Biographies of Participants
- Kamran Ali
- Arturo Arias
- Almudena Bernabeu
- John Burnett
- David Coleman
- Carlos Henriquez Consalvi
- José Miguel Cruz
- Benjamín Cuéllar
- Mark Danner
- Donna DeCesare
- Ariel Dulitzky
- Karen Engle
- Frances T. “Sissy” Farenthold
- Virginia Garrard-Burnett
- Jeffrey Gould
- Charles Hale
- Barbara Hines
- Patricia Iraheta
- Terry Lynn Karl
- Harry Mattison
- Bishop Medardo E. Gómez-Soto
- Susan Meiselas
- Ellen Moodie
- David Morales
- Thomas E. Quigley
- Robert White
- Emilee Dawn Whitehurst
Kamran Ali is an associate professor at The University of Texas Department of Anthropology. From 1991-1992, he worked as Humans Rights/Forensic Monitor in the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador. His current work focuses on Egypt. Based on his ethnographic work in Egypt, Dr. Ali's book Planning the Family: New Bodies, New Selves was recently published by the University of Texas Press. It shows how the Family Planning Program introduces women to new ideas about home, child welfare, motherhood and the meaning of family, nation and community. In a series of published and forthcoming articles (in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Anthropology Today, and others) Dr. Ali further develops the arguments from his field research by analyzing the Family Planning Program from the perspectives of Egyptian women, NGOs, and state and international development agencies. Dr. Ali has pioneered anthropological work on Egyptian masculinity and male involvement in family planning decision-making. In 1998, he did preliminary archival and ethnographic research in Pakistan and studied the history of its labor movement while he was in the Netherlands. The project was funded by the Institute of Asian Studies at Leiden, the Netherlands and specifically focused on the politics of migration and ethnicity in Karachi, Pakistan. Further, the Mediterranean Program at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy awarded him a two-year research fellowship on Tourism in the Southern Mediterranean States. This project coordinates research and publication of scholarship on Tourism in the Middle East, with special reference to population movement, rural-urban migration, service sector employment and North-South relationships. This research will be compiled for publication as an edited volume with Indiana University Press.
Arturo Arias is a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas at Austin, where he specializes in 20th-century Spanish-American Literature. He co-wrote the screenplay for the film "El Norte" (1984), one of the first cultural productions that helped make Mayas visible in the Western world. He is the author of six novels: Después de las Bombas (1979), Itzam Na (1981), Jaguar en Llamas (1989), Los caminos de Paxil (1991), Cascabel (1998), and Sopa de Caracol (2002). He was honored with the Casa de las Américas Prize for Itzam Na and the Anna Seghers Award for Jaguar en Llamas. Arias is a specialist on ethnic issues and subaltern identity, both of which are central themes appearing in his fiction and his academic studies. He has published two books of literary criticism, La identidad de la palabra (1998) and Gestos Ceremoniales (1998), which deal with 20th Century Guatemalan fiction and contemporary Central American fiction respectively. His academic work is also highlighted by his publication of the critical edition of Miguel Ángel Asturias’ Mulata de Tal as well as an edited volume, The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy, dealing with the recent polemic about Rigoberta Menchú’s testimonial, Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú y así me nació la conciencia. Other recent publications include Taking their Word: Literature and the Signs of Central America and Central American Diasporas: Transnacional Gangs and the Transformation of Latino Identity in the United States. From 2001-2003, Arias served as the President of the Latin American Studies Association.
Almudena Bernabeu is an International Attorney at the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) in San Francisco. Bernabeu began working with CJA in early 2002 and played a key role in putting together the case against Honduran perpetrator Col. Juan López Grijalba. As an International Attorney, Almudena focuses primarily on the investigation and preparation of Latin American cases. These cases include Salvadoran cases Doe v Saravia, Romagoza et al v. Garcia and Vides Casanova, and Chavez v. Carranza. Almudena is also a prosecutor in Spain in the criminal case against former Guatemalan officials responsible for atrocities committed against civilians during the 1970s and 1980s. Almudena, along with Spanish law professor Manuel Olle, represents two Spanish citizens who were tortured in Guatemala during those years. The Rigoberta Menchu Foundation filed the case in December of 1999. Almudena is an attorney from Spain who has been working in the fields of human rights and private international law for the past decade. From 1995-99 in Southern Spain, she worked in private practice and with two, UNHCR-coordinated non-governmental organizations on asylum and refugee cases with a focus on clients from North and Central Africa and the Balkans. She also conducted numerous trainings for asylum lawyers and published several articles on reforms to Spanish asylum and refugee law after the Schengen agreements. Throughout the 1990s, Almudena worked pro bono on asylum and human rights cases for Amnesty International-Spain. She also researched and investigated cases heard by the European Court for Human Rights. She has a particular interest in the work of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. She is a graduate of the Faculty of International Law, Universidad de Valencia, Spain.
