Duel with the Devil
Time Coded Script

SUPER: 10;00;00;18 - 10;00;04;23
Guatemala City

SUPER: 10;00;09;22 - 10;00;14;16 00;47;21;26
5,000 murders a year

CLIP: 10;00;11;18 - 10;00;14;21
These people go to as many homicides in a night as I go to burglaries.

SUPER: 10;00;16;15 - 10;00;21;11
Gangs dominate communities

SUPER: 10;00;24;03 - 10;00;28;28 dissolves in and out
Two Million Guns
Former Soldiers trained in counterinsurgency

CLIP: 10;00;17;09 - 10;00;25;11
If there were, I don’t know last year, a thousand allegations of human right violations in Guatemala, you are probably talking about 150,000 against the common people.

CLIP: 10;00;27;01 - 10;00;30;24
There are guns everywhere. It’s a different world, it really is!

TITLE 10;00;36;29 - 10;00;41;19 dissolves in and out
Duel with the Devil

NARRATION 10;00;54;03 - 10;00;59;08
Guatemala City, a Central American capital with more than two million people.

NARRATION 10;01;09;00 - 10;01;17;04
It is one of the most dangerous places in the world with more than 5,000 murders a year, 10 to 15 homicides every night.

CLIP 10;01;23;03 - 10;01;42;21
Okay we are at a homicide scene in a place called San José Pinula. It is a municipality just outside Guatemala City. It appears that somebody has been shot to death. Somebody heard gunshots at about 5 PM and they came out and discovered the body, and the police and the crime scene unit are on the scene now.

SUPER 10;01;25;08 - 10;01;30;04
Cal Deedman
B.C. Crown Counsel

CLIP 10;01;45;28 - 10;01;59;22
It’s amazing. The level of violence here is almost unbelievable. When I tell them that the average for the year in Vancouver is 30 homicides, they laugh because they tell me that is what they get on a bad day.

CLIP 10;02;27;25 - 10;02;40;25
Apparently, shot 8 times in the back. They found about eight shell casings they are doing a check now to see if they can find the weapon.

CLIP 10;02;43;10 - 10;02;57;26
I think I have just come into a war zone. They are trying to do their absolute best, with the limited resources that they have. There is an incredible level of violence I have seen here in this country.

SUPER 10;02;49;16 - 10;02;52;23
Tim Sleigh

CLIP Starts

10;02;59;02 - 10;03;01;15
Guatemala has one of the
highest levels of violence in Latin America.

SUPER 10;03;05;29 - 10;03;09;06
Héctor Soto
Forensic Anthropologist

10;03;09;12 - 10;03;11;16
I think this is a result of

10;03;11;29 - 10;03;14;11
36 years of institutionalized violence by the State.

10;03;15;04 - 10;03;19;12
It responded with violence to demands for social change.

10;03;19;25 - 10;03;22;27
Thirty-six years of war didn’t solve the problems,

10;03;23;13 - 10;03;25;09
which started the war.

10;03;26;14 - 10;03;30;23
But it left us with a culture that uses violence
to deal with problems.



10;03;32;07 - 10;03;38;16
The 1996 Peace Accords ended the bloody conflict, but there was no functional justice system to step in.

10;03;42;12 - 10;03;54;09
Police powers are restricted because of their association with previous military regimes.

Because of this, to make an immediate arrest the police must catch the murderer in the act.

10;03;58;05 - 10;04;19;01
In this case, investigators have a suspect in mind – a family member. Even though he is still at the scene, they must convince a judge to order an arrest. Even a confession is not good enough.

They’ll need physical evidence. But the Guatemalan team lacks the forensic know-how.


CLIP: 10;04;19;15 - 10;04;36;07
The scene itself is badly secured. Again the area is not large enough, it should have been much larger. People should have been restricted, completely restricted to the crime scene.

SUPER 10;04;23;00 - 10;04;27;26
Richard Matte

NARRATION 10;04;36;03 - 10;04;40;03
The crowd must be pushed back, or they’ll lose evidence left by the shooter.

CLIP 10;04;41;13 - 10;05;01;03
Well what just happened is that somebody happened to notice that there is another shell casing sitting in the middle of this little road, outside the area that was cordoned off as part of the crime scene.

So in this area, where everybody one has been standing around, people have been standing on top of a shell casing.

NARRATION 10;05;11;03 - 10;05;15;14
The Canadians are training Guatemalans in crime scene investigations.

CLIP 10;05;16;24 - 10;05;46;17
We are not talking about rocket science, very sophisticated techniques like DNA analysis or anything like that. We are talking about talking about basic fundamental crime scene investigation skills, where you secure the crime scene, prevent the scene from being contaminated, you examine it systematically. You systematically photograph, and gather and mark the evidence. That kind of thing … you know sort of Crime Scene 100 if you will.

SUPER 10;05;29;04 - 10;05;34;04
Cal Deedman
B.C. Crown Counsel

CLIP 10;05;53;06 - 10;06;07;26
The physical evidence gives weight to the testimony. So his member notes and his member’s observations going in on the physical evidence will verify or confirm the evidence.


10;06;17;24 - 10;06;35;11
Guatemalans are no strangers to violence. 200 thousand people were killed during a 36-year civil war. 10 years later mass graves are still being exhumed. Families still grieve their loses and institutions are still not trusted.

10;06;46;16 - 10;06;57;03
As violent crime soars with no increase in convictions, communities, especially in rural areas, dispense their own brutal brand of vigilante justice.

10;07;04;0 - 10;07;08;24
There have been more than 250 such executions since the Peace Accords.

10;07;11;07 - 10;07;19;05
The scale of violent crime in Guatemala is a human rights issue, because it restricts the freedom of everyone to carry on a normal life.


CLIP 10;07;20;04 - 10;07;43;13
If there where – I don’t know – a thousand allegations of human rights violations in Guatemala you are probably talking about 150,000 against the common people.

So what we are trying to address is not just political human rights but all human rights. The problem of human rights is the problem of human rights of the common person as well. And not just in terms of what we call political human rights but also in terms of daily life.

