Private Network: Who Killed Manuel Buendía? premiered on Netflix on 14th July 2021 on Netflix. Directed by Manuel Alcala and narrated by Daniel Gimenez Cacho, the true-crime documentary revolves around the assassination of Mexican Journalist Manuel Buendía on May 30, 1984.
Crumbling Of The Mexican State
Truth comes at a cost and it seems as if Manuel Buendia paid that cost with his life. Private Network: Who Killed Manuel Buendía? is Netflix’s latest addition to its list of true-crime series. Buendia is known for his fearless journalism, how he always stood by the truth despite receiving frequent death threats. But sadly on 30th May 1984, 58-year old Buendia was shot 4 times resulting in instant death. Buendia, who carried a handgun with him, was unable to defend himself as he was shot from the back. What followed was a labyrinth of friends, enemies, and allegations in an invention that went on for more than 5 years.
Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Buendia was a name associated with truth. Known for his investigative work, around the coverage of the CIA’s covert operations in Mexico, political corruption, and the rise of right-wing organizations. Most importantly, he investigated corruption in Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company named Pemex.
Several officers of Mexico’s now-defunct Federal Security Directorate (DFS), the country’s leading police force and intelligence organisation, were arrested five years after Buendia’s murder in 1989. José Antonio Zorrilla Pérez, the director of the DFS, was accused of murder conspiracy on June 11, 1989. Alongside DFS agent Juan Rafael Moro Ávila and José Luis Ochoa Alonso aka El Chocorrol, who was convicted of shooting Buendia. But the case is not as simple as it may seem. It is way more complex and goes to the top-tier of government forces which ultimately lets down Mexico as a whole.
Private Network: Who Killed Manuel Buendía? gives us a detailed timeline of what happened at the time and tries to develop various theories that came up at the time of Buendia’s assassination and how everyone was a suspect. It also builds on the truth that DFS was not responsible for Buendia’s death and that maybe, the true killers were never caught or held accountable.
Private Network: Who Killed Manuel Buendía?, in terms of its execution, frequently uses newspaper cartoons of that time, real-time videos and more to build up to the truth that the documentary tries to bring forth. Yet at some points, it feels as if the documentary dives too much into details about other people involved even though they are related to Buendia. It’s easy to feel out of place in the midst of the documentary but if you are patient enough to make it to the end of the documentary, it wraps itself up in a good manner.
“Offense against the exercise of the free expression of ideas.” – Jesus Reyes Heroles on the death of Manuel Buendía
Truth has always been dangerous for it holds the key to shun influential, corrupt, and vicious humans. The death of Buendia can be called the death of truth or democracy itself as allegedly his death was a state crime.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Private Network: Who Killed Manuel Buendía? is a worth watching, well-drafted, and executed documentary, it just requires a little patience.
Private Network: Who Killed Manuel Buendía? is streaming now on Netflix.