September 13, 2011 -- U.S. Torture Practices: The Guatemala Experience

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On September 13, 2011, Jennifer Harbury spoke at the first Fall 2011 Clason Lecture sponsored by Western New England University School of Law. Drawing on her compelling personal experience, Harbury spoke about the capture and detainment of her husband, Mayan resistance leader Efrain Bámaca Velásquez, and her subsequent fight for human rights. Velásquez was captured alive by the Guatemalan military in 1992, before being tortured and ultimately executed without trial. Harbury’s battle to save her husband’s life led to the disclosure of a close working relationship between the United States CIA and the Central American death squads that included the practice of torture of the indigenous people of Guatemala. Harbury has since fought and won a trial at the Inter-American Court on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, and continues to fight in the Guatemala court system.