The Death of Jaime Roldós

(La Muerte de Jaime Roldós)
Lisandra I. Rivera, Manolo Sarmiento | Documentary

2013 | 125 minutes | Argentina, Ecuador

The history of Ecuador was shaken in 1981 by the sudden death of President Jaime Roldós and his wife in a suspicious plane crash. Combining investigative journalism and film essay, the film uncovers an unknown chapter in the history of Latin America that resonates deeply in the present.


The history of Ecuador was shaken in 1981 by the sudden death of President Jaime Roldós and his wife Martha Bucaram in a suspicious plane crash.

Described by Gabriel García Márquez as a "president with a generous heart," Roldós had sought the democratic leadership of a continent that was subject to the power of brutal military dictatorships.

The film examines his two deaths: the probable conspiracy generated by his policy of Human Rights advocacy in the continent, and the Shakespearean drama of his three children, faced with the manipulated image of their parents by a populist party created by members of their own family.

After thirty years of silence, combining investigative journalism and film essay, the film leads us to discover a surprising and unknown chapter in the history of Latin America that resonates deeply in the present.

Now, thanks to the new lines of investigation laid out by The Death of Jaime Roldós, the attorney general of Ecuador, Galo Chiriboga, has decided to reopen the case. Perhaps there are no longer people to accuse, but it remains essential to rethink the historical process, to look back at the past in order to try to construct a different present.


"The Death of Jaime Roldós by Lisandra Rivera and Manolo Sarmiento, about the death of Ecuador's president, has been integral to the success of Ecuadorian cinema on a local and international scale." — Gary M. Kramer, IndieWire

"The award-winning The Death of Jaime Roldós delves into the mystery behind the plane crash that killed Roldos, Ecuador's president from 1979 to 1981. It has forced the re-opening of the case." — Anna Marie de la Fuente, Variety

Main credits

Rivera, Lisandra I. (film producer)
Rivera, Lisandra I. (film director)
Sarmiento, Manolo (film producer)
Sarmiento, Manolo (film director)
Sarmiento, Manolo (screenwriter)
Andrade, Daniel (film director)
Andrade, Daniel (screenwriter)

Other credits

Cinematography, Daniel Andrade; editor, Manoela Ziggiatti, Sergio Venturini; music, Daniel Mancero.

Jaime Roldós, Martha Bucaram, Galo Chiriboga, Ecuador, spanish, spanish language, latin america, latin american cinema, latin american film, ibero america, latin, latinx, latino, latina,,latin american studies, caribbean american studies, island studies, latin american culture, latin american history, latin american politics, caribbean american culture, caribbean american history, caribbean american politics, latin american languages, latin american and caribbean studies, hispanic american studies, hispanic people, hispanic culture, hispanic politics,political science, micropolitics, macropolitics, political theory, political education, political movements, political thinking, political criticism, poly sci, polysci, political sci, political sciences, political history, history of politics, political systems,criminal justice, crime, judiciary, police reform, corrections, criminal law, judicial system, justice department, prosecution, judgement, criminal law, courts and corrections, corrections institutes,history, context, narrative, past, chronicle, lore, annals, historic, personal history, archive, record, saga, biography, memoir, study,south america, south american countries, countries in south america, argentina, bolivia, brazil, chile, colombia, ecuador, guyana, paraguay, peru, suriname, uruguay, venezuela, south american politics, south american culture, south american cuisine, south american education, south america in media, south american languages, south america history,international relations, global relations, global studies, international studies, international affairs, intercontinental relations, intercontinental studies, foreign studies, foreign relations, national relations, national studies, cross-continental studies, cross-continental relations,human rights, public rights, equal rights, freedom of expression, basic human rights, united nations, activism, human rights activism, human rights council, human rights commission, universal human rights, universal rights,communications, journalism, news, information, media, new media, newspaper, newspaper, blogs, news site, news app, pulling string, gathering string, reporting, fourth estate, news media, journalists, journalist, reporters, reporter,sociology, anthropology, psychology, sociological, sociological perspectives, conflict theory, human conflicts, sociological thinking,conflict perspective, topics in sociology, sociology topics, sociology studies, social studies, people and cultures, human relations, human relationships, cultural studies, culture studies ,ecuador,roldos,president,the death of jaime roldós,south america,guantanamera,jaime roldos,the death of jamie roldos,the death of jaime,The Death of Jaime Roldós,la muerte de roldos,omar torrijos,death investigation,la muerte de jaime roldos,Qué Viva MéxicThe Death of Jaime Roldós - Investigating the Suspicious Death of an Ecuadorian President,manolo,The Death of Jaime Roldós - Investigating the Suspicious Death of an Ecuadorian President [Ecuador],conspiracy,Werner Herzog,spanish,Sarmiento,a band called death,eilan; "The Death of Jaime Roldós"; Pragda Films
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Havana Film Festival - Best Documentary and Memory Prize
Cinélatino Rencontres de Toulouse - Best Documentary ex aequo
LAKINO Latin American Film Festival Berlin - Best Latin American Documentary
Chicago Latino Film Festival - Best Documentary, Audience Award
FILMAR en América Latina Switzerland - Best Documentary, Audience Award
Barranquilla International Film Festival Colombia - Best Latin American Film

DIRECTOR: Lisandra I. Rivera, Manolo Sarmiento

NATIONALITY: Argentina, Ecuador

YEAR: 2013

GENRE: Documentary


COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: High School, College, Adults



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