John Burnett is an NPR correspondent based in Austin, Texas who can be heard across the nation reporting on issues and people from Southwestern United States and providing investigative reports from his trips to Latin America. During his years with NPR, Burnett has reported from across the United States and from 25 different countries. Working with NPR since 1986, Burnett served for 18 years as NPR's Southwest correspondent. His 2007 three-part series, “The Forgotten War,” which took a critical look at the nation's 30-year war on drugs, won a Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for Excellence in Reporting on Drug and Alcohol Problems. In 2006, Burnett's Uncivilized Beasts & Shameless Hellions: Travels with an NPR Correspondent, was published by Rodale Press. He also recently received an invitation to serve as a 2006 Ethics Fellow at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. In 2004, Burnett won a national Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association for investigative reporting for his story on the U.S. bombing of an Iraqi village. In 2003, he was an embedded reporter with the First Marine Division during the invasion of Iraq. Judges for the Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia University Award honoring the network’s overall coverage of the Iraq War singled out his work. Also in 2003, Burnett won a first place National Headliner Award for investigative reporting about corruption among federal immigration agents on the US-Mexico border. In 2001, Burnett reported and produced a one-hour documentary, “The Oil Century,” for KUT-FM in Austin, which won a silver prize at the New York Festivals. He was a visiting faculty member in broadcast journalism at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in 2002 and 1997. He received a Ford Foundation Grant in 1997 for a special series on sustainable development in Latin America. Prior to coming to NPR, Burnett was based in Guatemala City for United Press International covering the Central American civil wars. From 1979-1983, he was a general assignment reporter for various Texas newspapers. Burnett graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1978.
David Coleman is the Curator of Photography at the Harry Ransom Center. Coleman has worked at the Ransom Center for 12 years. From 1996 through 2002, he worked as a Research Associate and Assistant Curator. From 2002 to 2006, he worked as Associate Curator. Coleman earned his Ph.D. in art history in 2005 from The University of Texas, with a specialization in the history of photography. His dissertation focused on the 19th century British photographer Henry Peach Robinson. Coleman previously worked at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York while earning his M.A. in art history at Hunter College.
Carlos Henriquez Consalvi is the founder of Radio Venceremos and founding Director of the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen, El Salvador. Consalvi, known in El Salvador as Santiago, founded Radio Venceremos in 1980. The founding of Radio Venceremos corresponded with the beginning of a civil war in El Salvador that pitted a group of militant rebels, the FMLN, against a brutal military dictatorship. For the next 11 years, Santiago served as the voice of the clandestine FMLN radio, broadcasting his reports with a 40-yr-old transmitter that had seen service in World War II while constantly evading capture by the military in the northeastern hills of the nation. Radio Venceremos was one of the few sources of oppositional press in El Salvador during the reign of the repressive military regime. As such, Santiago and his team were among the first to report on the infamous massacre at El Mozote and other atrocities commited by government troops, played a major role in recruiting campesino support for the rebel cause, and provided popular education about socialist ideals and Salvadoran history. Radio Venceremos was also used to assist in military operations. After the war ended in a negotiated peace settlement in 1992, Consalvi turned his attention to documenting the history of El Salvador, because he felt that so much of the historical record had been lost during the war. He founded El Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen, has collected an impressive collection of archival information, and has produced several documentary films. His visit will be of interest to scholars of communication, social movements, democratization, war, and history.
