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SXSW Filmmaker Spotlight: Finding El Chapo in 'The Legend of Shorty'

In a film that premieres at SXSW Film, two filmmakers set out to do what authorities could not: find Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Authorities eventually did catch up with Guzman – just last month.

But directors Angus Macqueen and Guillermo Galdos were hot on his trail in their documentary “The Legend of Shorty."

KUT talked with Macqueen and journalist Anabel Hernandez about the film, El Chapo and what they say is the real danger in Mexico.

Hernandez on the Real Danger in Mexico:

"The corruption in Mexico is the biggest problem. The cartels, El Chapo Guzman, is just the worst face of that problem. So if in Mexico we don't fight against the corruption, everything will get worse. So I really believe that we have to fight."

Hernandez on Her Own Experiences:

"I had a bad experience. My father was kidnapped and murdered in December of 2000. He was a businessman. He wasn't a journalist. Nothing involved with the crime organizers, cartels or police. He was just a businessman, he was kidnapped and murdered. We went to the police to claim for justice. The police told my mother and to me, 'if you want justice, if you want us to do the investigation, you have to pay.' How can you buy the justice?"

Macqueen on the Goal of the Film:

"What I hope we've achieved is to combine the idea of the journey - the slightly insane idea that two of us might be able to find this man that the combined forces of the Mexican and U.S. authorities say they have been looking for since his escape 13 years ago. Okay, I'm not going to say it was easy. But, it took us a year, and we genuinely found him."

Macqueen on the Danger of Making the Film:

"With a lot of these incredibly dangerous people who would kill people without any compunction and have. As their guest, you're sort of safe. So, strangely, when we were with the cartel we probably felt safest. Unless there was an outside attack, in which case we would have been stuck in between, which we did worry about."

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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