October 26, 2000 Geneva, NY-Pedro Canil, who represents Santa Maria Tzejá, one of eight communities presenting a ground-breaking case against former dictator Lucas García on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, will speak on “Impunity and Domestic Genocide Proceedings in Guatemala” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Hobart and William Smith campus.
Canil will speak about the genocide case, the exhumations carried out in connection to the case, and his community's involvement, as well as other examples of continued impunity. Canil is on the board of directors of the Truth and Reconciliation Association, comprised of witnesses and representatives from the eight communities who have presented the genocide case.
On May 3, 2000, Santa Maria Tzejá, in association with other Mayan communities, launched the case in the Guatemalan courts against former dictator Lucas Garcia. Garcia was head of state during the years when the scorched earth policy was conceived, and in February 1982, when the Guatemalan army carried out systematic killings in Santa Maria Tzejá.
These legal proceedings are historic: they are a unique example of genocide charges launched in the domestic court-system of the country in which the genocide took place, while the accused is still alive.
This event, sponsored by the HWS Latin American Organization, Spanish and Hispanic Studies, and Latin American Studies programs, is free and open to the public.