Presumed Guilty (Presunto culpable) | Screening and Q&A with Roberto Hernández

This is an Archive of a Past Event

Please join us for an evening with Presumed Guilty (Presunto culpable) director Roberto Hernández. The event will begin with the documentary screening and will be followed by a Q&A . Hernández is currently the Bliss Carnochan International Visitor at the Stanford Humanities Center (through February 17, 2023). 

About the Film

Presumed Guilty (Presunto culpable) is an EMMY Award-winning documentary created by Roberto Hernández and the mother of his two children, Layda Negrete. When the film was banned in Mexico during its theatrical run it became a pirate DVD sensation and the most successful documentary in Mexico’s history. Two young Mexican attorneys attempt to exonerate a wrongly convicted man by making a documentary. In the process, they expose the contradictions of a judicial system that presumes suspects guilty until proven innocent.

About the Director

Roberto Hernández

Roberto Hernández is a lawyer, filmmaker, and survey researcher. Early in his career he was a professor of law at CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas), a public university in Mexico City. In 2006, he made a series of films about the Mexican justice system. El Tunel and Justicia Expuesta are among the more influential in shaping policies in the Mexican justice system. In collaboration with The World Justice Project, Roberto helped create Mexico’s first national survey of incarcerated persons, exploring the experiences of the criminally accused with the police, the prosecution service, and the courts. 

The most notable of his films Presunto culpable (Presumed Guilty). His most recent work, Reasonable Doubt: A Tale Of Two Kidnappings, uncovers a systematic use of torture as an investigative tool and reveals the institutional perpetrators who are all still in positions of power today, a fact that led Roberto and Layda Negrete, the producer of the series and mother of his two daughters, to seek asylum in the Netherlands where they currently reside. Roberto is now working on a book titled The Stove in the Courtroom, where he questions the role of narrative in policy design.

Hernández was nominated for his Humanities Center visitorship by the Center for Latin American Studies.

Read a Q&A about his work