SUPER 10;07;28;22 - 10;07;36;02
Rick Craig
Project Director (this title rotates)
Law Courts Education Society

NARRATION 10;07;45;08 - 10;07;57;09
The struggle in Guatemala is not just a police story. It is about people, who face violence every day, and victims who take on, in their own personal way, a duel with the devil.

Super 10;07;47;24 - 10;07;54;17
Rosa Isabél Gutiérrez
Victim of Rape and Attempted Murder


10:07:59;04 10:08:03;08
My name is
Rosa Isabél Gutiérrez Ardón.

10:08:04;05 10:08:06;07
I am 16 years old.

10:08:07;20 10:08:10;20
I was walking along, when
I felt someone grab my hair.

10:08:11;25 10:08:16;14
I thought it was my brother,
who worked far away.

10:08:17;10 10:08:22;10
I turned around with a smile
on my face,

10:08:22;16 10:08:25;05
because I thought
it was my brother.

10:08:25;11 10:08:27;25
Unfortunately, it wasn't him.

10:08:28;07 10:08:30;09
It was the guy.

10:08:31;07 10:08:33;02
When I turned around,

10:08:33;09 10:08:34;26
he put the knife here.

10:08:36;04 10:08:37;12
I screamed.

10:08:37;20 10:08:39;00
He covered my mouth.

10:08:39;28 10:08:43;24
He dragged me
down a narrow alley.




10;09;03;26 - 10;09;11;01
A tranquil Sunday afternoon in Guatemala City, young an old turn out to indulge their passion in their national sport.

10;09;36;09 - 10;09;39;21
The game provides a distraction from the everyday concerns.

10;09;47;21 - 10;09;54;14
However, at any moment the situation can change. The threat of violence is ever present in Guatemala.

10;10;00;16 -10;10;04;19
This is a typical community on the outskirts of Guatemala City.

10;10;08;03 - 10;10;11;27
At first glance it may appear peaceful. It’s not.



10:10:12;17 10:10:15;07
When I leave my house

10:10:15;17 10:10:20;02
I put away my wallet,
my cell phone, chains, rings.

10:10:20;08 10:10:21;26
All valuable objects.

10:10:21;28 10:10:26;02
I try to carry them out of sight.

10:10:27;12 10:10:30;02
When I leave the house
I look both ways.

10:10:30;12 10:10:32;23
Abél Pérez
Resident of El Mezquitál

10:10:33;24 10:10:37;09
I try not to go through places
we call 'red areas,

10:10:37;09 10:10:39;09
where there is danger.


NARRATION 10;10;39;13 - 10;10;48;13
The community is plagued by street gangs. Most businesses pay a so called “tax” to the gangs to stay in business. Extortion is a way of life.


10:10:49;19 10:10:54;19
Even families with good incomes,

10:10:54;28 10:10:57;19
they are being taxed.

10:10:58;02 10:11:00;19
So, to avoid problems

10:11:01;06 10:11:03;24
or being killed,
they pay it.


NARRATION 10;11;05;04 - 10;11;13;26
Calling the police is not an option for fear of retaliation from the gangs.
Instead a rough form of justice takes its course - social cleansing.


10:11:15;05 10:11:17;15
It turns out,

10:11:18;03 10:11:20;16
things are taken care of,

10:11:21;03 10:11:23;01
Things neighbours
don’t know...

10:11:23;07 10:11:26;16
they don’t know
how it's done,

10:11:26;27 10:11:29;13
but young men
simply disappear or

10:11:29;21 10:11:31;21
are simply found dead
the next day.


NARRATION 10;11;40;19 - 10;11;48;09
For many people, the buses are the best way to get around Guatemala City. Even this simple daily task is fraught with danger.


10:11:52;25 10:11:58;00
A youngster or young man
approaches the driver,

10:11:58;08 10:12:00;16
and he pulls out a gun.

SUPER 10:12:00;21 10:12:02;28
Victoriano Zacarías
Bus Drivers' Union

10:12:03;12 10:12:04;17
He points it at
the chest or head,

10:12:04;20 10:12:07;14
and tells him to drive slowly,

10:12:08;05 10:12:13;18
while 3 or 4 guys
rob the passengers.

10:12:14;02 10:12:18;06
They do it from
where we boarded.

10:12:18;15 10:12:21;05
and get off at about
13th Street.

10:12:21;13 10:12:25;05
and they get off
as if nothing happened.


NARRATION 10;12;28;14 - 10;12;37;14
Murder and robbery are constant threats to passengers and drivers.
Gangs extract a toll from the drivers for the privilege of passing through their territory.


10:12:39;21 10:12:41;07
The gang members get on
the bus here

10:12:41;12 10:12:44;23
and ask for the
“circulation tax,”

10:12:45;04 10:12:47;16
which is from $2 to $20.

10:12:47;27 10:12:49;24
If the driver refuses,

10:12:50;03 10:12:51;27
they grab the money box

10:12:52;03 10:12:54;07
and leave him without a cent.

10:12:54;13 10:12:57;16
This is one of the risks
drivers face every day.



10;13;11;22 - 10;13;15;2
For the business class – their greatest fear is kidnapping.

10;13;22;19 - 10;13;27;10
This has contributed to a burgeoning private security industry.

10;13;34;19 - 10;13;38;01
It’s common to see a convoy of cars filled with security personnel.


10:13:39;27 10:13:45;01
Private security is
preventative security.

SUPER 10:13:45;16 10:13:47;12
Rodolfo Muñoz
USI – Security

10:13:48;05 10:13:55;26
We protect executives from
kidnapping, attack or car theft.

10:13:56;02 10:13:58;12
Because if it’s an
expensive vehicle,

10:13:58;13 10:14:00;03
it attracts
the attention of criminals.



10;14;09;20 - 10;14;21;12
Guatemala City is so preoccupied by security; heavily armed guards are found almost everywhere. Private security guards now out number the National Police 7 to 1.

10;14;28;17 - 10;14;37;16
Since Guatemalans are guaranteed by their constitution the right to bear arms, guns are a big business. Registered guns are well documented.

