The Silence of the Mole

  • Anais Taracena
  • Guatemala
  • 2021
  • 92 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests

In 2014, journalist Elías Barahona was called to testify at the trial of politicians responsible for human rights violations during the 1960-1996 Guatemalan Civil War. In the mid-1970s, he had infiltrated the country’s Ministry of the Interior as a press officer. Barahona, “the mole” of the title, gathered intelligence there, and used it to save many lives. It meant his life would forever be associated with a painful and often suppressed period in Guatemalan history.

Barahona died soon after testifying, but Anaïs Taracena continued her work on this film portrait. She spoke to loved ones and colleagues, some of whom were for many years unaware of his espionage activities. Now they praise the heroic courage of a man they had dismissed a traitor.

The director also digs into the archive, where restoration work is being carried out on old television footage that escaped the regime’s appetite for destruction. This meticulous investigation unravels a complex puzzle to offer a glimpse into the heart of a dauntless citizen and the political system in which he lived.


  • 92 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles in: English (Closed Captioned)
Anais Taracena
Rafael González / EK Balam, Anais Taracena / Asombro Producciones, Julio López Fernández / Cine Murcielago S.A.P.I. de C.V
Executive producer
Anais Taracena for Asombro Producciones, Pedro G. García
Carla Molina
Pedro G. García

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests

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IDFA history

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