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Film “Presumed Guilty” causes Furor in Mexico

Mar 18, 2011 by D. J. Schwartz

At last year’s Los Angeles Film Festival, I reviewed the documentary film, Presumed Guilty, which also was last season’s LAFF Audience Award for Best International Feature.

In Mexico, where 92% of convictions are not based on any physical evidence, two lawyers used the documentary lens to expose Mexico’s abominable justice system and helped free an innocent man.

Presciently, we warned that in different countries around the world, people often accused of a crime are not automatically innocent until proven guilty. Indeed, In Mexico, the law is that if you’re arrested, you’re assumed guilty and you have to prove your innocence.

The resulting 90-minute documentary provides a rare-and-chilling glimpse of Mexico’s dysfunctional legal system. No matter how slow the “wheels of justice” may turn in the U.S., it still makes us feel lucky to live in a free society where we’re innocent until proven guilty.

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

On March 2nd, a Mexican Federal Judge banned “Presunto Culpable” (Presumed Guilty), after the directors were sued for filming one person without permission.

But 3 days ago, the stay was lifted and the film was allowed to legally keep showing in Mexico.

This might very well become a landmark case on freedom of speech and censorship in Mexico,” said Pablo Jimenez, a lawyer for the film distributor Cinepolis, which pledged to donate film profits toward legal defense clinics here. Source: Christian Science Monitor

For even more ways to join their cause for justice in Mexico visit the Presumed Guilty Website.

As we usually say as a cliché in the USA, freedom is never free.

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