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Killer's Paradise
Directed by Giselle Portenier
Produced by The National Film Board of Canada
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film stillSince 1999 more than two thousand women have been murdered in Guatemala, with the numbers escalating every year. Yet, lawmakers and government officials continue to turn a blind eye. Powerful and uncompromising, KILLER'S PARADISE uncovers one of the most emotionally-wrenching hidden human rights abuses taking place, while exposing the impunity allowed by an inept judicial system.

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When 13-year-old Stephanie Lopez was found killed, any evidence was buried with the body. In the three months since Jorge Velasquez's daughter was murdered, the case file has shuffled from desk to desk with no real progress. After five years of hunting down her sister's killers, Maria Elena Peralta is no closer to the truth. No one knows who is behind these atrocious acts and nothing is being done to find the culprits. Cases are routinely closed and the murdered women dismissed as nobodies.

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But there are traces of hope: a grass-roots human rights movement is emerging from the country's tainted past. Fueled by frustration, anger, great sadness and loss, women and men are coming together for a common fight in the name of their daughters, wives and sisters. Human rights activist Norma Cruz travels across Guatemala to educate women on their rights and how to protect themselves and others against violence. Jorge finally obtains DNA testing for two suspects in his daughter's death. Maria Elena travels to Washington, D.C. to garner support for her long-standing fight.

With stunning realism, KILLER'S PARADISE documents these heartbreaking stories. Victims' friends and family, police officers and investigators, rapists and gang members-even a serial killer who still roams freely-offer gripping testimonies to the stark reality in Guatemala.

"Highly Recommended. ...This powerful documentary uncovers the atrocities committed against women as well as human rights abuses, while exposing the lack of action by a corrupt judicial system. ...KILLER'S PARADISE is meticulously crafted capturing strong emotions and bleak reality."—Kayo Denda, Rutgers University, Educational Media Reviews Online

83 minutes / Color
English; Spanish / English subtitles
Release: 2008
Copyright: 2007

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Central America, Criminal Justice, Guatemala, Human Rights, Latin America, Law, Women's Studies

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