International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

This American Life & ProPublica’s report on truth and justice in Guatemala

If you are as big a fan of WBEZ’s “This American Life” as I am, then you likely heard their May 2012 story, “What Happened at Dos Erres.” If you missed it, I highly recommend it. They collaborated with ProPublica to report on a current investigation surrounding the massacre [their word choice] of an entire Guatemalan village in the 1980s by the nation’s military. I encourage you to listen to the episode if you haven’t already.

The story is part of ProPublica’s ongoing investigative series, “Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala.” The series is quite timely, given that former Guatemalan president Rios Montt – the nation’s leader at the time of the atrocities in Dos Erres- is currently on trial for crimes against humanity in Guatemala. What I found so compelling about the TAL story is that they captured the notion of justice both on a national level as well as on a personal level for the people featured in ProPublica’s report.

Also, after you listen to the radio show, be sure to watch this follow-up video from ProPublica and see a father’s reunion with his son that he thought had been killed by the Guatemalan military 30 years prior. It’s incredibly moving.


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