Film about 'Murder Capital of the World' debuts in Bakersfield

Film about 'Murder Capital of the World' debuts in Bakersfield »Play Video
A police officer runs after an attack on police patrol trucks that killed two officers in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Thursday July 15, 2010.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A powerful documentary called "Murder Capital of the World" will make its debut in Kern County on Friday for a one-week showing at Edwards Cinema at The Marketplace.

"It explores what I feel is the greatest human rights disaster in the world," said Charlie Minn, director of the film.

Watch "Murder Capital of the World" trailer >>

Minn is in Bakersfield this week promoting the film. It examines the political, social and economic forces that fuel that fuel the violence in Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas.

"It's one of the most stunning news stories in the world today where we have such an overwhelming number of Mexican people being murdered. And we're not quiet sure why," said Minn.

According to the film, murders in Juarez have risen dramatically from 44 in 1990 to more than 3,000 in 2010. Minn said he believes the murders have a direct tie to the United States.

"Ninety percent of the weapons being used in Mexico to kill all the Mexican people came from the United States. So, we're a big-time accomplice in this war," said Minn. "

"The weapons and the cash are flowing south, the drugs are flowing north. So, we're financing the war, we're fueling the war," he said.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration office in Bakersfield, drug cartel activity is already happening in Kern County. Marijuana grows are being planted on public lands by the drug cartels, said DEA agent Carl Beckett.

More recently, the DEA seized 419 pounds of methamphetamine at one home in Bakersfield. Beckett said this is the second-largest such seizure in the country this year. And the seizure is tied to the drug cartel activity, said Beckett.

"Murder Capital of the World" is the second documentary in a trilogy of films made by Minn on the same subject. Why did he decide to take on such an endeavor?

"To help lower the murders in Mexico, that's the aim," said Minn.