10;14;44;13 - 10;14;48;27
Both their ownership and ballistic characteristics can be easily traced.

10;14;51;14 - 10;14;59;07
But the system is not the problem. Only 10 percent of all guns are registered.
Most guns used in crime are not.

10;15;02;21 - 10;15;14;03
The perceived need to own a gun has only grown since the peace accords. 10 years later, Guatemala imports 30 times the ammunition it did during the armed conflict.


10:15:14;21 10:15:20;19
The armed conflict
created a culture of violence,

10:15:21;01 10:15:25;26
or an attitude about violence
in the population,

10:15:26;10 10:15:28;16
as a way to solve problems.

10:15:29;07 10:15:31;09
Carmen Rosa de León Gun
Control Advocate

10:15:31;29 10:15:35;01
In 1993, deaths due to guns

10:15:35;08 10:15:39;12
represented little more than
40 percent of homicides,

10:15:39;18 10:15:46;23
This year, over 80 percent of
deaths are caused by guns.

10:15:47;07 10:15:52;09
Guns have become a problem
in the lives of Guatemalans.


10;15;55;28 - 10;16;10;28
Every night 10 to 15 bodies arrive at this morgue. Most are victims of gun violence. In almost every case there will be no arrest. Therefore, violent criminals have little to fear from Guatemala’s system of justice.

10;16;17;29 - 10;16;21;15
Rosita is almost killed
by the man who rapes her.


10:16:23;05 10:16:25;22
All of a sudden, I heard
the sound of the Pepsi truck.

10:16:26;20 10:16:28;07
When the truck appeared,
I said:

10:16:28;17 10:16:33;03
“God don’t let this truck
come over here…

10:16:33;18 10:16:36;26
have it go elsewhere,
the other street…”

10:16:37;12 10:16:41;27
But unfortunately,
it came in our direction.

10:16:43;02 10:16:47;22
When he saw the truck
coming, it was coming fast.

10:16:48;01 10:16:53;01
He just looked at me,
and laughed at me.

10:16:53;05 10:16:55;09
He untied my feet,
and my hands

10:16:55;16 10:16:58;29
and tore off
what covered my mouth.

10:16:59;06 10:17:01;03
He grabbed me by the neck.

10:17:01;05 10:17:03;00
He pulled up my pants.

10:17:03;09 10:17:05;04
He threw me
in front of the truck.

10:17:05;18 10:17:07;28
I just closed my eyes.

10:17:09;11 10:17:12;03
I heard the truck braking.

10:17:12;20 10:17:18;08
I opened my eyes and
I was near the truck's tires.

10:17:20;05 10:17:23;03
I got up as best as I could.

10:17:23;20 10:17:27;03
I went to my mother.

10:17:27;15 10:17:29;15
I couldn’t walk anymore.

10:17:29;27 10:17:32;18
I told her what happened,

10:17:33;03 10:17:34;26
what he had done to me.

10:17:35;12 10:17:37;00
I fainted.




10;17;44;29 - 10;17;55;13
In Guatemala – death can be a sidewalk show. People crowd the body for a closer look. While important forensic evidence can be trampled under foot.

10;18;05;07 - 10;18;11;24
To change this, Guatemalan investigators traveled to the RCMP Training Centre in Chilliwack, British Columbia.

10;18;16;17 - 10;18;20;10
The centre is equipped with realistic crime scenario rooms.

CLIPS 10;18;24;18 - 10;18;45;17
What we are doing is that we are setting up the simulated crime scene for the Guatemalan entourage, so they can examine the scene and look for physical evidence: fingerprints, footwear. Any type of trace evidence that they might use in a court of law to convict an accused

SUPER 10;18;33;00 - 10;18;38;01
Bob Hannam

CLIP 10;18;46;16 - 10;19;07;04
I am using liver as a blood source. It gives a relatively easy blood on my hand and then I am going to put blood impressions on the wall in various locations. As well, eventually I’ll am going to stand in the liver and leave a bloody impression, footwear impression at the base of the windows.

SUPER 10;18;56;00 - 10;19;01;02
Tim Sleigh

CLIPS 10;19;07;09 - 10;19;29;08
My hands, because I was wearing gloves, my hands have been sweating, so they are little bit damp. I am also applying a little bit of sebaceous oil from my nose and from my neck – from the sebaceous glands. This will ensure that I will get a fairly decent fingerprint impression.

And I am just going to give some light pressure there on the windows


10;19;40;09 - 10;19;44;25
Now it’s up to the Guatemalans to process the site for evidence.

10;19;53;18 - 10;20;19;11
One of the primary problems with their system is that most cases tend to depend entirely on oral testimonial evidence. And they are not very good at gathering and presenting corroborative physical evidence. And witness testimony can be unreliable and you certainly wouldn’t want to have to base a case entirely on witness testimony if you could avoid it.

10;20;01;18 - 10;20;06;18
Cal Deedman
B.C. Crown Counsel

10;20;21;00 - 10;20;28;12
Part of an on-going forensic training initiative, the Guatemalans will return home to train colleagues on the processing of crime scenes.


10:20:32;14 10:20:35;27
The idea is that when we return,

10:20:36;06 10:20:40;00
we will replicate what
we have learned here.

10:20:40;06 10:20:43;01
Byron Duran
Guatemalan Prosecutor

10:20:43;26 10:20:49;27
We will be part of this new
structure to handle homicides.

10:20:51;00 10:20:54;20
We are very motivated because

10:20:54;27 10:20:59;29
it gives us new tools to reduce the rate of impunity.

10:21:00;21 10:21:03;16
When a crime is not solved
it ends with impunity.

10:21:03;24 10:21:05;18
That's still happening.

10:21:05;28 10:21:07;27
So, we want to change that.


10;21;13;10 - 10;21;22;21
Rosa Nelly is a victim of sexual assault. She is escorted because someone tried to kill her after she initiated charges.

10;21;23;27- 10;21;34;26
Counseled by a local women’s group, Rosa Nelly is practicing her testimony and victim impact statement. Since there is no physical evidence, her testimony must be compelling.


