Saturday, January 29, 2011

Guatemala: Granito: How to Nail a Dictator - Sundance Premier Highlights Guatemala Human Rights Work

These materials are reproduced from with the permission of the National Security Archive

Washington, DC, January 28, 2011 - A new documentary film about human rights in Guatemala featuring National Security Archive senior analyst Kate Doyle will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, will be screened tonight at the Sundance Resort where Kate Doyle, Almudena Bernabeu of the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), and film makers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onís, will attend the screening and speak to the audience after the film.

The film covers the unearthing of hidden government archives, exhumations of victims, and efforts to bring the perpetrators of human rights crimes to trial. The documentary showcases the fight against impunity and the struggle to establish rule of law after decades of civil conflict and genocide that left 200,000 civilians dead and tens of thousands more disappeared. The heart of the film is the extraordinary trial of former Guatemalan officials in Spain for genocide, depicting efforts by Doyle, Bernabeu, Yates, and Guatemalan investigators to track down evidence to hold the generals and dictators accountable for their crimes.

The Genocide case, filed in 1999 by Rigoberta Menchú Tum and other survivors, is an international human rights case being heard in the Spanish National Court against eight senior Guatemalan government officials, including three former heads of state, Efraín Ríos Montt, Fernando Romeo Lucas García and Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores. The defendants are charged with genocide, state terrorism, torture, and other crimes against humanity. For more information regarding the background of this case, see the Archive’s previous posting, here.