Tribunal censors venezuelan movie about Boxer Edwin “El Inca” Valero

Via a precautionary measure taken the 13th of December of 2016, judge Salvador Mata Garcia ordered the immediate takedown of the movie El Inca from movie theaters. The Children and adolescent protection judge from Caracas based his decision in a constitutional protection request that the family of the deceased boxe introduced, considering the movie attacks the honor and personal life of the boxer.

The decision was known this 15th of December. The director Ignacio Castillo Cottin and producer Nathalie Sar-Sahlom, wrote in a public communication that “this movie is an artistic work of art based on the life of a public figure and notorious facts happening around his life that were documented, there have been diverse versions of the occurrences surrounding his tragic death as well”, they point out that this film is only an interpretation of the life story of the boxer and that the authors of the film are merely expressing and making use of their right of freedom of expression.

The boxer´s family  could not claim an intromission in the private life of the boxer, because all of the data and information that is depicted in the movie is product of an investigation about other views surrounding the life of “El Inca”, life vastly described by the media because of the fame of the boxer.

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Valero´s family had already manifested being uncomfortable with what was going to be presented in the venezuelan movie theaters. Edwar Valero, brother of the boxer, said to the diary El Universal that the movie was loaded with lies and that it was never approved by the family.

Edwar said that they never had access to the script and that support was never asked for  by the movie producers, he also argues that only the negative side of his life is depicted, with the omission of the glory El Inca achieved by having 18 consecutive knockouts on the first round, world record that remained unbroken since the early 20th century.

His brother continued by saying that after seeing the trailer they realized that all the movie does is criminalize El Inca and establish things that never actually happened, like the depiction of his supposed drug addiction since age of six.

A similar case was known by the Interamerican Court of Human Rights because of the censorship of the movie La Última Tentación de Cristo, which was censored by the chilean judicial system because they considered if affected the honor and reputation of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. In their decision, The interamerican Court establishes that the American Convention of Human Rights in its Article 13 prohibits any kind of previous censor and in this specific case the ruling of the court constituted censorship.

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Article 57 of the National Constitution of Venezuela establishes that every person has the right to express freely their thoughts, ideas and opinions without room for censorship. The order to take down the movie from theaters constitutes a pattern recognized by the Interamerican Court as censorship, and is also prohibited by our National Constitution and international standards of human rights.

It is important to establish that this movie takes on problems like gender violence, and intrafamiliar violence, recurrent problems inside Venezuela and the latin american region. It is because of this that any space dedicated to the debate of  this problems must be respected so that they can be visualized by society and properly confronted.

Society can elevate the cost to criminals by exposing the occurrences surrounding illegal actions as a way to fight impunity, it also helps society demand reparations and investigation to State Authorities so that they can apprehend the ones responsible for committing crimes and expose the hostile character of male chauvinist values.

Espacio Público requires Venezuelan authorities:

That the Venezuelan Judicial system applies international standards regarding the right to freedom of expression and decides accordingly.

That  the prohibition of projecting the movie be removed immediately.

That the measure of retention and safeguard of the original or master piece as well as the Digital Packaged for Movies be stopped.

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