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Berkeley attorney's award-winning documentary set for premier

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Berkeley attorney turned filmmaker Roberto Hernandez’s award-winning documentary, “Presumed Guilty,” which exposes inadequacies in the Mexican justice system, premieres at 10 p.m. Tuesday on PBS.

Why did you decide to make the film? It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened as a process. My wife and I had some experience looking at the justice system in Mexico City by collecting statistics through our work as lawyers, and we saw a pattern of people being arrested without evidence and then convicted.

What was filming like? It was a fantastic experience because I didn’t realize I was making a film; I was making a record of human rights knowledge.

What are you trying to show? I wanted to capture what [Antonio Zúñiga’s] experience was with getting arrested without evidence and his experience of imprisonment. 

Are you hoping for any particular results? This is the first chance in history, really, that Mexicans will get to see and gain an understanding of their system.

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Has the film already made an impact? We have shown the film to authorities in Mexico City who have walked out of the screening crying and saying we have to change this.

Roberto Hernandez
The Berkeley attorney turned filmmaker’s award-winning documentary, “Presumed Guilty,” which exposes inadequacies in the Mexican justice system, premieres at 10 p.m. Tuesday on PBS.
 
Why did you decide to make the film? It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened as a process. My wife and I had some experience looking at the justice system in Mexico City by collecting statistics through our work as lawyers, and we saw a pattern of people being arrested without evidence and then convicted.

What was filming like? It was a fantastic experience because I didn’t realize I was making a film; I was making a record of human rights knowledge.

What are you trying to show? I wanted to capture what [Antonio Zúñiga’s] experience was with getting arrested without evidence and his experience of imprisonment.
 
Are you hoping for any particular results? This is the first chance in history, really, that Mexicans will get to see and gain an understanding of their system.

Has the film already made an impact? We have shown the film to authorities in Mexico City who have walked out of the screening crying and saying we have to change this.
— Sarah Haughey



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