Tortured nun to speak in Reno, April 12

4/3/2007 | By: Staff Report  |

The Center for Holocaust, Genocide & Peace Studies is co-sponsoring a lecture by Sister Dianna Ortiz, an Ursuline nun who was tortured in 1989 while in Guatemala teaching. Her speech, "My Journey from Torture to Truth," begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12 in the Catholic Church on Wyoming Avenue in Reno.

Sister Ortiz, an Ursuline nun, went to Guatemala in the late 1980s as a missionary, teaching Mayan children. In November 1989, after months of receiving threats to her life, Ortiz was abducted and brutally raped by armed men. One of the military men overseeing the torture appeared to be American.

Sister Ortiz's ordeal did not end with her escape. Her torment continued as she sought answers from the U.S. government about the identity of her torturers in her unrelenting quest for justice. Ortiz's honesty and capacity to articulate the agony she suffered compelled the United States to declassify long-secret files on Guatemala, and shed light on some of the darkest moments of Guatemalan history and U.S. foreign policy.

Governments in more than 150 countries practice torture. Approximately 500,000 survivors of torture live in the United States. Ortiz speaks not only for herself but also on behalf of all torture victims and survivors. She is the director of the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition International in Washington, D.C. This lecture is free and open to the public. Ample parking available. Co-sponsored by:

  • Life, Peace & Justice Commission for the Diocese of Reno
  • Pax Christi Nevada-Reno
  • Sierra Interfaith Action for Peace
  • Center for Holocaust, Genocide & Peace Studies (University of Nevada, Reno)


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