Professor Debra Rodman, Ph.D.
Professor Brian Turner, Ph.D.
The Randolph-Macon College Departments of Political Science and Sociology and Anthropology
will present a lecture on Guatemalan human rights on Monday, October 19, 2009 at
7 p.m. in the Washington Room in Wash-Frank Hall. The lecture is free and open
to the public.
Guatemalan torture survivor Gladys Monterroso will speak out on violence, impunity
and immigration reform. The Guatemala Human Rights Commission (GHRC) sponsors Monterroso,
a Guatemalan lawyer and university professor. The event is also sponsored by the
Amnesty International-Randolph-Macon Chapter.
Ms. Monterroso’s lecture is presented in conjunction with the course Latin American
Politics, taught by Professor Brian Turner, Ph.D. (political
science) and Peoples and Cultures of Latin America, taught
by Professor Debra Rodman, Ph.D. (sociology
and anthropology). These courses encourage students to consider the challenges in
understanding Latin American societies and ways in which Latin Americans work to
challenge injustices they confront.
Monterroso was a victim of kidnapping and torture in the spring of 2009. During
her April visit to the GHRC office, Gladys said, "I had a normal life before March
25. I thought I understood the victims of violence in Guatemala. Now that I am a
victim, I realize that I never understood fully what it means to experience that
level of violence. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? My life is forever marked,
divided into before and after March 25, 2009."
Founded in 1982, the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan,
humanitarian organization that monitors, documents and reports on the human rights
situation in Guatemala, advocates for survivors of human rights abuses in Guatemala,
and works toward positive, systemic change. For more information, visit
Monterroso is a victim of politically motivated violence and she is courageously
speaking out in universities, churches and communities up and down the East Coast
to bring attention to the horrific levels of violence in Guatemala, violence against
women and politically motivated violence.
Monterroso is a law professor at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City
and a licensed tax lawyer. She holds a Master's Degree in economics. Until she was
attacked in March, 2009, she worked as the secretary for congresswoman Nineth Montenegro
of the political party Encuentro por Guatemala. In 2005 she was one of
eight lawyers selected for recognition by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court. In
2007 she earned the "Valuable Literary Contribution and Academic Career Award" from
the Dean of the Law and Social Sciences Faculty at the University of San Carlos.
For more information, contact Brian Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org