Ciro Guerra Files $1 Million Defamation Lawsuit; Volcanicas Presents New Testimonies, Evidence
Volcanicas, the Latin American feminist journal ordered by a Bogota judge on May 4 to rectify its damning sexual harassment and abuse allegations towards Oscar-nominated Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra, has updated its reporting with more detail in the original testimonies.
The outlet has also gathered new testimonies from more women and witnesses, including the therapist of the woman who accuses Guerra of abuse.
The revised May 12 report also includes alleged evidence of Guerra’s presence in the places mentioned in the report, as well as new screenshots, among them a conversation with Uber about one case in New York where the driver allegedly kicked the director out of his car after witnessing the harassment of one woman. The driver has not come forward, however.
Volcanicas has also indicated that they consulted with Daniel Coronell, a prominent Colombian journalist and president of news for U.S. Hispanic media giant Univision, who also edited the report, in their effort to comply with the court order.
On May 7, Guerra filed a lawsuit against the outlet for $1 million in damages.
“We are moving ahead with the criminal defamation case; False accusations are a serious matter that should be thoroughly investigated by competent authorities,” said Guerra’s lawyer Fernando Triana of Triana, Uribe & Michelsen.
“There is absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing on Mr. Guerra’s part. There is not even a criminal investigation against him. He’s the one who has come forward and requested the authorities for investigations and the Court has already ruled in his favor regarding the protection of his constitutional rights against the slander damaging his reputation and good name; he believes in the justice system, so he’s leaving the resolution of this unfortunate matter in its hands, and we are confident that the truth shall prevail,” he continued
The identities of the women remain anonymous, which Volcanicas maintains is their constitutional right.
“The testimonies fully coincide with elements of time and place, contrasting sources, that is, looking to see if different testimonies corroborate the information and if there are complementary elements of context,” the report points out.
The outlet’s editors Matilde de los Milagros Londoño and Catalina Ruiz Navarro also sent a list of new questions to Guerra, who declined to answer them, instead sending them a statement attesting to his innocence and accusing them of tarnishing his reputation.
In an email to Variety, De Los Milagros said: “In this expanded report, in compliance with the ruling, we rectify and present evidence that expands and corroborates the eight complaints of sexual harassment and abuse made against Ciro Guerra and present a total of nine complaints against the filmmaker.”
“This evidence that we publicly reveal today is part of the fact-checking process that we did from the beginning, as part of our journalistic investigation. In the first publication, we presented 14 testimonials and in this extended installment, we added more testimonials, which sums up to 20 testimonials in total,” she added.
De Los Milagros also said they had attended several arbitration meetings last year but after two months, the talks had collapsed.
Guerra, a Cannes regular, is best known for his Amazon-set drama “Embrace of the Serpent,” which snagged Colombia’s first international feature film Oscar nomination in 2016.
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