DIGNA . . . WORTHY TO HER FINAL BREATHOn 19 October, 2001, attorney-at-law Digna Ochoa y Plácido was found shot dead in her legal office in Mexico City. Her murderers left a letter announcing that, should they decide to continue their activities, the same fate would befall other members of the independent human rights organisation for which Digna Ochoa y Plácido worked.
The murder of this popular legal expert sent shockwaves of indignation throughout the world, particularly since it was widely believed that her death could have been avoided. After all, Digna Ochoa y Plácido had already received a number of dead threats and had even been attacked several times since 1995. In August, 1999, two unknown assailants forced her into a car in Mexico City where she was beaten and threatened with death should she make the attack public. In autumn of the same year, three men broke into her house, tied her up and interrogated her for several hours about her work, which, at the time included the defence of a number of imprisoned Zapatists.
When the newly-elected President, Vicente Fox, took up his office at the end of the year 2000, he declared his intention of greatly improving the human rights situation in Mexico and yet the authorities continued to turn a blind eye to the case of Digna Ochoa y Plácido . . .
In his film, Felipe Cazals interviews over 60 contemporaries of Digne Ochoa y Plácido, including criminologists, human rights activists and lawyers who have themselves received death threats. We also hear from members of the clergy, police officers, politicians, political experts and members of the military, as well as Digna Ochoa y Plácidos own family and friends. Their comments help to clarify the background of a crime for which nobody has so far been tried before a court of law.