10:21:36;09 10:21:39;03
It's the time that you
present these items,

10:21:39;27 10:21:42;14
because they are not
considered evidence

10:21:42;22 10:21:44;25
you have to make
good use of the moment,

10:21:44;29 10:21:46;18
when you take the stand,

10:21:46;18 10:21:49;26
in a subtle way,
by saying,

10:21:50;06 10:21:53;20
“Look, your Honours
here’s my child.

10:21:54;21 10:21:56;26
He’s the product of the rape.

10:21:57;11 10:21:59;25
"It’s been difficult,
but here’s my baby.”

10:22:00;10 10:22:01;28
Here's something very important,

10:22:02;08 10:22:04;02
because it can’t be measured,

10:22:04;02 10:22:08;03
it's the impact
it has had on your life.

10:22:08;21 10:22:13;22
How you had to drop out of
school, quit your job,

10:22:13;24 10:22:16;09
how difficult, financially,

10:22:16;16 10:22:19;16
it has been for you to get
by with a child.

10:22:20;16 10:22:23;18
Another important thing is

10:22:24;13 10:22:28;11
to confront him
while you speak.

10:22:28;16 10:22:30;04
But having him there…

10:22:30;15 10:22:33;18
If you want to cry, then cry.

10:22:34;09 10:22:37;12
Don't refrain from crying,

10:22:37;25 10:22:40;23
because judges like us to cry.

10:22:41;18 10:22:44;07
It is not believable
if we don’t cry.

10:22:46;10 10:22:50;09
So you have to speak to them
and look them in the eye.

10:22:50;20 10:22:52;17
And, with your child’s picture,
confront him.

10:22:52;18 10:22:56;13
Look at him,
look him in the eye,

10:22:56;27 10:23:00;18
so that we beat him
during the trial.



10;23;06;20 - 10;23;11;14
Taking someone to court, or appearing as a witness has its risks.

10;23;13;12 - 10;23;21;26
Because of ongoing threats, this judge requested not to be identified.
He says a witness who appears in court can end up being a victim.


10:23:21;28 10:23:25;03

10:23:25;10 10:23:27;09
What happens here is,

10:23:27;14 10:23:28;28
we’re used to traditional evidence:

10:23:29;03 10:23:30;13
witnesses, documents.

10:23:30;20 10:23:32;05
There's risk for the witness.

10:23:32;15 10:23:35;06
How many witnesses have
been killed after testifying?

10:23:35;20 10:23:37;18
Three or four months later
they are found dead.

10:23:38;04 10:23:39;12
Trust me,

10:23:39;15 10:23:42;02
it’s an everyday thing
inside the system.


10;23;42;16 - 10;23;52;08
Judges are also at risk. During a high profile case involving army officers, Judge
Iris Barrios was lucky to escape an attack in her own home.


10:23:52;18 10:23:56;05
A day before the hearing of
Monsignor Gerardi’s case

10:23:56;14 10:24:01;01
in which three military men
and a priest were involved,

10:24:01;19 10:24:04;17
someone threw at me
- I don't know who did it –

10:24:04;26 10:24:08;19
two grenades in my patio.

10:24:08;28 10:24:11;13
Thank God,

10:24:12;16 10:24:15;23
we weren’t hurt or killed,

10:24:17;19 10:24:20;10
but still in my house

10:24:20;23 10:24:27;07
there are marks from the
grenades on the wall.

10:24:27;18 10:24:29;28
It was a awful blow,

10:24:30;04 10:24:34;12
because going from phone
threats to

10:24:34;19 10:24:37;01
the victim of an
attempted crime,

10:24:37;08 10:24:38;15
is totally different.

10:24:38;21 10:24:40;00
Despite it,

10:24:40;06 10:24:42;16
I showed up a the trial
the next day.

10:24:42;16 10:24:47;08
and from that day
in March 2001 until now,

10:24:47;14 10:24:50;25
I am guarded by the
National Civil Police.


10;24;51;16 - 10;24;55;17
Rosita is threatened
by the wife
of the man who raped her.


10:24:56;13 10:24:59;08
I went to buy tortillas.

10:24:59;16 10:25:02;13
She grabbed me
from behind, and said:

10:25:02;26 10:25:05;06
“I want to speak to you,
dirty bitch, whore.”

10:25:05;19 10:25:07;16
I answered:
"I'm not that."

10:25:08;09 10:25:14;01
And she said
if I didn’t get her husband out

10:25:14;27 10:25:16;19
she would kill me.

10:25:16;28 10:25:20;07
And I knew the people
she hangs out with,

10:25:20;14 10:25:24;01
so, she wouldn’t think twice,

10:25:25;00 10:25:27;17
and that my life
was in her hands.

10:25:27;21 10:25:29;15
She told me that
if he didn’t come out,

10:25:29;28 10:25:33;06
when I was out on the street
I should be very careful,

10:25:33;16 10:25:37;01
because otherwise
a bullet would fly

10:25:37;11 10:25:41;10
and I'd be shot
between my eye brows.


DIPS to Black


10;25;48;26 - 10;26;01;08
The Guatemala City courthouse has the feeling of a building under siege. Everyone is confronted at the door by security personnel and metal detectors. Heavily armed guards are ever present.

10;26;04;06 - 10;26;13;24
In the building’s parkade prisoners await trial. The majority of people arrested in Guatemala are arrested for minor crimes such as personal possession of drugs.


10:26:14;09 10:26:16;21
It's a minor crime.

SUPER 10:26:16;27 10:26:18;24
Gerardo Pérez
Penal System Researcher

10:26:19;16 10:26:22;23
It does not require
state intervention.

10:26:23;01 10:26:28;01
But if we compare it
to violent crimes,

10:26:28;12 10:26:31;04
which are the
most serious crimes,

10:26:31;07 10:26:34;02
only 5 per cent are investigated.

10:26:34;21 10:26:38;04
We can see that

10:26:38;13 10:26:43;12
most people are imprisoned
for misdemeanours.