José Miguel Cruz received his Bachelor or Arts in Psychology from Centro-America University (UCA) in San Salvador and his M.Sc. in Public Policy on Latin America at Oxford University, England. He is an expert on youth gangs in El Salvador and a certified social psychologist. In 2006, he enrolled as a doctoral candidate in Political Science at Vanderbilt University. As a columnist for one of El Salvador’s major newspapers, “El Diario de Hoy,” he has published several articles about youth gangs in the region. He has been the director of the University Institute of Public Opinion (IUDOP in Spanish) at the UCA for ten years, and a member of the Editorial Board of the academic journal Estudios Centroamericanos (ECA). He has also been a consultant for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Kellogg Foundation, and the United Nations Development Program on the topic of Central American violence. Additionally, he founded the Central American Coalition for Youth Violence Prevention. Currently, Cruz works for the Latin America Public Opinion Project and is involved in research projects on Latin American political culture and violence. He has conducted over 60 public opinion surveys and more than 20 research projects about violence, crime, political culture, and youth in America. Cruz is the author of Street Gangs in Central America, which was released in 2007.
Benjamín Cuéllar is a Salvadoran human rights activist and academic. He studied law and social sciences in El Salvador and Mexico. While still in Mexico, Cuéllar founded the Human Rights Center “Fray Francisco de Vitoria” and served as its executive secretary until 1991. He returned to El Salvador in 1992 and became the Executive Director of the Human Rights Institute of the University of Central America "José Simeón Cañas" (IDHUCA) in San Salvador, a position he holds today. Since its foundation, the organization’s primary objective has been to contribute to the respect for human rights across state institutions and advocate on behalf of groups and people that seek solutions from discrimination and political abuse. Since 1996, Cuéllar has also served on the board of the Center for Justice, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to litigating cases before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Additionally, he was a member of the advisory committee of the Canadian Cooperation in El Salvador from 1995 to 2003, focusing on issues such as poverty reduction, democracy, and human rights. Cuéllar has received multiple awards, including the French Medal for Human Rights, the Ignacio Ellacuria Human Rights Award, and, most recently, the Washington Office of Latin America’s 2007 Award for Human Rights.
Mark Danner is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism and a Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights at Bard College. Danner is a prominent American journalist. He is a former staff writer for The New Yorker and frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. Danner specializes in U.S. foreign affairs and has written extensively on Haiti, Central America, the former Yugoslavia, and the Middle East. Danner was born at Utica, New York. He studied modern literatures and aesthetics at Harvard. After graduating in 1981, he joined the staff of The New York Review of Books. In 1984, Danner joined Harper's Magazine as senior editor. In 1986, he joined The New York Times Magazine, where he stayed for four years. In 1990, Danner joined the staff of The New Yorker shortly after the magazine published his three-part series on Haiti, “A Reporter At Large: Beyond the Mountains.” On December 6, 1993, for only the second time in its history, The New Yorker devoted its entire issue to one article, Danner's piece, “The Truth of El Mozote,” an investigation into the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador. The Mozote article became the basis for Danner's first book, The Massacre at El Mozote: A Parable of the Cold War, which was published in 1994. Danner is also the author of The Road to Illegitimacy: One Reporter's Travels through the 2000 Florida Recount (2003) and Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror (2004) as well as forthcoming books on Haiti and the Balkans. In 1999, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Danner co-wrote and helped produce two hour-long television documentaries for ABC News' Peter Jennings Reporting series: While America Watched: The Bosnian Tragedy and House on Fire: America's Haitian Crisis, which both aired in 1994. As commentator, Danner has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show and The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour on PBS, CNN's Prime News, ABC's World News Now, and C-Span's Morning Show.
Donna DeCesare is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas School of Journalism, a faculty affiliate of the Latin American Studies program and an Advisory Board member of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. DeCesare is widely known for her groundbreaking photographic reportage on the spread of Los Angeles gangs in Central America. Her photographs and testimonies from children in Guatemala and Colombia who are former child soldiers, survivors of sexual abuse, or who live with the stigma of HIV, helped UNICEF to develop protocols for photographing children at risk. News and arts publications that have featured her photographs include The New York Times Magazine, Life, Mother Jones, DoubleTake and Aperture. She is the recipient of numerous awards for visual journalism, including an Emmy award, an Eisenstadt magazine photography award, a Canon photoessay award in Pictures of the Year International, several top awards in the National Press Photographer’s annual Best of Photojournalism as well as the Dorothea Lange Prize and the Mother Jones International Photo Fund Award. Among her other honors are major fellowships including The Alicia Patterson Fellowship, the Soros Independent Project fellowship and most recently a Fulbright Fellowship. Since the New York opening of her 2006 exhibition Sharing Secrets, it has traveled to Washington DC, Korea, Poland and China. Sharing Secrets will be on exhibition at the Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City until December 2008. DeCesare has an M.Phil in Literature and Comparative Studies from the University of Essex in England. When she is not teaching at the University of Texas she continues to work on photographic projects and to conduct photography workshops for at-risk youth, journalism students and professional photojournalists in the Americas. DeCesare is a member of the Executive Board of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.
