ByLuis Enrique Victoria, writer at
I'm a guy of simple taste. I enjoy uh... dynamite, gunpowder, and gasoline.
Luis Enrique Victoria

By this time now, the topic of drug wars and immigration is becoming exceedingly popular among American society today. If you follow any news on Donald Trump, you know that a vast majority of what he says is hurtful and racist towards minorities, especially the people of Mexico. I have nothing against anybody, mind you, but I know for a fact that a very large portion of the people who vote for him are mainly citizens who have a little bit of bias and stigma towards Mexico and its people. With all this talk about deporting "illegal" people back where they came from, and the construction of a "beautiful" wall, it's no surprise that many Americans are being brainwashed into believing that Mexico is one of the U.S.A's biggest enemies. With this in mind, there has never been a more appropriate time to spread the word about the 2016 documentary, Cartel Land.

Tim Foley
Tim Foley

This documentary was directed by Matthew Heineman and produced by Kathryn Bigelow (director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty). It focuses on the efforts of Arizona Border Recon led by Tim Foley in detaining and arresting any undocumented Mexican immigrants crossing the border from the southern most part of the U.S.. That's just half of it; the documentary also focuses on the operations of a Mexican paramilitary group, "Las Autodefensas De Michoacan" (The Michoacan Self-Defenders) led by Jose Mireles in their operations to track down and arrest drug lords and members of the Knights Templar Cartel in Michoacan, Mexico. Cartel Land also highlights the reasons for why Mexicans immigrate to the U.S., "illegally".

Throughout the documentary, you see both sides doing their jobs. There's the border patrol militia arresting "illegal" immigrants, and then there's the Mexican citizens in the Autodefensas arresting members of the cartel. You may ask, "what does the topic of immigration, voting, and racism have to do with this 100 minute long documentary?" Well, I'll tell you. This documentary can teach you a lot of stuff about the reality of the lives of Mexicans and their true motives for coming to the U.S.

You see, there's a misconception and highly negative stereotype about the people who come to the United States from Mexico illegally. The misconception and the general stereotypes are based on the idea that Mexicans who immigrate to the U.S. are all bad people who will do nothing but kill and sell drugs. Well, first of all, that is completely false. This documentary shows the exact opposite, in an un-biased way. The people who immigrate to the U.S. come here to escape from Mexico, because their own country is run by a corrupt government who will do nothing to help them, so they either take the very dangerous risk of living in poverty and fighting the drug cartels (the real bad guys), or, they escape and come to America instead.

Donald Trump once said,

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."

That statement is completely false. The drugs are taken here to the U.S. by drug dealers who will eventually go back to Mexico, or the drugs are shipped here to end up at drop off points. Mexican immigrants are different than drug dealers, they are the people who come here to escape from the unsafe conditions of their environment and society, not to rape or steal or lead cartel operations. That is what the documentary shows us. Also, at one point in the documentary, you see a rally led by civilians at one of the Autodefensas compounds, where they speak of immigrating to the U.S. if the drug wars between cartels in Mexico don't end soon.

In every day life in America, you never see Mexican terrorists, Mexican school shooters, Mexican "bad people". No, not at all, on the contrary they are one of the driving factors in the lower-class workforce. If Trump ever becomes president, deporting all the "illegal" Mexicans (which is physically impossible to do), would be a big mistake. If such a thing is somehow done, many workplaces would lose tons of workers, causing the large companies and corporations (mainly restaurants and factories) to raise prices for incoming personnel and lose wealth.

It can't be stressed enough, Mexican immigrants are not bad people. Our government labels them as "illegal aliens", what a disgusting term, but they are not evil, they are definitely not the enemy. They are the good guys, it might not seem like it, but they are. That's what this documentary shows, Mexicans are not all bad people. The good people of Mexico are willing to fight to keep their families safe and restore peace. The Autodefensas are citizens who decided to take a stand against drug trafficking and violence in order to bring back and maintain security in their homeland. Some stay in Mexico to fight the good fight, some decide to come here up north in the U.S. to reconnect with other family members and/or seek a better life with better jobs and safety. Trump says all the Mexicans in the U.S. are evil, well damn is he wrong!

Mireles and Las Autodefensas
Mireles and Las Autodefensas

This documentary can send a message far across to reach thousands, if not millions of people. If you are someone who throws any derogatory term, or has a racist attitude or a dislike towards Mexicans, Cartel Land will surely educate you about the real life struggles and motives for immigration of the innocent people of Mexico and how to differentiate them from the real bad guys. Once you know the facts, then you can rethink your beliefs, and open up your mind. Thank you for reading, watch the documentary on A&E's website (which by the way, was nominated for an Oscar), and don't vote for a racist candidate. Good bye. :)


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