Justice and the Generals

2002, 86 minutes
Director/Producer: Gail Pellett, 13/WNET New York
Distributed by First Run / Icarus Films

General Eugenio Vides Casanova, General Jose Guillermo Garcia, and their lawyer Kurt Klaus entering court in 2000. Photo: La Prensa Graffica.

Additional Resources


Documentary Films

Betrayed (1995, 78 minutes)
Producer/Director: Clive Gordon
Distributor: First Run/Icarus Films (www.frif.com).
An October Films Production for Channel Four.
      This film chronicles the struggles of a group of Russian mothers who are determined to find out the fate of their missing sons who were conscripted into the Russian Maikospki Brigade, which fought against the Chechens struggling for independence. Russian authorities, anxious to conceal the extent of their defeat in Chechnya, are avoiding the revelation of any information concerning the missing brigade.

Fernando is Back = Fernando Ha Vuelto (1998, 31 minutes)
An Andrea Films production: a film by Silvio Caiozzi
Distributor: First Run/Icarus Films (www.frif.com).
An Andrea Films production: a film by Silvio Caiozzi.
      This film documents the workings of Chili's Identification Unit, comprised of doctors and specialists in anthropology and forensics. This unit attempts to identify the bodies of all the disappeared persons in Chili. The film focuses on the identification of Fernando Olivares, the details of his death, and his family's reaction to the identification of his remains.

Fire in the Andes (1985, 35 minutes)
Producer/Director: Ilan Ziv
Distributor: First Run/Icarus Films (www.frif.com).
Tomouz Productions, Inc.
      In 1983, eight Peruvian journalists were murdered in the Andes. Marxist revolutionaries (the Shining Path), the government military, and local peasants were all implicated. This video investigates the incident as well as the thousands of disappearances and political murders in Peru.

Fire in the Mind: Revolutions and Revolutionaries (1993, 57 minutes)
(Americas series)
Director: Marc De Beaufort and Yezid Campos
Distributor: Annenberg/CPB Collection (www.learner.org).
A production of WGBH Boston and Central Television Enterprises for Channel 4, UK; Narrated by Raul Julia.
      This video focuses on revolutions in El Salvador and Peru. The conflict in El Salvador is rooted in issues having to do with land use and poverty; some of the problems are being addressed. In Peru, serious economic conditions and poverty have resulted in the emergence of a violent and deadly revolutionary group, the Shining Path.

Maria's Story: a Portrait of Love and Survival in El Salvador's Civil War (1990, 53 minutes)
Director: Monona Wali and Pamela Cohen
Distributor: Filmakers Library (www.filmakers.com).
Camino Film Projects production in association with Channel Four Television; produced by Pamela Cohen and Catherine M. Ryan.
      This documentary is based on the life and work of Maria Serrano, a leader in the FMLN guerilla movement in El Salvador. Video footage shows Maria teaching guerillas, and planning and carrying out military attacks on government positions.

Malajunta (Bad Company) (1996, 58 minutes)
Director: Eduardo Aliverti, Javier Rubel and Pablo Milsten
Distributor: Cinema Guild (www/cinemaguild.com).
Presented by CREARS Producciones.

Between 1976 and 1983, Argentina was terrorized by one of the cruelest military dictatorship in Latin American history. During these years over 30,000 people were kidnapped and "disappeared," and more that 10,000 people were imprisoned and tortured for their political beliefs. This film examines these occurrences during these years, blending archival footage and interviews with historians, writers, artists, lawyers and the children of "disappeared" persons.



Barstow, Anne Llewellyn. Wars Dirty Secret: Rape, Prostitution, and Other Crimes Against Women. Plymouth,MI: Pilgrim Press, 2001.

Bass, Gary Jonathan. Stay the Hand of Vengeance: the Politics of War Crimes Tribunals. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Burgerman, Susan. Moral Victories: How Activists Provoke Multilateral Action. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996.

Doggett, Martha. Death Foretold: the Jesuit Murders in El Salvador. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1993.

Hutchinson, Bill. When Dogs Ate Candles: a Time in El Salvador. Niwot, CO: University Press of Colorado, 1998.

Gutman, Roy; David Rieff. Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know. New York: W. W. Norton, 1998.

Minow, Martha. Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence. Boston: Beacon Press, 1999.

Power, Samantha. A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2002


Web Sites

Center for Justice and Accountability
      Information about trials, commentary about verdicts, and news of further efforts to deter torture and other severe human rights abuses around the world.

Crimes of War Project
      The Crimes of War Project is a collaboration of journalists, lawyers and scholars dedicated to raising public awareness of the laws of war and their application to situations of conflict.

First Run/Icarus Films (Justice and the Generals distributor)
      First Run/carus Films is a leading distributor of documentary film
and video. Over 875 titles, mostly independent productions, provide
innovative and informative views of a rapidly changing world.

PBS: Justice and the Generals (companion site)
      Features sections on El Salvador, U.S. law, the film and filmmakers, education (geared toward 11th and 12th graders and their teachers, including lesson plans and additional resources) and trial updates.


Universal Jurisdiction Information Network: Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991


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