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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Filmmaker discusses his movie, drug wars

Filmmaker Charlie Minn discusses his work and Mexico’s drug war with NE and South students Sept. 16. He gave his opinion on things he saw while filming his documentary.Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
Filmmaker Charlie Minn discusses his work and Mexico’s drug war with NE and South students Sept. 16. He gave his opinion on things he saw while filming his documentary.
Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

By Gerrit McDonald/ reporter

“Mexicans die as we get high and that’s no lie,” said a documentarian Sept. 16 on NE Campus. “People always laugh when I say that, but unfortunately, it’s true.”

Charlie Minn, director of Murder Capital of the World, 8 Murders a Day and The New Juarez, said he studies criminals and dirtbags.

“Nothing brings me more joy than to see one of those dirtbags get arrested, head down and put behind bars,” said Minn, who also spoke on South Campus.

Minn never turned his back on the crowd, a trait he said he developed during his time in Juarez.

“One hundred and thirty-five-thousand Mexicans have been murdered due to the drug war,” Minn said. “Fifty thousand since 2006, and out of those at least 12,000 lived in Juarez.”

Filmmaker Charlie Minn discusses his work and Mexico’s drug war with NE and South students Sept. 16. He gave his opinion on things he saw while filming his documentary.Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
Filmmaker Charlie Minn discusses his work and Mexico’s drug war with NE and South students Sept. 16. He gave his opinion on things he saw while filming his documentary.
Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

Make no mistake, Minn said, the cartels are not the only ones to blame. The U.S. is a direct accomplice to the war in Mexico. He said the U.S., which has spent $30 billion on funding this drug war, also provides 90 percent of the weapons to Mexico, supplying the corrupt armies, police forces and even the Sinaloa cartel.

“The role the U.S. should have in the war on drugs is to say no to drugs, but even I know that is unrealistic,” Minn said. “In reality, the war on drugs is a joke. The only possible answer is to legalize drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine and even meth, which bring in the biggest amount of money for the cartels.”

The Mexican government, on the other hand, needs a complete overhaul, Minn said.

“[Mexican President] Enrique Peña Nieto is an idiot,” he said. “He bought his presidency, which proves that if you know at least five influential people you can do almost anything in life and since then he has been entirely negligent. His predecessor was no better. Felipe Calderon was the one to declare the war on the cartels and the one to send the army in, which only exacerbated the situation.”

NE student Alex Sandoval said he has learned a lot about the shifting balance of power in Mexico.

“Even more so, I’m glad that there are other people shining a light on the issues in Mexico,” he said.

That’s the point of a documentary, Minn said — to educate, inform and raise awareness, but it takes courage and guts.

“Guts are the most beautiful part of a person,” Minn said. “If you have guts, people will respect you.”

 

Q&A with New Juarez director

 

The Collegian: In your documentary The New Juarez, you mention that the murder rate has currently fallen to one a day in the border town, the lowest it has been in years and you speculate on several reasons why this has happened. Can you elaborate?

Minn: There are several reasons that could factor in to this. The first is El Chapo’s escape from prison. It is very possible that he rallied and won the drug war in the border towns. The other possibility is the former police chief of Juarez, Julian Leyzaola Perez. Perez helped to lower the murder rate in Tijuana and took a shoot-for-the-head stance when it came to cartel-related crimes.

The Collegian: On your website, you sell your documentaries for $24.99. How much of that is given back to the Mexican community?

Minn: Half. The same goes for my upcoming documentary 43, which covers the missing students in Guerrero. It will be released sometime in early October in select theatres.

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