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Film examining Mexican drug war to end run in Yuma
Documentary ‘8 Murders a Day' opens Jan. 20
The controversial documentary “8 Murders a Day” will end its yearlong run with a visit to Yuma. The film opens at the Harkins Theatre on Jan. 20 and will play for at least a week.
Yuma will be the 30th and final city to play the 85-minute documentary, featureing both English and Spanish subtitles.
Film director Charlie Minn said he has always wanted to bring the documentary to Yuma County.
“I’m really excited to bring it to Yuma. This is a unique city. It’s on the border with two states and two countries. Only El Paso, Texas, and Yuma can say that,” Minn said.
The film examines the violent Mexican drug war taking place in Juarez, which has been dubbed the “murder capital of the world.”
In 2007, Juarez averaged just less than one murder per day. In 2010, when Minn produced the documentary, more than eight people a day are murdered.
That’s more deaths than the losses suffered by the United States in both Middle Eastern wars, he said.
Minn hopes the film catches the attention of the American people.
“It’s the greatest human-rights disaster in the world today, with all due respect to Syria and other countries in the Middle East.”
The proof is in the numbers, he added. “In 2010, there were more murders in Juarez than the 9/11 attacks. I bet you 95 percent of the people in the United States would never know that.”
Minn noted that more than 45,000 people have been murdered in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006, but most murders are never investigated.
It’s a tragedy that’s being overlooked by the media, as it stays focused on the Middle East, he said.
Yet, as he pointed out, it’s the Americans’ demand for illegal drugs that is fueling the drug war, with cartels fighting over the coveted smuggling routes into the U.S. and countless weapons and cash entering Mexico in exchange for these drugs.
“We’re the root of the problem,” and therefore fighting this drug war should be a joint effort between the U.S. and Mexico, Minn said.
In addition, the film “sticks up for the innocent Mexican people who have been brutally cheated during this war.”
Minn followed families caught in the crossfire and interviewed journalists, college professors and authors, including Charles Bowden, a reporter who has extensively covered the drug violence in Mexico, and author of “Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields.”
“This is a fake war — unless you’re a corpse,” Bowden noted in the film.
Minn believes the film will take people by surprise.
“People in your area know about Mexico, but do they really know?”
To view a trailer of the film, visit www.8murdersaday.com.
Staff writer Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (928) 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.