10;26;45;18 - 10;27;02;02
When the accused eventually reaches court, a judge may have very little physical evidence on which to base a judgment. In 2004, 81 percent of the 45,000 people held in custody had to be released for lack of evidence.


10:27:04;11 10:27:06;04
The process goes on.

10:27:06;09 10:27:08;19
It gets to the judge
who controls the case.

10:27:08;23 10:27:11;22
He doesn’t have any
ability to investigate,

10:27:12;13 10:27:15;26
but can only decide
with what he has.

10:27:16;00 10:27:18;12
Not all of the
imprisoned are guilty,

10:27:18;18 10:27:20;00
and not all those who are free
are innocent.



10;27;22;29 - 10;27;32;15
Being detained in Guatemala is a dangerous experience. Many detention centres are the scenes of riots between rival gangs.

10;27;35;11 - 10;27;40;20
These inmates are standing on the severed heads of fellow prisoners killed during this riot.

10;28;01;29 - 10;28;06;19
In recent countrywide riots 35 inmates lost their lives

10;28;15;09 - 10;28;28;03
For a family with a relative in prison or detention life can become a financial nightmare. They may lose a person that is gainfully employed, and they must provide for them, in prison, with the basics for survival.

10;28;31;19- 10;28;42;16
For the past six years, Georgina Palma Cruz has supported her brother in prison. She supplies him with food, also money to pay fellow prisoners for small concessions.


10:28:43;12 10:28:45;24
He uses the money
to pay on the inside,

10:28:45;24 10:28:53;03
for permission to keep
meat in the refrigerator,

10:28:56;07 10:29:01;19
for the small area we use
when it’s visitors day,

10:29:01;28 10:29:04;11
which is a dollar or two.


10;29;05;01 - 10;29;09;02

Rosita's mother
cannot keep her job
during Rosita's
court case.


10:29:09;05 10:29:12;27
As of November 20, 2004,

10:29:13;08 10:29:15;05
when my daughter was raped,

10:29:15;09 10:29:17;09
I haven’t been able to work.

10:29:17;18 10:29:21;02
I am a maid and

10:29:21;09 10:29:24;12
you get permission for one or
two days off, but no more.

10:29:24;17 10:29:26;24
After that, they fire you.

10:29:27;11 10:29:32;07
And I have to go here and there
with my daughter,

10:29:32;12 10:29:36;04
because we are the only ones
who go here and there.

10:29:36;18 10:29:40;18
Therefore, I don't have money.

10:29:40;22 10:29:44;12
Many neighbours have
supported me,

10:29:44;17 10:29:46;22
helping me with
money for bus tickets,

10:29:46;28 10:29:49;00
or for eating a tortilla
on the street.

10:29:49;08 10:29:51;10
Sometimes, we leave very
early in the morning,

10:29:51;22 10:29:54;07
and return in the afternoon
without eating,

10:29:54;20 10:29:57;06
because we don’t have
enough money.


DIP to Black


10;30;03;27 - 10;30;09;18
Prisons in Guatemala are run independently. Each facility has its own rules and policies.

10;30;11;03 - 10;30;15;13
This is Pavon Correctional Centre just outside of Guatemala City.

10;30;18;27 - 10;30;22;27
A typical visiting day will see a parade of family members

10;30;35;05 - 10;30;39;13
Food deliveries pass through the gates under the watchful eyes of the guards.

10;31;04;14 - 10;31;08;08
The guards decide who gets passed the gate and what they can bring in.

10;31;12;08 - 10;31;17;16
But once inside – it is a world completely controlled by the prisoners.

10;31;20;22 - 10;31;24;22
At first glance Pavon is typical of many villages in Guatemala.

10;31;29;07 - 10;31;37;08
And like many, villages it has entire families living here. It also has outdoor cafes where friends can meet.

10;31;43;03 - 10;31;49;22
But it is still a prison, men found guilty of murder, rape and trafficking.

10;31;50;12 - 10;31;54;00
This is a man on death row for murder and kidnapping.

10;31;59;11 - 10;32;08;27
But with a little bit of money they live for what passes as a normal life. They can buy what they need at the corner store. And if they have enough money, they can open a store.

10:32:10;19 10:32:12;14
Jorge Batres
Prisoner Committee


10:32:12;29 10:32:15;14
Everyone organizes themselves.

10:32:15;26 10:32:18;00
If he has money,
he opens a business,

10:32:18;02 10:32:20;15
or finds something to do,

10:32:20;20 10:32:23;02
either sewing footballs,
shoes - whatever.

10:32:23;14 10:32:26;20
Within the prison

10:32:26;22 10:32:29;07
there’s a certain freedom.

10:32:29;07 10:32:32;26
If someone abuses
another inmate,

10:32:32;28 10:32:34;25
he’s turned in to the authorities

10:32:34;25 10:32:37;08
who decide what to do
with this person.



10;32;37;23 - 10;32;45;15
Many inmates remain in contact with the outside world. Prison riots were coordinated by cell phones and witnesses have been threatened.

10;32;48;20 - 10;32;57;17
Most prisoners are desperately poor and under 24 years of age.
And rehabilitation is key to a chance of a productive life on the outside.

10;32;59;25 - 10;33;04;13
But in Guatemala nothing is done unless it’s organized by the prisoners.

10;33;09;02 - 10;33;14;20
This workshop and art studio was completely paid for by the prisoners and their families.

10;33;23;01 - 10;33;37;18
There are 125,000 gang-affiliated youth in Guatemala. Most are members of the two largest – Mara 18 and Salvatrucha 13. They indicate their gang affiliation with distinctive hand signals.

10;33;30;11 - 10;33;33;20
Mara 18

10;33;34;10 - 10;33;37;17
Salvatrucha 13

10;33;39;06 - 10;33;41;10
Mara 18

10:33:44;06 10:33:51;09
Most gang members are
teenagers or children

10:33:53;03 10:33:55;28
Emilio Goubaud
Reintegrates former gang members

10:33:56;01 10:34:00;13
who have suffered family
violence and sexual abuse.

10:34:00;19 10:34:05;19
They are forced
to leave their homes,

10:34:06;12 10:34:08;26
and risk their lives
on the street.