Ariel Dulitzky is Visiting Professor of Law and Latin American Studies and Associate Director of the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. He is a leading expert in the inter-American human rights system. Prior to joining the University of Texas, he was Assistant Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ICHR), an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS). Professor Dulitzky is an honors graduate of the University of Buenos Aires, School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review. He received his LLM from Harvard Law School in 1999. Professor Dulitzky has published extensively on human rights, the inter-American human rights system, racial discrimination and the rule of law in Latin America. He has taught at the University of Buenos Aires and the Washington College of Law at American University. He served as a law clerk for a Federal Circuit Court in Argentina. Dulitzky received the 2007 Gary Bellow Public Service Award from Harvard Law School for his career in human rights. In addition to his work at the Inter-American Commission, he has served as advisor to the IACHR´s first Special Rapporteur on Afro-Descendants that he helped to establish in 2005, and as technical advisor to the OAS Working Group discussing the adoption of a new Inter-American Convention against Racial Discrimination. He has been a consultant for the Office of the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner and the Inter-American Institute on Human Rights. Previously, Professor Dulitzky was the Latin America Program Director at the International Human Rights Law Group (currently Global Rights) and Co-Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). Professor Dulitzky has directed the litigation of more than a 100 cases in front of the Inter-American Commission and Court on Human Rights.
Karen Engle is Cecil D. Redford Professor in Law at The University of Texas School of Law, and Director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, which she helped found in 2004. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Latin American Studies and of Gender and Women's Studies, and is a Senior Fellow at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. Professor Engle writes and lectures extensively on international law and human rights. Her recent works include "Indigenous Roads to Development" (forthcoming, Handbook of International Law, Routledge), “Judging Sex in War” (forthcoming, Michigan Law Review), “Calling in the Troops: The Uneasy Relationship Among Human Rights, Women's Rights and Humanitarian Intervention,” Harvard Human Rights Law Journal (2007 ), “Feminism and Its (Dis)contents: Criminalizing War-Time Rape in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” American Journal of International Law (2005), “Liberal Internationalism, Feminism and the Suppression of Critique: Contemporary Approaches to Global Order in the United States,” Harvard International Law Journal (2005) and “International Human Rights and Feminisms: When Discourses Keep Meeting” in International Law: Modern Feminist Approaches (2005). Professor Engle spent spring and summer of 2007 in Bogotá, Colombia, where she investigated and lectured on indigenous rights and Afro-Colombian rights. She has been named a Fulbright Senior Specialist.
Frances T. “Sissy” Farenthold currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. and on the Advisory Board of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. A native Texan, Farenthold is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Texas Law School. She has been involved in public affairs at the local, state, national and international levels. She served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and in 1972, became the first woman ever to have her name placed in nomination for vice president of the United States. Over the course of her career, Farenthold has served as a human rights observer in El Salvador, Iraq, Honduras, South Korea, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba and the former Soviet Union. In addition to her governmental work, Farenthold served as the first woman ever to be named president of Wells College. She co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus and founded the Public Leadership Education Network. She has taught at Texas Southern University Law School, University of Houston Law School, and Thurgood Marshall School of Law. She was also the chairwoman of the Rothko Chapel in Houston until last year and was recently awarded a lifetime achievement honor from the American Civil Liberties Union in Texas.
Virginia Garrard-Burnett is associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Garrard-Burnett's research interests cover religion and identity in Central American history, current religious movements in central and South America, issues pertaining to gender and violence, the theories of historic memory. She is the author of more than two dozen articles and book chapters on Central American history and religion in Latin America, including Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit: Guatemala Under General Efrain Ríos Montt, 1982-83 (Oxford, forthcoming),On Earth As It Is in Heaven: Religion in Latin America (2000) and Living in the New Jerusalem: A History of Protestants in Guatemala (1998). She is also the co-editor ofRethinking Protestantism in Latin America (1993).
