HBO documentary on slain Guatemalan Bishop Juan Gerardi premieres on December 16

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo by PBI-Canada Board member Marianna Tzabiras of the release of the ‘Nunca Mas’ report. Two days later, Bishop Gerardi was murdered.

A new documentary about Guatemalan Bishop Juan Gerardi titled ‘The Art of Political Murder’, produced by American actor George Clooney based on the book of the same name by Francisco Goldman, will premiere on HBO Max on December 16.

To see a 2-minute trailer for the film, please click here.

GHRC has explained: “Before his death in 1998, Roman Catholic Archbishop and human rights defender Juan José Gerardi Conedera was one of the strongest voices speaking out against the atrocities committed during the internal armed conflict.”

“On April 24, 1998, Gerardi presented the findings of the REMHI [Recovery of Historical Memory Project] in a report entitled “Nunca Más” (Never Again). The report was particularly damning to the Guatemalan military.”

GHRC notes: “On April 26, 1998, two days after the release of the report, Bishop Gerardi was bludgeoned to death in his home in Guatemala City.”

Religion News Service adds: “The REHMI report that cost Gerardi his life identified 435 massacres and listed more than 50,000 people who disappeared, finding that the government perpetrated ‘the vast majority of atrocities during the war’.”

Recently, Al Jazeera reported: “More than 80 percent of the estimated 200,000 people killed during the country’s 36-year civil war between the military and guerrilla groups from 1960-1996 were Maya civilians. A United Nations-backed truth commission concluded that state actors committed genocide in some regions.”

In 1983, Peace Brigades International co-founder Daniel N. Clark met with Bishop Gerardi for an exploratory meeting about PBI (founded in September 1981).

In April 1998, PBI attended the release of the ‘Nunca Mas’ report at the cathedral in Guatemala City. PBI-Guatemala volunteer Marianna Tzabiras, now a member of the PBI-Canada Board of Directors, was there at that time.

On May 4, 1998, just days after the death of Bishop Gerardi, Amy Goodman interviewed PBI activist Liam Mahony about this murder and the situation in Guatemala.

Presently, PBI-Mexico accompanies the Juan Gerardi Human Rights Centre (CDHJG) that works in the lake region of Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico.

PBI first operated a project in Guatemala from 1983-1999; it closed following the Peace Accords. Unfortunately, the human rights situation soon began again to deteriorate, and local organizations asked PBI to return.

The current project opened in 2003.

Once again, the trailer for the documentary about Bishop Gerardi can be seen here.

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