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Fronteras: 'Blood On The Wall' Documentary Explores Drug Violence, Politics In Latin America

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More than 34,000 people were murdered in Mexico in 2019. El Salvador has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, more than seven times that of the U.S.

Why did violence erupt in Latin America and why does the government appear to be complicit in corruption? A new documentary examines the policies that got us to this point, and the human toll those policies take on the people who’ve fallen victim to circumstances beyond their control.

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Nick Quested
A masked narco stands atop rock with vista in Sinaloa mountains.

Nick Quested is co-director and producer of “Blood on the Wall.”

Quested, along with co-director and producer Sebastian Junger, traveled with a caravan of Central American migrants from Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala to Tijuana along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Along with documenting the stories behind the migrants making their journey to the north, “Blood on the Wall” also explores the inner workings of Mexico’s drug cartels, untangles the politics behind the war on drugs, and puts a human face on the victims of Latin American drug violence.

Prior to the explosion of violence in Mexico, its drug cartels operated under divided territories in the 1990s with the aid of corrupt politicians and law enforcement.

Felipe Calderón launched a war on the country’s drug cartels days after he took office as Mexico’s president in 2006. More than 200,000 Mexicans were killed, tens of thousands disappeared in the subsequent decade, and the Mexican Drug War continues to this day.

Quested said the documentary isn’t intended to draw on political lines.

“It’s presenting what we, from our research, think of the root causes of migration and violence in Mexico,” Quested explained. “So, we'd like people to look at it through a completely apolitical lens and we hope the people don't take this film and try and re-politicize it for their own personal gains.”

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter at @terrazas_lauren