Jeffrey Gould is the James H. Rudy Professor of History at Indiana University. He works on the history of Central America, and writes extensively on oral history, labor history, rural social movements, and ethnicity. His most recent book is To Die This Way: Nicaraguan Indians and the Myth of Mestizaje, 1880–1965, (Duke University Press, 1998). Dr. Gould is currently working on a book on the 1932 massacre of indigenous Salvadorans and its social and cultural aftermath. He has co-produced and co-directed a film, “Scars of Memory: El Salvador, 1932,” (“Award of Merit, Latin American Studies Association.”) Over ten thousand Salvadorans have seen this widely circulated documentary. He was also project director for a research team of twelve Central American scholars on working problems of ethnic identity and relations in Central America. He co-edited the anthology (with Dario Euraque and Charles Hale), Memorias de Mestizaje: La Politica Cultural en America Central, 1920–2000 (CIRMA, 2004). At Indiana Dr. Gould is also the Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Charles Hale is Professor of Anthropology and was Associate Director of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies from 2000-2003. He is a member of the Steering Committee at the Rapoport Center and the immediate past President of the Latin American Studies Association. He has received research fellowships from the H.F. Guggenheim Foundation, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is author of "Más que un indio …" Racial Ambivalence and Neoliberal Multiculturalism in Guatemala (2006) and Resistance and Contradiction: Miskitu Indians and the Nicaraguan State , 1894–1987 (1994). He also is author of numerous articles and co-editor of several collections on identity politics, racism, ethnic conflict, and the status of indigenous peoples in Latin America.
Barbara Hines is a clinical professor at The University of Texas School of Law and directs the immigration clinic. She also serves on the Steering Committee at the Rapoport Center. Professor Hines has practiced in the field since 1975 and is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She received the 1992 American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Jack Wasserman Award for Excellence in Litigation and the AILA Texas Chapter Litigation Award in 1993. Professor Hines was a Fulbright scholar in Argentina in 1996 and focused her research on Argentine immigration law. She also received a Fulbright award in 2004 and taught a course on U.S.immigration law and policy at the Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received the Texas Law Fellowships Excellence in Public Interest Award in 2002. She was named a Texas “Legal Legend” by the Texas Lawyer publication. Professor Hines served as the first Co-Director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of Texas, Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project and currently serves as counsel to the organization. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Board of Directors of the Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. She lectures and writes frequently on issues related to immigration law. She has litigated many issues relating to the constitutional and statutory rights of immigrants in federal and immigration courts. She frequently lectures and writes on topics in the area of immigration law.
Patricia Iraheta is the Executive Director of Las Dignas—Asociacion de Mujeres por la dignidad y la vida. Las Dignas, a feminist organization in San Salvador, was founded in 1992 after the Peace Agreement process, to contribute to the eradication of gender subordination as a condition for democracy and social justice. Ms. Iraheta has a degree in Literature and is also an accomplished poet. She has worked with the poet Refugio Duarte in CONCULTURA and she is part of the Network of Women Writers from El Salvador, an entity dedicated to the dissemination of feminist poetry in her country. As a poet and an activist, Ms. Iraheta explores the challenges of the engagement and contribution of women activists towards social change strategies in post-conflict Central America.
Terry Lynn Karl is the director of the Center for Latin American Studies and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University. She has published widely on transitions to democracy, inequality, human rights and civil wars with special emphasis on the politics of oil exporting countries. In 1997, her book, The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petro-States, was published. In the early 1980s, Karl was a young Harvard professor traveling back and forth to Central America to conduct research on the subject that forms the cornerstone of her life's work: oil. Her position at a leading American educational institution gave her entrée to the inner sanctums of many Central American leaders, ranging from the head of OPEC to the president of El Salvador. Karl conducted candid interviews with then General D’Aubuisson in El Salvador. Her findings led to several human rights trials, in which she served as an expert witness in cases that involve torture survivors. Karl is best known for her human rights work. She holds an honorary degree in human rights from the University of San Francisco and regularly speaks about her involvement with the trials. But her true passion is oil, a subject she views as inextricably linked to war, peace, and human rights. Oil Wars, her latest book on the subject, is due out this month.
