Guillermo Del Toro: Drug Violence Has Left Mexico in "Social Decay"

Guillermo del Toro - H 2014
AP Images/Invision

Guillermo del Toro - H 2014

‘It’s the law of the Old West,’ said the Mexican filmmaker.

Speaking at the Guadalajara film fest Monday, producer-director Guillermo Del Toro said he fears for his safety in his native Mexico.

“It’s like walking into a cantina with a pistol and there’s no structure in place to stop what happens next,” he said. “It’s one thing to talk about a social crisis, but another to talk about absolute social decay.”

Del Toro, a Guadalajara native and co-founder of the namesake film festival, left Mexico more than a decade ago after his father was kidnapped for ransom. His father was later rescued, but the last film Del Toro shot on Mexican soil was the 2001 release The Devil’s Backbone.

Mexico’s so-called war on drugs has claimed more than 100,000 lives since 2006. Del Toro, along with his friends Alejandro G. Inarritu and Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), have demanded social justice on several occasions.

The filmmakers issued a joint statement last year critical of the “blurred lines between organized crime and the high-ranking officials in Mexican government.”

More recently at the 2015 Oscars, during the best picture acceptance speech Birdman director Inarritu said: "I pray that we can find and build a government that we deserve." 

In spite of the ongoing violence, Del Toro vowed to return to Mexico at some point to film a passion project titled Plata, a wrestler-versus-vampires revenge story based on Del Toro's and Chuck Hogan’s comic The Strain: The Silver Angel.

“If I don’t die of a heart attack first, I’m going to do it,” he said, in reference to his unhealthy diet. “I've wanted to do it for 15 years. I owe it to myself.”

Among other projects, Del Toro is developing the Amazon television series Carnival Row, while the upcoming release of the gothic romance movie Crimson Peak has fanboys very excited.