This summer, the life of a Wagner alumnus was depicted on the big screen in The Infiltrator, a riveting crime drama starring Bryan Cranston. It garnered many positive reviews and grossed $5.3 million on its opening weekend.
The Infiltrator movie is based on the autobiography of Robert Mazur ’72 (published in 2009 by Little, Brown and Company), which describes his life as an undercover government agent in the 1980s, when he infiltrated the Medellín drug cartel and the money laundering operation that serviced it. (Read an excerpt published in Wagner Magazine.) His work resulted in the conviction of top drug lords and dirty bankers, bringing down the world’s seventh-largest bank, the Bank of Commerce and Credit International.
Well-known for his starring role in the hit AMC series Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston portrays Mazur in the movie, which was directed by Brad Furman.
Mazur visited the College in September to give a lecture about his work and a film screening. He noted that the filmmakers took liberties “with about 35 percent” of the story, but praised the performances of John Leguizamo as his real-life undercover partner, Emir Abreu, and of Benjamin Bratt as Roberto Alcaino, a top Medellín cartel official with whom Mazur (in his undercover identity of Bob Musella) developed a close relationship.
For Mazur, the film is just a jumping-off point to understanding the real issue: the worldwide problem of money laundering, which supports not just drug traffickers but also terrorist organizations. “The problem goes a lot deeper than what the film shows,” he noted. Mazur now is a consultant who works with banks, police agencies, and other institutions to combat corruption.