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When in 1998 Chilean judge Juan Guzmán was assigned the first criminal cases against the country's ex-dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, no one expected much. Guzmán had supported Pinochet's 1973 coup — waged as an anti-Communist crusade — that left the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, and thousands of others dead or "disappeared." The filmmakers trace the judge's descent into what he calls "the abyss," where he uncovers the past — including his own role in the tragedy. The Judge and the General reveals one of the 20th century's most notorious episodes and tells a cautionary tale about violating human rights in the name of "higher ideals." A co-production of Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with Latino Public Broadcasting.