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Breaking the Wall of Impunity

 

Breaking The Wall Of Impunity

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CHALLENGE

To encourage judges in Uruguay to open new cases related to crimes of the dictatorship and effectively overcome a national law calling for immunity from prosecution for these cases, using a recent Inter-American Court for Human Rights ruling that Uruguay was required under international law to ensure justice for victims.

SOLUTION

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Develop two videos, one for civil society and one for judges themselves, to promote the opening of cases of dictatorship crimes and to build popular support for judges to open such cases.

OVERVIEW

This video was created in partnership with victims’ organizations across Uruguay to push for Uruguayan judges to accept new cases to hold perpetrators of crimes of the 1980s dictatorship accountable. Because of a recent decision at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Gelman Decision, a national law promoting impunity for crimes of the dictatorship was technically invalidated, and opened a space for judges to take on cases related to accountability for dictatorship crimes. The film encouraged judges to interpret the new decision by the Court to ensure justice to the victims of the dictatorship’s crimes. "

To achieve our goals for this project, we held several meetings with our clients to understand the legal and social landscape in Uruguay and the challenges faced in trying to promote the opening of new cases. We spent significant time in pre-production developing a plan for both the videos and distribution strategy to make sure these films were impactful. During a 12 day shoot in Montevideo, we met with several victims groups that were the primary promoters of the film in civil society. We also interviewed several members of these groups, journalists, victims of dictatorship crimes themselves, government officials, judges, and lawyers.

This film was accompanied by a shorter version called Never Again What? which was used to promote a similar message among civil society: the importance of accountability for democracy in Uruguay, with the goal of providing citizen support for judges to open new cases.
Created with the New Media Advocacy Project. Available in English and Spanish.