10:34:09;17 10:34:12;29
They find what they are
looking for in a gang,

10:34:13;02 10:34:19;19
which offers them recognition,
a sense of belonging, security

10:34:19;26 10:34:26;24
hedonistic behaviour,
power through guns,

10:34:27;10 10:34:30;23
and given their age,

10:34:30;28 10:34:35;28
things they are discovering
and want to discover.



10:34:36;11 10:34:40;03
José Alberto Jiménez Former Gang Member

10:34:41;13 10:34:44;08
I am a former gang member.

10:34:44;16 10:34:47;16
I joined the gang because

10:34:47;19 10:34:51;18
my family disintegrated.

10:34:52;29 10:34:56;22
I was with my mother
until I was four years old.

10:34:57;04 10:34:58;23
My mother gave me away.

10:34:59;11 10:35:02;21
Because of this, my life
had a rough start.

10:35:03;06 10:35:08;05
I was with a family
that didn’t want me.

10:35:08;19 10:35:11;23
They kicked me out
when I was ten.

10:35:11;29 10:35:16;25
From that age,
I was on the street.

10:35:17;00 10:35:18;17
I slept on sidewalks,

10:35:18;22 10:35:20;19
covered myself with

10:35:20;24 10:35:22;29
I ate from market dumpsters.



10;35;25;02 - 10;35;37;01
Organizations like Casa Alianza work with thousands of kids on the streets of Guatemala City. They realize that kids are seduced by the perceived security that gang-affiliation brings.


10:35:45;00 10:35:48;05
For example, on first contact,
if we've never seen him before,

10:35:48;14 10:35:51;07
we immediately drive him
to Casa Alianza.

10:35:51;09 10:35:53;21
We tell him about
Casa Alianza,

10:35:53;26 10:35:56;18
its programs and
how we can help him.

10:35:56;18 10:35:58;27
Karen Vargas
Casa Alianza

10:35:59;02 10:36:01;08
So immediately, we take him
to the kids' residence,

10:36:01;12 10:36:04;21
he’s welcomed, and
he sees the place for himself,

10:36:05;08 10:36:07;06
and he decides himself
to stay or not.



10:36:07;29 10:36:11;06
More or less,
they join at age 12,

10:36:11;08 10:36:15;06
and stay in the gang until
they are about 22,

10:36:15;13 10:36:18;00
which is the upper age
of a gang member.

10:36:18;07 10:36:20;27
After that,
they switch to something else:

10:36:21;06 10:36:23;20
either they leave, or they die,

10:36:23;23 10:36:25;12
or they get killed,

10:36:25;15 10:36:29;20
or they switch to banditry,
or organized crime.


10;36;30;15 - 10;36;53;03
Organized crime, has taken full advantage of the country’s political instability.

Big business, drug cartels and politicians’ have all lined their pockets exploiting the situation. In 2004, former President Portillo fled the country after being and was charged with embezzlement, and 10 of his officials along with and his vice president were jailed for corruption.


10:36:53;05 10:36:54;26
Organized crime is very strong
in Guatemala,

10:36:55;17 10:36:59;03
and it’s got tentacles
in the state,

10:36:59;22 10:37:01;13
in the judiciary,

10:37:01;13 10:37:03;22
the Public Ministry,
the executive,

10:37:03;27 10:37:05;04
among Members of Congress.

10:37:05;06 10:37:06;24
Nineth Montenegro
Congress Woman

10:37:07;14 10:37:09;14
Organized crime is buying

10:37:09;17 10:37:11;11
paying for the electoral process,

10:37:11;17 10:37:13;21
and they have more than
20 Members of Congress

10:37:14;03 10:37:15;27
on the take.

10:37:16;06 10:37:18;10
That’s big reality.

10:37:18;22 10:37:21;24
If that’s a corporate state,
I don’t know.

10:37:22;09 10:37:24;24
I think we haven’t
reached that level,

10:37:25;09 10:37:27;13
but there’s a
national conspiracy,

10:37:27;21 10:37:29;22
a taking root of organized crime

10:37:30;07 10:37:31;29
within the state structure,

10:37:32;18 10:37:34;00
which no government has
been able to unravel,

10;37;34;05 - 10;37;35;23
not even this government.


10;37;42;15 - 10;37;53;15
Not all of the children in Guatemala are falling into the grasp of the gangs.

In Villa Nueva, on the edge of Guatemala City, the community is battling the gangs for the future of their children.

10:37:56;14 10:37:58;01
Iqui Balam Circus School


10:37:59;18 10:38:02;24
My friend

10:38:03;01 10:38:08;16
You can remain seated
and listen

10:38:09;03 10:38:13;07

10:38:13;15 10:38:20;11
to what we are going to
sing and teach to you.

10:38:20;18 10:38:27;24
peace is in your hands.

10:38:27;26 10:38:32;15
Take your community and
start walking

10:38:32;17 10:38:35;19
because a life
without violence is

10:38:36;00 10:38:44;12
freedom to express yourself,
freedom to dream.



10:38:52;22 10:38:54;14
Within this municipality,

10:38:54;19 10:38:57;03
the Alioto settlement,

10:38:57;08 10:39:00;08
is considered the most violent.

10:39:00;24 10:39:03;11
It is a place
where people won’t enter

10:39:03;16 10:39:05;00
Miguel Gaitán
Director Iqui Balam

10:39:05;00 10:39:07;21
because people say it's a
“red zone,” a place

10:39:07;22 10:39:10;03
where only bad things happen,
nothing positive.

10:39:10;06 10:39:12;21
So I think that Iqui Balam’s
task at the moment,

10:39:12;29 10:39:14;28
is to let people know

10:39:15;05 10:39:17;04
that in Alioto,
in this community,

10:39:17;07 10:39:20;07
there are people
who aren’t violent.

10:39:20;12 10:39:22;05
There are people who
want to do something

10:39:22;12 10:39:24;02
for their country,
for their community,

10:39:24;12 10:39:27;05
and they do it through art.



