Seeking truth when loved ones disappear

“My father’s brother was disappeared. We never found out what happened to him.”
– Maria,* age 28

To say that Guatemala’s thirty-six-year civil war was brutal is an understatement. An estimated 45,000 people were forcibly disappeared — and another 200,000 killed. Heartbreaking accounts of the conflict include stories of capture, torture, rape, and massacre. However, for the thousands of families who lost loved ones, the story is far from over.

Today, some of the strongest and most determined advocates seeking justice for the disappeared are the family members who loved them.

Take a moment and listen to Aura Elena Farfán, founder of FAMDEGUA – a Fund grantee supporting families seeking truth and justice for lost loved ones – as she explains firsthand why she tirelessly seeks justice:


Founded in 1992, FAMDEGUA is an organization dedicated to supporting the families of victims of killings and forced disappearances during Guatemala’s civil war. Over the course of 28 years, they have conducted over 120 exhumations. A decade of work and documentation of the clandestine burial site at CREOMPAZ – after families of the disappeared confided in the organization about its existence – led to pressure that eventually led to the exhumations. They are a plaintiff in the CREOMPAZ case.

For more on the search for justice in Guatemala, watch Fault Lines’ latest feature: Guatemala’s Disappeared.

*Name has been changed to protect her identity.

April 7, 2017