Presumed Guilty
Presumed Guilty

Presumed Guilty

Director Roberto Hernandez, Geoffrey Smith

Production year 2009

Length 90min.

Country Mexico


What is it like to be picked up off the street, told you have committed a murder you know nothing about, and find yourself behind bars for 20 years? In December 2005 this happened to Toño Zuniga in Mexico City, and like thousands of other innocent young men he was condemned for a crime he had never committed. Presumed Guilty is the story of two young lawyers and their incredible struggle to free Toño. With no background in film, they set about recording his story as they realized that only a camera could reveal the institutionalized injustice they were witnessing. Shot over 3 years with unprecedented camera access to the Mexican court and prison systems, this observational film is highly dramatic and full of real suspense, yet also, a searing indictment of a system where the Police do not have to investigate because the system presumes guilt.


Best Documentary, Award | Toronto IFF, Canada, 2009

Amnesty International Award | Copenhagen International Documentary FF, Denmark, 2009

Best Documentary Award | Guadalajara IFF, Mexico, 2010

Best International Feature, Audience Award | Los Angeles FF, USA, 2010

Golden Gate Best Bay Area Documentary | San Francisco IFF, USA, 2010

Best Documentary Award, Audience Award | DocumentaMadrid, Spain, 2010

Best Feature Documentary Award | East End FF, UK, 2010

Feature Documentary Award | One World Media, UK, 2010


Roberto Hernandez
Roberto Hernandez



Layda Negrete, Roberto Hernández, Martha Sosa, Yissel Ibarra


Roberto Hernández, Geoffrey Smith

Director of Photography

John Grillo, Amir Galván, Damián Sánchez, Lorenzo Hagerman

Music by

Raúl Vizzi, Camilo Froideval, Toy Hernández, Antonio Zúñiga


Iyari Huerta, Tania Negrete


Felipe Gómez, Roberto Hernández


Antonio Zúñiga, Rafael Heredia, Eva Gutiérrez

Production company(ies)

Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía

Roberto Hernandez

Was trained as a lawyer in Mexico and Canada, and had no particular interest in cameras or film until he found himself collecting statistics at the basement of Mexico City's Superior Court, which houses the archived legal cases of one of the largest cities in the world. Together with his wife Layda made El Túnel a short documentary that presented scandalous facts about Mexico’s justice system. Roberto is currently a graduate student in Public Policy at UC Berkeley.


El Túnel (2006), Presumed Guilty (2009)

Geoffrey Smith
Geoffrey Smith


Geoffrey Smith

Geoffrey Smith is an American director and producer.


The English Surgeon (2007), Presumed Guilty (2009)

FILMS 2014