Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Full Length Video: "Presumed Guilty"-Police Suing Film Makers for 600M Pesos

Borderland Beat Posted by "DD" on BB Forum

There are few presentations that better illustrate the corrupt and failed Mexican judicial system that "Presumed Guilty".   This full length film has been posted first on BB forum by Ovemex, and reposted several times.  ...Paz, Chivis
"In Mexico, 92% of the charges lack evidence."
"In Mexico, 93% of defendants never see a judge."
"In Mexico, being innocent is not enough to be free."

 Those statements were in a video documentary made in 2010 entitled "Presunto Culpable" ("Presumed Guilty"). The film was first shown internationally to wide acclaim and received awards for it's courage in showing the corruption and failed judicial system in Mexico.  

At first it was banned from being shown in Mexico, but with some restrictions was finally shown in Mexico in February 2011.  It caused an uproar and much indignation in Mexican society when it was released.  

From it's release date in Mexico of Feb. 18 until March 5 of 2011, 500,000 people in Mexico had seen it,  making it the most successful Mexican documentary of all time.  At that time, a Mexican judges order to suspend showings caused a political uproar across the political spectrum.  

The full documentary with English subtitles is below (use link at bottom), but first a short synopsis of the film and an update.

The documentary is based on the case of Jose Antonio Zuniga, 26 and a native of Iztapalapa, who on December 14, 2005 was arrested by police and later charged with the murder of a young man who had never seen.

With just one complaining witness comprising the total evidence - Victor Manuel Reyes, a cousin of the murdered-, Judge Medina Hector Palomares twice sentenced him to 20 years in prison, even though there was an abundance of  evidence of his innocence.

In what may be a first, somehow the  Roberto Hernandez Ruiz, a lawyer by training and filmmaker, and his partner, also a lawyer Layda Sansores Negrete and the criminologist  Rafael Heredia Rubio got permission to film the second trial.  He was found guilty for the second time in that trial.  

The first video below  is an interview with the filmmakers shown on PBS POV program entitled "Behind the Lens".  It is a good introduction to Presumed Guilty.  

After the filming and production and the brief limited showing in Mexico, but amid a lot of noise being made by the public, an appeals court exonerated and freed Toño Zuniga.

The success of Presumed Guilty did not produce a groundswell of change in the judiciary as might have been hoped for.  Instead it generated a virulent reaction by the Judiciary in Mexico City:  the film can not be sold on DVD, or projected in cinemas or on television due to various legal proceedings brought by the authorities who were displayed on the same.

Of course, neither the Judicial Police Commander Zuniga presented to the prosecutor or the judge Palomares Medina were penalized for malpractice. On the contrary, continue to work as usual.

Now, two years later, that "police" has sued the producers of the documentary for "moral damages" and for a sum close to 600 million pesos. The producers also face a million-dollar lawsuit filed by the only witness in the case and the family of murdered teenager in 2005.

Layda Negrete has that this could well be the second part of the film, the judges handling the case against them during the hearings have claimed that "the film went too far" and affected the duty of imparting justice in Mexico City

Just yesterday, July 10, 2013, there was another example of the partiality of the judiciary in this matter: a judge of a civil court of Mexico City, Maria del Rosario Pérez Mancera, "determined that it was not public" hearing, at which evidence was presented against Negrete.  This is in breach of the dictates of Article 20 of the Mexican Constitution which mandates that lawsuits be developed "publicly".
Negrete Sansores The lawyer also said that it is necessary to record the proceedings, because before there was a "failure to register" of the testimony, so that she no longer trust the impartiality of her case: "I regret that the Federal District Judicial is being decided by the opacity and not to face an audience that is clearly public, "she told the press

A maxim among lawyers in Mexico is: "Never do to anger the Judge". In the US, the same maxim applies but it usually stated as "Don't piss off the Judge".  This applies to what is happening now with the producers of Presumed Guilty.

That same judicial system that was completely exposed in the film, it seems that now is the slogan of revenge against those who exposed them. ....continues on following page

But, as happened in 2011, hopefully this  will escalate internationally where soon, again, the government of Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto will be displayed as a country without law, without respect for human rights, where the weak are abused , bonded tranzas officials and corruption is rewarded. In short: a country without freedom or justice.


Interview with Toño's attorney's and information behind the scenes from POV:

See full movie at this link on vimeo


  1. Does this guy have a Facebook or Twitter? I would like to contact him to congratulate him.

  2. This is an incredible movie. Anyone interested in the Mexican drug war must see this to understand the system. I saw the trailer last year but could not find the movie with subs. Thank you

    1. Find everything at the flea market

  3. I guess BB is running out of stories to post this real old article.

    1. U r such an Idiot. Why don't you start by researching and writing us new articles since U have seen it all.
      For Instance I had never seen this Video & this was my chance plus for others.

    2. Seriously i had never heard of this either.

  4. Same here, I looked for it for a friend, I wanted it with subs on YT but it was blocked from playing. The POV I had not seen and almost did not watch it here but very happy I did. Nice work as always BB.

    I just saw 2:26 comment. what an ass, please don't post those comments, they are so ignorant. Guess he is not able to read.

  5. Mexico -anarchy???? Lawlessness, obsessively greedy 4 blood money, human life has no value, anyone can falsely accuse, corruption is the law of the land.As time goes by one can't help but wonder - Well Mexico & it's law abiding citizens ever have peace & a government that really & truly protects it's people & all the wonderful, natural resources it has?????????

