OTR Interviews

America has a starring role in the drug war in Mexico in 'Murder Capital of the World'

Documentary looks at US failure to address the escalating drug war in Mexico


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 30, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Now, we have been telling you about this almost every night for three years -- Mexico, no one is safe, now even the police. This week five policemen were gunned down at a party in Mexico. It happened in the city of Juarez right next door to El Paso, Texas. And like we keep telling you, Mexico's deadly drug cartel violence is spilling over the border into the United States. So is anyone paying attention? Filmmaker Charlie Minn is. He just made a documentary called "Murder Capital of the World."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just the amount of corruption has been there for decades. Sometimes the officers have to take bribes because that's the only way to survive. You take the bribe or you are killed.


VAN SUSTEREN: Charlie Minn joins us. Nice to see you. I don't know if the word "enjoy," I don't know how you can enjoy watching a horrible crisis right next door. How bad is it?

CHARLIE MINN, DIRECTOR, "MURDER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD": It's really bad, Greta. In 2010 there were more murders in Juarez than the 9/11 attacks. Since 2008, we have had over 10,000 murders in Juarez, which is 40 percent greater than both of our Middle East wars put together. Despite all that, President Obama is sitting around having a ham sandwich, watching all these innocent Mexico people being executed.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think that we seem to be looking the other way? This is right next door. There are other parts of the world we are deeply involved. But this is right next door.

MINN: It's a great question. I am not sure why it's so overlooked. The innocence of the Mexican people needs to be recognized more. There's no body of water separating us from Mexico. Yet all the priorities seem to be in the Middle East and other countries in the world. That has merit, obviously, the Middle East and all of that. But for some reason President Obama has yawned at the Mexico situation.

VAN SUSTEREN: President Calderon when he came into office in December of 2006, he declared a war on drugs. Any luck?

MINN: No. I mean, probably it's the worst decision in Mexico history. He declared war on the cartels only 10 days into his campaign. We have had over 50,000 dead since his declaration on the cartels. It's backfired on him.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there corruption within -- I know -- I know that the police force, there are many good police officers, and many corrupted. In the government, Calderon's government, is there any evidence of corruption?

MINN: Not directly. But the $64,000 question is, is President Calderon collaborating with the drug cartels or has he been putting on the greatest acting job for six years.

VAN SUSTEREN: There is some question -- you think he could actually be working with the cartels?

MINN: Absolutely. The drug cartels are probably the most powerful organization in Mexico right now. They bought up the government, in my opinion, the police, the army. We don't know who is who in Mexico. It's the saddest story in the world today, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: One of the things we talked about is Chapo Guzman. Who is he?

MINN: He's the biggest drug lord in the world, in my opinion. He's the leader of the Sinaloa cartel. And just recently, we talked about this before the show, about four or five months ago his wife delivered twins in Los Angeles. And people are wondering if he's the greatest drug lord in the world, why wasn't his wife questioned or held at the hospital?

VAN SUSTEREN: And he escaped prison how many years ago?

MINN: About 10 years ago in a laundry bin.

VAN SUSTEREN: And he's rich.

MINN: He's in "Forbes" magazine. A lot of Mexican people have criticized "Forbes" magazine for glorifying this criminal. Unfortunately we have a culture of crime in Mexico. The drug lords are idolized by the youth. Instead of soccer players, actors, singers, it's the drug lords, unfortunately.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why don't we see all the murders in Juarez in El Paso? They are separated by a line, an imaginary line, but just by the border?

MINN: El Paso, Texas, is my second home, a beautiful city. Two years ago, El Paso had five murders for the whole year, and Juarez had 3,111. I believe Vicente Fox was on record as saying that, the former president of Mexico, that he believes the U.S. government is conspiring with the Mexican drug cartels to stay out of certain areas in the United States. Why is El Paso so safe, and why is Laredo so safe and across the border it's so dangerous? It's an interesting question.

VAN SUSTEREN: How much has the cartel business been exported out of Mexico to other parts of the world, not only the United States?

MINN: The influence of Chapo Guzman is extreme. He's in Europe, Asia, Central America. Right now Guatemala is going through a horrendous situation. And they are all over the place. But they are mainly in Mexico. All 31 states are affected in the country of Mexico.

VAN SUSTEREN: And where is El Chapo? His wife gave birth to twins in Los Angeles. Where is he suspected?

MINN: I don't know where he is. He could be in the United States. He could be in Sinaloa, which is where he is from. Nobody knows where this man is.

VAN SUSTEREN: They do the most vicious, violent -- beheadings, shootings. It doesn't stop. Charlie, your documentary opens in Times Square and in Los Angeles and across the country.

MINN: Yes, it's playing at the Harken's Valley Yard in Tempe, Arizona. And it comes to D.C. on Friday, April 6, to the Washington, D.C. area. And I go after the White House quite a bit on that one.

VAN SUSTEREN: Charlie, thank you.