10:39:28;15 10:39:30;10
In part, I thank God

10:39:30;18 10:39:32;18
for this group
in the neighborhood,

10:39:32;25 10:39:35;03
because if it weren’t
for the group,

10:39:35;07 10:39:39;20
anyone here could be
a gang member, a prostitute.

10:39:41;00 10:39:43;08
Same goes for me, too.

10:39:43;12 10:39:44;25
I could be a gang member,

10:39:44;28 10:39:46;19
I wouldn't have
finished school.



10;39;46;29 10;39;49;06
Each member of the group

10:39:49;16 10:39:51;28
is an important part of it,

10:39:52;03 10:39:56;04
every one gets a role
whenever there’s a show,

10:39:56;08 10:39:58;23
and all roles are important.

10:39:59;03 10:40:03;01
Many times, I've had the
role of a dog or a "Cadejo."

10:40:03;04 10:40:05;08
For me, it’s very important,

10:40:05;11 10:40:06;27
even if the role is small.

10:40:06;27 10:40:10;08
You respect it
and give it your all.

10:40:10;12 10:40:13;02
As I’ve said, it’s a family.

10:40:13;07 10:40:17;07
All of our arms
and hearts are open

10:40:17;10 10:40:18;13
to give them love,

10:40:18;16 10:40:20;11
to laugh, to cry,

10:40:20;13 10:40:22;01
whenever they need to.


DIPS to Black

10;40;40;08 - 10;40;59;28
A young guy who has been killed, according to what we understand is a member of a gang in the area. And that his job was to go around collecting taxes, as they call them, which is really protection money.

So that is apparently is the story.

10;41;00;19 - 10;41;15;27
Violent crime in Guatemala City continues to grow. The justice system has organized specialized units focused on the most violent of crimes. But with 5,000 murders a year it is a number that could easily overwhelm the most sophisticated of justice systems.

10;41;17;15 - 10;41;52;11
These people go to as many homicides in a night as I go to burglaries. As you are sitting there trying to painstakingly go through to thoroughly do one homicide to hear your cell phone go off, and to realize there is two, three, fourth homicides waiting in a cue for you to go to and I would find that extremely disheartening and overwhelming. And yet these people are trying to churn their way through these scenes and do as best of a job as they can, again with the limited resources that they have.

10;41;31;13 - 10;41;36;13
Tim Sleigh

10;41;54;29 - 10;42;05;19
The Canadian program is starting to make an impact.

There is a dramatic increase in the amount of forensic evidence processed at the national forensic laboratory in Guatemala City.

10;42;09;19 - 10;42;30;22
More and more crime scenes are producing forensic evidence because the investigators taught in Canada have trained 400 colleagues and established countrywide standards.

In addition, more than 70 investigators from the Human Rights Ombudsman office were also trained to understand and act as independent observers to the process.

10;42;32;18 - 10;42;52;11
As I understand, the people who were attending the scene just received training a very short time ago.

The scene is secured, well secured. The have two people presently doing a line search as well as one security police officer within the area not allowing anyone enter that area.

10;42;54;16 - 10;43;04;20
Byron Duran is a graduate of the Canadian program, and he believes the justice system is moving forward, but public trust in it will depend on results.


10:43:07;06 10:43:09;02
We have to start from zero

10:43:09;02 10:43:10;24
to regain that trust,

10:43:10;28 10:43:13;10
but it's one of our
principle goals

10:43:13;14 10:43:17;20
because we recognize
there's apathy in society.

10:43:17;20 10:43:19;28
Because of this same apathy;
this same distrust,

10:43:19;29 10:43:26;15
we get little of the support needed
to establish a case

10:43:26;24 10:43:30;14
that depends exclusively on witness testimony.

10:43:30;19 10:43:33;07
But that's our work,
that's the objective,

10:43:33;10 10:43:35;29
and we are committed to it.



10;43;36;11 – 10;44;01;17
Guatemala may never solve all its crimes until it solves all of the social and political issues that contribute to it.

But it can begin to build some trust in the justice system by steadily increasing convictions for the most violent of crimes.

In the first year, of specialized crime units, Guatemala City recorded 88 convictions, a major increase over previous years, and this trend is continuing.

10;44;01;29 - 10;44;16;26
It will start to create a situation where people will begin to understand that they can’t get away with these crimes.

And it is really serious because if they don’t have a functioning justice system, how can you have a healthy society. It is just impossible


10;44;21;08 - 10;44;26;08
"No more impunity"

10:44:27;01 10:44:31;16
Rosa Nelly
appeared in court
September 28, 2005.

10:44:31;28 10:44:35;14
Rudi Manuel Rivas Reyes
was convicted of rape
on September 30, 2005.

10:44:36;03 10:44:39;23
He was sentenced to
eight years in prison.

10:44:41;03 10:44:45;18
He was released
pending appeals.

This process can take
three years to complete.

10:44:46;03 10:44:50;04
Rosa Nelly has returned
to school.

She is still escorted in public.


10:45:00;04 10:45:06;03
I have been able
to keep going in this process

10:45:06;27 10:45:14;05
because I had my family’s
support at all times.

10:45:15;06 10:45:19;10
It also helped that later on,
I found out

10:45:19;26 10:45:23;12
that two other young women
had been attacked.

10:45:23;25 10:45:27;08
They kept silent
out of fear.

10:45:28;10 10:45:30;27
So I decided,

10:45:30;29 10:45:33;04
I would continue for them

10:45:33;04 10:45:36;22
and for others who have
gone through the same.

10:45:37;01 10:45:41;03
Because of my family
I kept going.

10:45:41;29 10:45:45;08
I plan to keep going

10:45:45;16 10:45:48;23
to the very end.

10:45:50;00 10:45:54;10
Rosita told her story
in preparation for court.

10:45:55;10 10:46:00;12
Manuel Menédez López
was convicted on October 8, 2005.

10:46:00;20 10:46:04;20
He was sentenced to 24 years
and is currently in prison.



