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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Documentary showing will give insight to Mexican justice system

A father whose son is behind bars in Mexico and a human rights attorney for the state of Chihuahua will be guest speakers when New Mexico State University hosts a screening of the documentary "Presumed Guilty" at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 20 in Hardman Hall, Room 112.

Screening of the film, which provides an inside look at Mexican justice system, is sponsored by the NMSU Library, the Center for Latin American and Border Studies and the Department of Government.

One speaker at the event is Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson, a human rights lawyer in the state of Chihuahua who currently is advising Shohn Huckabee, an El Paso resident currently detained in a prison in Ciudad Juarez with fellow El Pasoan Carlos Quijas. Kevin Huckabee, Shohn's father, also will speak about his son's detention and efforts to get him released.

Shohn Huckabee and Carlos Quijas were arrested by Mexican soldiers in December 2009 in Ciudad Juarez and accused of carrying 115 pounds of marijuana. In September 2010, a Mexican judge convicted both Huckabee and Quijas and sentenced them to five years in prison. De la Rosa is filing an injunction to overturn the judge's decision, as well as filing charges of human rights abuses, alleging a series of violations committed by members of the Mexican military, including torture.

"Presumed Guilty" is an award-winning documentary detailing efforts of two attorneys who gain the release of a man wrongly convicted of murder in Mexico. The film provides insight into the Mexican justice system's failures and the virtually insurmountable legal hurdles encountered by many people in Mexico who are wrongly accused of crimes.

"The story depicted in 'Presumed Guilty,' as well as the cases of Shohn Huckabee and Carlos Quijas, are important because they raise questions about the weakness of Mexico's justice system, the violation of human rights and the US government's role in supporting the Mexican military through the Merida Initiative, a bi-national accord that has provided training and equipment to the Mexican armed forces since 2007," said Government Department Head Neil Harvey.

The showing is free and open to the public. For more information contact Harvey at 575-646-3220 or at nharvey@nmsu.edu.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Guest speakers will be available for interviews prior to the event. Contact Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson at 011-52-656-327-7726 or at gustavo.delarosa@gmail.com. Contact Kevin Huckabee at 915-526-2385 or khuckabee@aol.com. Susan Smith can also be reached to set up interviews at 817-907-2581 or at prettyskies@gmail.com.