Next week marks a milestone for CJA and its supporters: our work on the Guatemala Genocide Case will be showcased in the new documentary,Granito, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, next week (Tuesday, January 25th - Saturday, January 29th). Granito transports the audience to Guatemala in the early 1980's, when the country was engulfed in war and the military's genocidal "scorched earth" campaign exterminated nearly 200,000 Mayans. Click here to read our recent press release announcing the premiere of Granito.
The film features four women, human rights activists from different professions and backgrounds, and their efforts to seek justice. Pamela Yates (director of Granito, When the Mountains Tremble and other films), Kate Doyle (Forensic Archivist, National Security Archive), Naomi Roht-Arriaza (Professor at U.C. Hastings College of the Law and CJA's Legal Advisory Council) and our own Almudena Bernabeu (CJA International Attorney) are integral to the overarching narrative of the film, each adding their granito -- their tiny grain of sand -- to these important efforts to end impunity.
The Guatemala Genocide Case, originally filed in 1999 by Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Mench�, charges former head of state General Efra�n R�os Montt and other Guatemalan officials with terrorism, genocide, and systematic torture. Since CJA took the lead in 2006, the transnational legal team has brought over 35 indigenous Guatemalans to Madrid in addition to military, forensic and documentary experts. We have introduced tens of thousands of documents into evidence. This case marks the first time a national court had heard evidence from Mayan survivors of one of the largest genocides of the past century. CJA continues to actively prosecute the case and will present additional evidence and testimony in the coming months.
Almu first became involved in Granito a few years ago when she approached Pamela Yates for archival video on the Genocide to introduce into evidence. She soon recognized the importance of this project: "Too many times I have feared that the extraordinary efforts of the Guatemalan survivors and those who seek justice on their behalf -- would go unnoticed. Granito accomplishes that which is most difficult: documenting the struggle of those who will not rest until justice is achieved. This is a perfect way of honoring Guatemala and CJA's international justice work."
As you can imagine, I am moved to have the opportunity to attend the Sundance premier of Granito on January 25th. Almu will also be at Sundance and will be participate in a Q&A session with film director Pamela Yates during the January 28th showing. For more information on the film and the schedule at Sundance please click here. We will update you on future showings as the film become available in other cities.
P.S. CJA relies on contributions from individuals like you to continue our work. For every dollar CJA receives, we deliver four dollars in value because of our network of pro bono attorneys, investigators and researchers. To donate online safely and securely click here.