Harry Mattison's work has appeared in most major American and European magazines including Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Paris Match, Double Take and Stern. Mattison received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Literature from Fordham University in 1974. For over twenty years he photographed in Central America, the Middle East, Europe and southern Africa. In 1982, he received the Robert Capa Gold Medal from the Overseas Press Club for his work on El Salvador, and in 1983 he published, with Susan Meiselas, El Salvador: Work of Thirty Photographers (New York and London: Writers and Readers Cooperative). From 1988 to 1994 he worked in Sursum Corda, a public housing community in Washington DC. In 1994, the Harbor Gallery and William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Its Social Consequences, University of Massachusetts-Boston, mounted a twenty-year retrospective of his photography. He was awarded the Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1996. A 1999 recipient of a Washington DC Arts Council Grant, Mattison continues to photograph in Central America, most recently in Honduras, as well as in China, where his work was shown at the 798 Gallery in Beijing in 2007. He is on the permanent faculty at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore.
Bishop Medardo E. Gómez-Soto, a bishop of the Resurrection Lutheran Church of the Salvadorian Synod, received his theology license from the Institute of Superior Studies and The Lutheran Augsburgo Seminary in Mexico, D.F. He he received his graduate degree from the Universidad Francisco Gaviria, San Salvador in El Salvador and his Doctorate of Divinity with honors from Lutheran Trinity Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Bishop Gómez-Soto was recently honored for his courageous support of peace and human rights in El Salvador. When violence escalated in El Salvador the Lutheran Church expanded its work with the poor and the displaced. Bishop Gómez-Soto, church leaders, and members suffered harassment, threats, capture, and torture for their stand in support of peace and reconciliation, and their commitment to the most vulnerable people. The Bishop is the founding pastor of the Luther Church “La Resurrección” in San Salvador and founded the Solidarity of Human Rights Organization. In San Salvador, the bishop serves as vice-president for the National Advisory of Churches, president for the Coordinación Ecuménica de Iglesias (DIACONIA) San, and as founder of the Salvadoran Lutheran University, he serves as the rector. In New York, he served as the President of the International Association against Torture. He has also served as a Lutheran Pastor in Gualán, Zapaca, Guatamala and as President of the Communion of Lutheran Churches in Honduras. Bishop Gomoez-Soto is the author of Fuego contra fuego, una Pastoral Evangélica (1989, 1st ed., 1990, 2nd ed.), Verbo se hizo Historia (1990, Latinoamérica, Testimonio de Vida y Esperanza (1993) and TEOLOGÍA DE LA VIDA (1992). He recently took a trip to Washington D.C. on behalf of the SHARE Foundation to deliver opposition to CAFTA to members of Congress and their staff. He is an inspiring minister who defends and encourages the poor who have experienced economic hardship and social violence. He was the 1990 recipient of the Rothko Chapel’s Oscar Romero Award, which is presented to persons or organizations who distinguish themselves by their courage and integrity in defense of human rights.
Susan Meiselas is a photographer for the Magnum Agency. Meiselas' first major photographic essay focused on the lives of women doing striptease at New England country fairs. She photographed the carnivals during three consecutive summers while teaching photography in the New York public schools. Carnival Strippers was published in 1976, and a selection of the images was installed at the Whitney Museum of Art in June 2000. Meiselas received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College, New York, and her MA in visual education from Harvard University. She joined Magnum Photos in 1976. Best known for her coverage of the insurrection in Nicaragua and for her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America, her second monograph, Nicaragua, June 1978-July 1979, appeared in 1981. Meiselas edited and contributed to El Salvador: The Work of 30 Photographers and edited Chile from Within, which features work by photographers living under the regime of Augusto Pinochet. She has co-directed two films: Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family (1986) and Pictures from a Revolution (1991) with Richard P. Rogers and Alfred Guzzetti. In 1997 she completed a six-year project curating a 100-year visual history of Kurdistan. Her 2001 monograph, Pandora's Box, which explores a New York S&M club, was followed by Encounters with the Dani, an account of an indigenous people living in the highlands of West Papua, Indonesia. Meiselas received the Robert Capa Gold Medal for “outstanding courage and reporting” from the Overseas Press Club for her work in Nicaragua; the Maria Moors Cabot Prize from Columbia University for her coverage of Latin America; and, in 2005, the Cornell Capa Infinity Award. In 1992 she was named a MacArthur Fellow.
