Venezuelan filmmaker Jonathan Jakubowicz has pulled the plug on his latest project after being driven out of town by Mexican drug gangs. Jakubowicz was forced to abandon production of, Queen of the South, starring Eva Mendes, Sir Ben Kingsley and Josh Hartnett, after receiving death threats while attempting to film on location in Sinaloa.
"I've worked really hard to make this beautiful movie, but the safety
of my family and my team comes first," Jakubowicz told Variety. "Making
this movie [would have] put us all at risk, not only in Mexico but in
"We wanted to shoot in the city of Culiacan in Sinaloa, northern
Mexico, the epicentre of the drug wars, but it just wasn't possible," the director continued,
"The world should pray for peace in Mexico."
Jakubowicz was so shaken up that he even went out of his way to issue a warning to other filmmakers thinking about tackling the topic of the drug wars in Mexico and Latin America, saying, "I beg those involved to be responsible and mindful of the dangerous territory the subject matter inevitably gets them into."
Although the Mexican government has attempted to lure the film industry by keeping production costs low and offering tax incentives, producers seem to be hesitant to head south of the border. This is not the first time that films have been forced to abandon production in Mexico. As reported by The Independent, while Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas were filming Bordertown in Ciudad Juarez, they were forced to flee to New Mexico after their crew was followed and their hotel rooms ransacked.