November 23: First day of Poli 332 in Guatemala

The first class began with a video: “Duel with the Devil,” produced by the Justice Education Society in the Law Courts of BC, which, as the Teacher’s Guide says, “takes us to the streets of Guatemala City where on a ‘bad day’ fifteen people can be found murdered.” The video describes violence in Guatemala from the perspective of the police, the criminals, the victims, judges, and lawyers. Judging by conversations with students, who watched with somber aspect, the description of the experience of a young rape victim was probably what had the greatest impact. The video does a great job of emphasizing the costs of violence, which, in addition to the direct loss of life and limb, include loss of mental health, loss of opportunities to study, or to work, and other costs associated with access to justice in a system stacked against those without power or wealth. The video led to a very interesting discussion of the rule of law, social exclusion, structural violence, inequality, and, of course, our role in all of this.

One Reply to “November 23: First day of Poli 332 in Guatemala”

  1. Please note this film was NOT produced by the Justice Education Society in the Law Courts of BC.

    It was produced by Sound Development Productions in Ottawa, with funding from CourtTV, CIDA and the National Film Board of Canada. THe Society produced the booklet only.

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