(AFP) – Mar 15, 2011
MEXICO CITY — Two judges on Monday rejected a bid to stop Mexican screenings of the blockbuster documentary "Presumed Guilty," which lays bare serious flaws in the country's justice system.
"The two judges reject the request for its definitive suspension, so the film will continue to be shown," a spokeswoman for the National Council of Federal Justice told AFP.
The documentary, by lawyers Roberto Hernandez and Layda Negrete, documents the retrial of street vendor Antonio Zuniga, who was serving a 20-year sentence for a murder he knew nothing about.
Its main featured witness had sought to block the documentary in Mexico -- after it won a string of awards abroad -- arguing he had not given permission to be filmed.
He was backed by family members of a murder victim whose corpse appears briefly in the documentary.
One of the judges ordered that the witness's face be blurred in the film and his identity concealed, a ruling condemned by the film's distributor as "unusual, inconsistent and illegal" in a statement released late Monday.
Some one million people have seen the movie since its Mexican release on February 18, and it is already the most successful documentary ever shown in the country.
Its brief suspension last week provoked accusations of censorship and criticism across the political divide.
The plaintiffs can still appeal Monday's ruling.
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