Filmmaker braves violence for border documentary

May 6, 2011 4:57:01 PM PDT
Mexico has decided to send hundreds of troops and federal police to areas near the border hit by recent drug violence. A filmmaker is taking a closer look at the violence, especially the continuing murders in Juarez.

Juarez, Mexico is the murder capital of the world. The body count is staggering. Last year, more than 3,000 people there were killed, many of them innocent citizens caught in the violence fueled by the ongoing turf war between Mexican drug cartels.

"I heard about children and babies getting murdered. That's when I said to myself, 'I have to get in there,'" filmmaker Charlie Minn said.

Minn, a former sportscaster, spent several months in one of Mexico's most dangerous border cities, documenting the stories of grief stricken Mexican families whose lives have been torn apart by the brutality that's been raging in Juarez for years.

"I wasn't nervous. I wasn't scared," he said. "This is a war on people more than a war of drugs."

Minn titled his project "8 Murders a Day," based on the average number of people killed in Juarez on any given day in a city of 1.3 million people. He believes the graphic violence and mass killings in Juarez has led to what he calls the greatest human rights disaster in the world.

"They have been brutally cheated and their voices need to be heard. This film sticks up for them," Minn said.

While Texans living along the border are aware of the savagery that's been taking place in large parts of Mexico, Minn believes most Americans are not, nor do they realize that the drug cartels have infiltrated U.S. cities and how they're posing a threat to our national security.

He hopes his film will clear up the misconception that this is just Mexico's problem.

"I think people have to come to grips with what's going on," Minn said. "I think due to fear, people aren't coming out and saying this is exactly what it is."

The documentary is now playing at the AMC Studio 30 theaters on Dunvale, and will be shown for at least a week.

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