are we all supposed to be just plain stupid and not be able to compare human rights disasters in the world today and who is responsible for what? It is not hard to be a lot more proportionate than this director is being.

I would like to see informative films about this drug war mess up, but the trailer alone steers me to thinking that this is definitely not the film that is going to educate anybody much about what's going down. That's rather sad though, since we do need the info to be out there.

Anonymous said...

My familiarity with the violence in Mexico stems mainly from web sites like Borderland Beat (BB) that chronicle in English what is going on. I thank the courageous investigators, reporters, editors, and all staff who work and corroborate with BB. I also appreciate the many people who make intelligent and sometimes "eyewitness" comments on the stories posted.

The U.S. media has "Resisted" covering the Mexican violencia for reasons that make me very uncomfortable and suspicious that political and other forces are behind the virtual censorship.

I am glad that the "8 Murders a Day" movie is out hope the American public gets turned to the importance of this topic for the USA. I am convinced it will help the voting public make more intelligent decisions concerning illegal immigration, amnesty, drug war, drug cartels, Mexico,tourism, trade, etc.

Mexico Watcher

Anonymous said...

You see pendejos now that El Diego is gone Chapo has turned on his buddy El Flaco Salgueiro as evidenced by the newly placed price on his head in Chihuahua. This is the same Flaco that Chapo intially enticed to betray the Juarez Cartel and create this war in Chihuahua. So now as payback for El Flaco's loyalty to Chapo so much so that to weaken El Mayo's interests in Durango Chapo had el Flaco incur in Durango to heat up La Plaza held by los Mayos in southern Durango, El Flaco finally gets his payback: a big dose of betrayal from the man that he supported for at least 4 years since this war in Chihuahua started, and was supposed to be the new encargado of Chihuahua after they "elimintated" La Linea. Look forward to his future arrest and for things to stir up in Chihuahua as Chapo pushes out the Chihuahua faction of la "Gente Nueva" from Chihuahua and brings in his true army of Sinaloa natives after he has beautifully over three plus years executed a divide and conquer scheme almost to perfection. Perhaps Gente Nueva "armed wing" in Juarez the Mexicles and the Artistas Asesinos leaders might yet figure out in time whats in store for them once they have worn out their use to Chapo. If Chapo gets his way you could be looking at another 10,000 plus murders yet to come, and remember its taken close to 4 years for some 10K murders so far only in Juarez.

Anonymous said...

Its a Very Sad Tragegedy that the major TV Networksin the US: CNN, FOXNEWS, ABC, NBC, CBS really have their head in the sand on whats going on South of the border. Its a Media Black Out spun to the tune that "Everything is all right" mentality. For most Media pundits in the US, if they didnt see it on CNN it didnt happen.

Free Journalists are supposed to be committed to Reorting the Truth, They love going to War zones when protected by the US Military, "All for a Story"

Why dont they come down to Mexico and Start reporting what is really happeneing.

Its not everyday you have a War going on next to the U.S. and the American News Media are oblivious to the fact that it is going on.

Is it Cultural Ignorance or Political Correctness?

Now...we dont want to hurt the tourist Industry in Mx now do we?

Anonymous said...

Whoever compared the famine In Somalia to the human rights issue in Mexico is incorrect. People starving is not a human rights issue, who is violating their human rights?? The food for not growing there???

Also the US govt will not get involved until it is all out anarchy and their is no more valid govt in Mexico because that is the only way they will be able to take the oil, commodities, etc.

Ardent said...

Anonymoous 8:04, if you are unable to understand that leading the people of Somalia into a starvation period that effects millions of people, by constantly making war on them, as the US has done, is no human rights issue to you, you have a moral understanding that is just pure emptiness of soul instead of either brain or heart. I fear that their are plenty other empty shell Americans out there, too.

Anonymous said...

Ardent are you serious? How is the US "leading" Somalia into starvation?? And when did we ever make war on Somalia?? The one time we tried to go in there with a small unit and got our asses handed to us? That time? There is nothing in Somalia for the US. So basically you are saying the US is causing food not to grow in Somalia, again their is a FAMINE in Somalia, please use a dictionary...also countries like Somalia are doomed very much like Mexico if their population continues to let religion dominate society. No birth control = too many poor children = high crime.....

Ardent said...

The US has made war on many of the peoples of the Horn of Africa (Somalia included) for decades and decades now. The US was waging a proxy war in Ethiopia/ Eritrea/ Somalia against the ex Soviet Union way before even beginning their Ethiopian troop proxy invasion of Somalia. It is not overpopulation and drought that cause the famine, but warfare that the US has eagerly engaged in in Somalia.

How does that US interventionism in Somalia relate to US interventionism in Mexico? The Pentagon is now stepping into the internal affairs of Mexico same as it has done previously in the Horn of Africa countries and elsewhere. Same as it has done in places like Yemen and Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The resulting chaos and conflict will be from our US government's doings. And have no doubt about it, the US is destabilizing Mexico same as it has done in so many other countries previously.

Anonymous said...

Wrong again Ardent. Muslim extremist have taken over Somalia and there is nothing in Somalia for the US to steal so there will be no invasion. The UN food program had tried to get food in there but the Muslim extreamist prevent it from reaching those in need. And if you think it rains all the time in Somalia I have an igloo in Señora I'd like to sell you....It sounds like you are sympathizing with these same extremist that are destroyig Somalia, who are basically the exact same as the cartels but they use religion instead of drugs to get money and power. I would watch what you say online and stay out of the Middle East issue, especially if you're living south of the border cause the quickest way to have 60,000 US troops outside your door is to start talking about how the US is destroying a country and not the Muslim extremists taking it hostage...I'm sure the the Afghan people REALLY want the Taliban back.....

Anonymous said...

To Ardent or any other person that lives in America, but yet expresses extreme discontent towards this country. Believe me I've lived in both Africa and Mexico, and are armpits compared to America. If your an American, you've won the world lottery...I'm not saying don't complain or protest any sort of "problem" that may plague this country, but for people to continually say America is this or that is flipping ridicolus. America has already contributed $550 million of our tax dollars to help in the famine of Somalia. To put this in perspective, if America today were to stop "feeding" the world, within a week and a half 110 nations will starve.

My own personal view is that America does need to pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and all the other places that do not provide any sort of assistance such as oil and to the such. This also includes our military bases, that do not provide any sort of coverage on any futre "flash point". Let the world burn and start being America for Americans...

Anonymous said...

Now there's someone who knows what they're talking about. Let's get back to pre 1941 isolationism and create the new America!

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