In November 1989, the Salvadoran military murdered six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. Nearly twenty years later, the effort continues to end impunity for the authors of this crime. This Open Society Institute panel discussed the crime, its political consequences, and its place in the global struggle to ensure that the perpetrators of great crimes are held accountable.
- Almudena Bernabeu has been an attorney for the Center for Justice and Accountability since 2002. She leads the center’s Latin American program and is lead counsel on U.S.-based Alien Tort Statute litigation against perpetrators of human rights abuses. She also serves as a private prosecutor in cases brought under extraterritorial jurisdiction provisions before the Spanish National Court and currently represents the survivors in the Guatemalan Genocide Case pending before the Spanish National Court.
- Jim Goldston is executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative, which promotes rights-based law reform worldwide. In 2007-08, Goldston served as coordinator of prosecutions and senior trial attorney at the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He has previously been a prosecutor at the United States Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, and has worked for Human Rights Watch, the European Roma Rights Center, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He is a lecturer on law at Columbia Law School.
- Robert Varenik began his human rights work in El Salvador and Guatemala, investigating illegal killings and other human right violations. He was most recently based in Mexico City, where he coordinated a law faculty group working on criminal justice and cofounded the Institute for Security and Democracy, now Mexico’s leading nongovernmental voice on the urgent need for police reform. He now serves as director of programs for the Open Society Justice Initiative.
Aryeh Neier, president of the Open Society Institute, moderated the panel.