October 22, 2003

Guatemalan Lectures on Genocide

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Cecilia Gonzales spoke to Cornell students yesterday afternoon in Kaufmann Auditorium about current issues in Guatemala and how she is trying to change the political situation there. Gonzales is a member of Hijos por la Identidad y la Justicia Contra el Olvido y el Silencio (Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice and Against Forgetting and Silence).

Many of the members of H.I.J.O.S are the children and relatives of people who “disappeared” during the 36 year Guatemalan civil-war, according to Gonzales. These individuals were likely the victims of the approximately 200,000 thought to have been murdered by Guatemalan state forces. The purpose of H.I.J.O.S, according to Gonzales, is to raise social awareness of the genocide in Guatemala, establish the truth about what happened to their families and to seek justice. “Our youth has been the most affected by these actions and are also the group most overlooked by the state,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales completed four talks at Cornell yesterday and Monday —