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Truth, Trials, and Memory: An Accounting of Transitional Justice in El Salvador and Guatemala

September 27, 2017

many multi colored woven blankets in a pile

many multi colored woven blankets in a pile
Colores by Leo Prieto. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Human Rights Program, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Institute for Global Studies invite you to join us for Truth, Trials, and Memory: An Accounting of Transitional Justice in El Salvador and Guatemala. The conference, which we host on both the 25th and the 20th anniversaries of the creation of the Commission on the Truth for El Salvador and the Commission for Historical Clarification in Guatemala, will take place from the evening of November 1 through November 3, 2017 at Cowles Auditorium in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities West Bank.

The University of Minnesota has long been at the forefront of human rights and transitional justice scholarship. This conference is designed to bring together research and praxis around the issue of transitional justice. Joined by an array of central actors, including the truth commissioners, judges and prosecutors in charge of human rights trials, as well as family members, expert witnesses, government officials and human rights defenders, we will explore the lessons learned from the transitional justice processes that both countries have experienced. Themes of the panels include: round tables with the commissioners to discuss the history, challenges and outcomes of the two commissions, the effects of amnesty laws and prosecutions, the contested truths and conflicting memories of the events and the gendered implications of the work of the commissions.

Highlighted events include:

  • A Wednesday evening keynote address by Pablo de Greiff, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, offering personal reflections on how ideas and processes related to transitional justice have evolved since the earliest international efforts.
  • A Thursday evening screening of the film, "500 Years," about the trial of Ex-President Rios Montt, with filmmakers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis in attendance at St. Anthony Main Theatre.   

Link to full conference schedule

The keynote and two-day conference is free and open to the public.

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Co-sponsored by the University Departments of History, Political Science, and Spanish & Portuguese Studies; the Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy; the Human Rights Center; the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change; the Comparative Politics Colloquium; and the Master of Human Rights Degree Program

Made possible with support from the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Endowment Fund for Justice and Peace Studies of the Minneapolis Foundation and the Imagine Fund at the University of Minnesota