Ellen Moodie is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Her work addresses violence and insecurity in Central America, with a particular focus on social suffering as it is constituted and revealed through talk, mass media, and historical archives. Much of her research has taken place in the postwar ruins of San Salvador, El Salvador, where she has carried out ethnographic fieldwork over the past twelve years. She first arrived there in 1993 expecting to learn about the changes wrought by peace accords. Moodie quickly discovered that talking about peace meant talking about crime and insecurity. She began to explore how meanings of violence and citizens’ expectations of the state—circulating in conversation, daily news, and later on the Internet— were transformed in the transition from war. The research yielded her Ph.D. dissertation and now book manuscript, “It’s Worse than the War”: Telling Everyday Danger in Postwar San Salvador.
David Morales has been a critical actor in numerous human rights investigations in El Salvador. From 1990 to 2004, he occupied the following positions: legal collaborator and investigator for Tutela Legal del Arzobispado, the human rights office of the Archbishop of San Salvador and a key participant in the early El Mozote investigations; Head of the Investigation Department of the Ombudsman's Office; Director of the project to strengthen the Ombudsman's Office in the area of public safety and criminal policies; Deputy Ombudsman for Civil and Political Rights; and Deputy Ombudsman for the Defense of Human Rights, where he was responsible for human rights monitoring and advocacy. Morales has refused to keep silent about the Church and State's negligence to comply with the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the case of Bishop Oscar Romero's assassination. Due to his insistence that the government investigate and convict those found responsible, his work with Tutela Legal was terminated last year.
Thomas Quigley was for many years the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) policy advisor on Latin American and Caribbean affairs. He was particularly involved in the human rights issues that engaged much of the Church in both Latin America and in the U.S. during the 1960s, heavily focused first on Brazil and then, through the 1970s, on the Southern Cone, especially Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, and up through the Central American years of the 1980s. He was a founding member of several organizations concerned with Latin America, including the Washington Office on Latin America and the Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico. In recent years, he was also the advisor on Asian affairs, with a concentration on religious freedom issues, as well as on human rights generally. After receiving his degree in Philosophy from Maryknoll and serving in the Army in Germany, he did graduate studies in English literature at Fordham and Syracuse, and in linguistics and English language at Michigan. While teaching at Michigan’s English Language Institute, he developed the Michigan Newman Club’s foreign student program, which lead to his being asked to direct the then National Catholic Welfare Conference office for foreign visitors and international education. From there he became assistant director of the USCC Division for Latin America and then Latin American specialist in the International Justice and Peace Office. He has edited or contributed chapters to books on religion and foreign policy, and published numerous articles and reviews, especially on issues relating to the Church in Latin America and Asia.
Robert White spent twenty-five years in the Foreign Service, where he specialized in Latin American affairs with a particular emphasis on Central America. Among the posts he held were Latin America Director of the Peace Corps, deputy permanent representative to the Organization of American States, ambassador to Paraguay and to El Salvador. After retiring from the Foreign Service in 1981, White served as a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Since joining the Center for International Policy as its president in 1989, he has presided at conferences and led delegations to several Latin American and Caribbean countries, published numerous studies of U.S. policy toward the region, and led an ongoing effort to reform U.S. intelligence agencies.
The Rev. Emilee Dawn Whitehurst is the Executive Director of The Rothko Chapel, a sacred space open to all people to advance interfaith understanding, human rights and justice based in Houston, Tx. She is the former director of the Austin Area Interreligious Ministries, Central Texas’ most comprehensive interfaith organization dedicated to uniting faith and cultural communities in service of the common good. Reverend Whitehurst is an ordained Presbyterian minister with a background in community organizing around issues of homelessness, police accountability and alternatives to incarceration. She has a BA with honors in Human Biology from Stanford University and holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 2001 where she was a Williams Fellow awarded to the top ten students demonstrating promise in ministry. In addition, she completed coursework towards ordination at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. A native Austinite, she has worked with non-profit organizations and congregations in California, Kansas, Massachusetts and Texas.