Synopses & Reviews
Memory of Silence
is an edited one-volume version of the Guatemalan Truth Commission report, presenting the definitive account of one of the most brutal cases of government repression in the Western Hemisphere, a thirty-four year conflict forged by the Cold War, strongly influenced by the United States' foreign policy, and so severe that the Commission determined that the state committed genocide against its own indigenous people. Despite its scope, significance, and impact, the conflict remains largely unknown outside the country, in part because until the publication of this book, the CEH report was largely unavailable in English and only available in Spanish in its unedited, twelve-volume form. Memory of Silence
presents the voices of Guatemalan victims and the Commission's analysis of a conflict that created a culture of terror, forced neighbors to commit atrocities against each other, and killed over 200,000 people. Despite the difficult, painful, and tragic nature of the conflict, the Commission stated that its commitment to truth "should leave no room for despair" and should instead inspire Guatemalans and others around the world to pursue peace and the defense of fundamental human rights.
This edited, one-volume version presents the first ever English translation of the report of The Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH), a truth commission that exposed the details of 'la violenca, ' during which hundreds of massacres were committed in a scorched-earth campaign that displaced approximately one million people
Memory of Silence
is an edited English language version of the Guatemalan Commision for Historical Clarification (CEH). CEH was one of the more important and successful truth commissions, exposing the details of “la violenca” during which hundreds of massacres were committed during a scorched earth campaign that displaced approx. one million people, a tenth of the population of Guatemala. Rothenberg received a grant from the Open Society to fund translation of the report and a legal team to oversee the editing and translation process. The final book will be stylistically formal but by no means unreadable, Rothenberg will be condensing this from hundreds of pages to about 200 pp which will allow him to be selective about the material he includes and will be editing out the UN style paragraphs which will should give the book a narrative feel. It will include a preface by either Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for indigenous activist work, or Kofi Annan, a forward by the Commissioner of the CEH, intro. by Rothenberg, and a conclusion by Michael Ignatieff.
About the Author
DANIEL ROTHENBERG is a Professor of Practice and the executive director of the Center for Law and Global Affairs at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. He has over fifteen years' experience combining field research, project management, and scholarship on international human rights and the rule of law. His research focuses on human rights documentation and analysis and transitional justice, particularly truth commissions, amnesty laws, and reparations. He has designed and managed rule-of-law projects in Afghanistan, Iraq, and throughout Latin America, including programs to train human rights NGOs, aid indigenous peoples in using international legal remedies, and collect and analyze thousands of first-person narratives of victims of severe human rights violations. Before joining the faculty at ASU, he was the Managing Director of International Projects at the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University College of Law, Senior Fellow at the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, and a Fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows. He is the author of various articles and monographs as well as With These Hands: The Hidden World of Migrant Farmworkers Today.
Table of Contents
Preface - Christian Tomuschat * Introduction: Facing La Violencia
: The Importance of the Guatemalan Truth Commission - Daniel Rothenberg * Prologue * PART I: Human Rights Violations and Acts of Violence * Extrajudicial Executions and Disappearances...Forced Disappearance of the Members of the National Labor Confederation (CNT) in Guatemala City and on the 'Emaus Medio Monte' Ranch
* Torture...Torture in the Military Zone of Playa Grande, Ixcan, Department of Quiche
* Forced Displacement...Death by Forced Displacement, Chiche, Quiche Municipality
* Massacres...Massacre at las Dos Erres
* Rape and Sexual Violence...Maya K'iche Women Victims of Rape in the Department of Quiche
* Genocide...Massacre en la Finca San Francisco Nentón, Huehuetenango
* Acts of Violence...Kidnapping of Romeo Augusto de León, Baltasar Morales de la Cruz,and Héctor Menéndez de la Riva by the Rebel Armed Forces (FAR)
* PART II: Key Actors in the Conflict and Their Strategies * Strategies and Units of the Military and the State...PAC Members Forced to Kill Other PAC Members
* Strategies of the Guerilla Organizations...Arbitrary Execution of Six Members of the Guerilla Army of the Poor by Their Own Organization
* Part III: Consequences and Effects of the Violence * Terror, its Effects and the Institutional Weakening of the State...Forced Transfer of Children Who Survived the Massacre in Río Negro Municipality of Rabinal, Baja Verapaz
* Facing the Violence...Arbitrary Execution of Myrna Elizabeth Mack Chang
* PART IV: Conclusions: Tragedy of the Armed Confrontation * PART V: Recommendations * Tables * Afterword "No Room for Despair": The Impact of the CEH - Daniel Rothenberg * Further Readings - Michelle Bellino * Note on the Translation * Acknowledgments * Appendices