  6. attn chivis aqui no pasa nada no spillover violence here in the usa
    might even have ties to panama unit in mission if the raid jackets came from mission police.

    Posted: Jul 12, 2013 4:20 PM

    Updated: Jul 12, 2013 6:57 PM

    WESLACO - One man is in custody in connection with a murder south of Weslaco. Five others are on the run.

    Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said the victim, 62-year-old Jose Manuel Veraza, got caught up in the middle of a drug theft.

    According to the sheriff, six armed men in three vehicles stormed the property near Midway Road and Mile 5. They allegedly stole marijuana from a shed.

    There were three homes on the property. Authorities said the thieves went to one of the homes and warned Veraza's wife not to get involved. We're told when Veraza's wife told the 62-year-old about it, he drove to a neighbor's house to ask for help.

    When he returned home, he encountered the thieves in the three vehicles. Veraza reportedly clipped one and missed a second.

    "But the third vehicle, he was able to block in," said Trevino. "And we're not sure if it was an intentional block in or if the other people just rammed him. But as the third car the bad guys were coming up against our victim, two were hanging out the windows shooting at the victim. One shot that we know at least struck our victim in the head."

    He told us some of the thieves ran from the scene on foot.

    A nearby family was outside Thursday night when the shooting happened. One of the family members told us, "We heard like about five pops, you know. And we were just wondering what that was. And after that, we just heard someone walking through the grass. We didn't know what was going on."

    Crime scene investigators remained at the property Friday. They searched vehicles for evidence. Deputies said they now have one person in custody. They're still looking for five more suspects in the case.

    CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned investigators found two raid jackets from the Mission Police Department in one of the suspects' cars. Mission police said they haven't verified whether the jackets are real or counterfeit, and they're investigating.

    If you have any information in the case, you're asked to call Hidalgo County Crimestoppers at (956) 668-TIPS.

  7. Mexico's corruption is an ongoing joke for the world to laugh at, but at the expense of the Mexican people who have to live with it. It is rooted in greed and corruption and it is rampant from city officials looking for bribes to push ordinances trough, all the way to the top with huge drug payoffs. Face it, if Mexicans as a people were not greedy and corruptible, this crap wouldn't happen. It would be nice to be proved wrong, and even better, it would be nice if the honest people in Mexico (how many ever there may be) ran the show.

  8. Good post thanks BB.

  9. All this is because of El Negro Durazo back in the days.

  10. @anon2:26AM. If you had read the story you would have seen that there is a civil trial going on right now in Mexico City where the producers are being sued for almost 3 Billion pesos. The complainants are the lead police investigator who during the trial complained that the action of filming the trial (a supposedly public trial) that he was being attacked. He is suing for "moral pain and suffering". The sole accuser in the trial (who admitted in the trial that he lied and did not see who fired the gun) and the family of victim are suing because they did not give permission to be filmed.
    The judge in this current civil case (supposedly a public trial) has banned the media from the trial. I don't think you will find any of that in old news accounts.

  11. great documentary. So sad that their is much lazinest in the goverment. The acuser admited in front of the jugde that he did not see him shoot his cousin and the judge proced with his inavility to racionalise and think correctly.

  12. What evidence exits that implicates Tono Zuniga as the murderer of the homocide victim, besides the witnessing of the homicide by Mr. Hernandez Ruiz. I'm assuming he witnessed the homocide and positively identified Mr. Zuniga. Is there recovered evidence like a gun used in the homocide with ballistics test to go along with it. The case is a perfect example of a lazy police investigation with a rush to solve the case inorder to be done with it. I think somebody is trying to set-up Mr. Zuniga; however, I would be screaming to the top of my lungs proclaiming
    my innocence. I wouldn't be taking it sitting down. In the U.S.A. there has also been cases of wrongly accused who where unjustly convicted of crimes. The advancement in DNA testing many a convicted felon clear themselves of crimes they didn't commit. At the same time convicting or finding the proper guilty individual in a criminal case. Usually the wrongly accused are black, Brown, not highly educated, or poor. Again, part of the problem tends to be lazy police investigations and the pressure to solve s crime quickly; however, you can't eliminate the equation of class and racism, in the case of the U.S. I think somebody is trying to railroad Mr. Zuniga and have him take the fall for somebody. I also think he knows more than what he is letting on.

  13. I juss saw the movie and the judicial system in mexico is crap the judge even has the face de chingador pinche ojete

  14. If I did not know that he was released before viewing the movie tonight I would have been so pissed that it is doubtful I could have stomached the entire documentary. You are correct it best illustrates a system that we read of the corruptions and unfairness, but wow seeing this one case changes everything in my mind. Just like the dead laying after a shootout it is not so easy to figure out who the bad guys are, and which are not.

    I had not seen this movie so I thank you very much for re posting it, and please do not consider the narrative of narcissist readers such are such as 2:26AM. many people, too many have not seen the movie and the article is current and new. I would like to know about Tono and how his life is and has been since release.

  15. I will forward this film to everyone I know...

  16. Amazing documentary!! Wonderful work
    Jimmy Neutron

  17. Good film and happy Tono is free of the charge. but thats the cruel reality about my Mexico. its sad but true. good job BB.



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