PREMIERED ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO AFTER A DECADE OF ITS CREATION...
A raw look at the leader of one of the Venezuelan colectivos – armed groups that fight drug traffickers, political opponents and even others groups-
“I knew this was an important story to tell, I gave my full support from the beginning,” says executive producer and human rights activist Ed Asner. “It is about giving people a platform to be heard, whether you agree with them or not” –
For the first time on camera, a documentary exposes the ties between armed groups of vigilantes the administration of President Nicolás Maduro. Collectives are considered by some modern-day Robin-Hoods, but to many others they are little more than violent criminals who control the neighborhoods without any respect for the law. They say they are the only ones who can end crime and drug trafficking because the local police are corrupt, but many of these groups have been involved in drug trafficking, murder, and sometimes even act as paramilitary groups charged with murdering and intimidate opponents of President Nicolás Maduro.
This film by director Martín Andrés Markovits describes the life of Alberto “Chino” Carías, leader of the Tupamaros, a group from the eastern neighborhoods of Caracas. Once accused of robbing banks and killing police, Chino changed his reputation to become one of the leaders of the Caracas police and was subsequently hired within the Venezuelan National Assembly.“Chino is a fascinating character “says director Martín Andrés Markovits. “He says he is protecting the poor, he condemns violence while confessing to murders to protect his community. My objective was to tell an impartial, brutal story about this revolutionary force of justice in the Venezuelan neighborhoods.”
After Hugo Chávez’s death, Nicolás Maduro assumed power and the country’s economy collapsed, worsening crime. In the absence of Chinese law and order, he clung to his contradictory role as a saint and hit man.
“Have the confidence of Chino; Allowing yourself this kind of access within your life and that of other Tupamaros is out of the ordinary, “said producer Matt Weinglass.” We are fortunate not only to have captured what we have on camera but to have returned home in one piece.”
The film takes place during the time of greatest political change after Chávez’s election as president. These vigilantes, like millions of Venezuelans, supported his socialist revolution and the promise to help the poor. But as soon as Chávez and Maduro took power, many of these groups became the criminals who initially fought.
The film has won various awards, including Best Picture and Best Foreign Film at the XVII Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival. It has been broadcasted on National Geographic World and the European channel ART. The official versions in English and Spanish will be available worldwide on Amazon Prime from April 24 of this year.