10;46;05;25 – 10;46;08;20
Duel with the Devil

10;46;08;21 - 10;46;11;17
Produced, Directed and Written by
Steven Hunt & Fred Yackman

10;46;11;18 - 10;46;14;14
Steven Hunt & Fred Yackman

10;46;14;15 - 10;46;17;10
Steven Hunt

10;46;17;11 - 10;46;20;07
Fred Yackman

10;46;20;08 - 10;46;23;05
Story Producers – Guatemala
Adelma Bercián
Marco Tulio Trejo
Enlaces, Comunicación Integral

Spanish Transcriptions & Subtitles
Virginia del Aguila
Celeste Mackenzie

10;46;23;06 - 10;46;26;07
Additional Video Footage
Sergio Alfaro
Centre for Forensic and Applied Sciences

Still Photography
Moisés Castillo

Additional Audio
Paul “Duke” Paetz
Celeste Mackenzie

10;46;26;08 - 10;46;29;17
Identified on-Camera Interviews
Maria Luisa Ardón
Wendy Cecillia Barillas Performer, Iqui Balam
Iris Barrios Judge
Jore Batres Prisoner, Pavon
Rick Craig Law Courts Education Society
Cal Deedman BC Crown Counsel
Byron Duran Ministerio Público de Guatemala
Miguel Gaitán Director, Iqui Balam
Emilio Goubaud, Asociación para la Prevención del Delito (APREDE)
Bob Mannam RCMP
José Alberto Jiménez, Former Gang Member
Rosa Isabél Gutièrrez
Wilber Alberto Lorenzana Performer, Iqui Bala
Richard Matte RCMP

10;46;29;18 - 10;46;32;29
Identified on-Camera Interviews (continued)
Nineth Montenegro Diputada, Congeso
Rodolfo Muñoz Gremial de Empresas Privadas de Seguridad
Abél Pérez Resident of El Mezquitál
Gerardo Pèrez Instituto de Estudio Comparados en Ciencias Penales de Guatemala (ICCPG)
Carmen Rosa de León Instituto de Enseñanza para el Desarrollo Sostenible (IEPADES)
Tim Sleigh RCMP
Héctor Soto Centro de Antropología Forense y Ciencias Aplicadas (CAFCA)
Karen Varga Casa Alianza
Victoriano Zacarías Central General de Trabajadores de Guatemala (CGTG)

10;46;33;00 - 10;46;36;13
Additional Research and Interviews
Josué Natanael Asceytuno Policia Nacional Civil
Julio Roberto Anderson Policia Nacional Civil
Osver Enrique Argueta DECAM
Julissa Baldetti Instituto de Estudio Comparados en Ciencias Penales de Guatemala (ICCPG)
Wayne Bloomquist RCMP
Caal Teni Family Prisoners, Pavon
Carlos Alberto Carrera Munoz Asociación para el Avance de las Ciencias Sociales en Guatemala (AVANCSO)
Maria Chete Siglo XXI
Julio Roberto Chew Ministerio Público de Guatemala
Marvin Haroldo Cifuentes Ministerio Público de Guatemala

10;46;36;14 - 10;46;39;26
Additional Research and Interviews – Continued
José Eduardo Cojulún Judge
Norma Cruz Sobrevivientes
Jose Luis Donado Ministerio Público de Guatemala
Maria Cristina Fernández Judge
Juan Luis Florida Attorney General, Guatemala
Juan Carlos Gonzales Street Child
Oscar Armando Guzmán Policia Nacional Civil
Jose Jarez Prisoner, Pavon
James Lambert Canadian Embassy, Guatemala
Terresa Lima Ministerio Público de Guatemala
Ginette Martin Canadian Embassy, Guatemala
Juan Carlos Martinez Asociación para el Avance de las Ciencias Sociales en Guatemala (AVANCSO)
Jack Mellis RCMP

10;46;39;27 - 10;46;43;09
Additional Research and Interviews – Continued
Nicolás Victorio Vicente Performer, Iqui Bala
Julio Roberto Méndez Policia Nacional Civil
Hilda Morales Capacitacion y Apoyo a la Mujer
Sergio Morales Procuraduria de los Derechos Humanos
Oscare Moreira Prisoner, Pavon
Eleonora Muralles Organización Familiares y Amigos contra la Delincuencia y el Secuestro (FADS)
Ramiro Giovanni Padilla Prisoner, Pavon
Rolando Palma López Prisoner, Preventative Detention
Yolanda Pérez Colegio de Abogados y Notarios de Guatemala (CANG)
Ed Podworny, RCMP
Aura Rosa Street Child

10;46;43;10 - 10;46;46;24
Additional Research and Interviews – Continued
Haroldo Sánchez, Guatevision
Luis Arturo Say Xia Policia Nacional Civil
Juarn Carlos Solis Motta Street Child
Kristen Svedsen Instituto de Estudio Comparados en Ciencias Penales de Guatemala (ICCPG)
Carlos Simón Xquereu Prisoner, Preventative Detention

10;46;46;25 - 10;46;50;13
Special Thanks
Andrée Cazabon
Tom Crighton
Documentary Organization of Canada
- Ottawa Gatineau Chapter
Elaine Drake
Nadja Drost
Allan Edwards
Michael Jackson
Sabrina Mathews
Bob Maki
Michael Ostroff
Sheila Petzold
Cindy Weeks

and the

People of Guatemala City

10;46;50;24 - 10;46;53;26
This film was made possible
with the assistance of the
Law Courts Education Society

10;46;53;27 - 10;46;57;18
Produced with the support of the
Government of Canada
Through the
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

10;46;57;19 - 10;47;01;17
Produced with the assistance of the
National Film Board of Canada
Filmmakers Assistance Program

10;47;01;18 - 10;47;05;09
Produced in association with
Canadian Learning Television,
ACCESS – The Education Station
CourtTV Canada

10;47;05;14 - 10;47;07;13
Writers Guild of Canada

10;47;08;04 - 10;47;11;05
Production of
Sound Development Communications Media
Yackman Communications Inc.

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Duel with the Devil
@ 2006
© 2022 Journeyman Pictures
Journeyman Pictures Ltd. 4-6 High Street, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0RY, United Kingdom
Email: info@journeyman.tv

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