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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents Note

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

I. Edited Production Footage

II.Series 2, Unedited Footage

The Human Rights Documentation Initiative

Jesús Tecú Osorio's Footage of Rabinal, Guatemala



Descriptive Summary

Creator Tecú Osorio, Jesús, Witness (organization)
Title Jesús Tecú Osorio's footage from Rabinal, Guatemala
Dates: 1996-2001
Abstract Jesús Tecú Osorio’s footage of Rabinal, Guatemala contains two short documentaries, Derecho a Justicia / A Right to Justice (in Spanish and English) and A Massacre Remembered (in English), as well as unedited footage of interviews conducted for the documentaries, and b-roll footage from Guatemala.
Accession No. 2011-02
OCLC Record No.
Extent 39 videos
Language Spanish, Achi, English
Repository Human Rights Documentation Initiative, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

This collection contains video footage shot by Jesús Tecú Osorio, an activist and survivor of the March 13, 1982 massacre in which 177 Mayan-Achi women and children in Río Negro, Rabinal were tortured, raped, and murdered by the Guatemalan army and army-led civil patrol groups. The Guatemalan counter-insurgency campaign razed 440 villages, including Río Negro. It is estimated that at least 5,000 Mayans in the Rabinal area were massacred in 1981-1982. The Guatemalan military’s counterinsurgency campaign targeted Río Negro, and the area of Rabinal in general, because the inhabitants of Río Negro refused to leave their ancestral lands for the Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam. The Guatemalan army not only perpetrated the massacres, but also forced "civil patrollers" (called PACs or Patrullas de Autodefensa Civil) to enlist and murder their neighbors. The governments of Efrain Rios Montt and Romeo Lucas García supervised and directed the army's genocidal campaigns. Rios Montt, Lucas García, and all other high-ranking officials who participated in the campaign continued to hold high government posts with impunity.

Jesús Tecú Osorio was 11 years old when he witnessed the massacre of his family and fellow villagers. After the massacre, the patrolmen responsible for the massacre held Osorio and 17 other child survivors captive as servants.

Osorio currently works to expose systematic human rights violations and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. Along with widows and other survivors, he helped found organization, ADIVIMA (Asociación para el Desarollo Integral de las Víctimas de la Violencia en las Verapaces, Maya Achí / Association for the Integral Development of the Victims of Violence in the Verapaces, Maya Achi), which works to break Guatemala’s climate of impunity. In 1993, Osorio spearheaded the campaign to exhume mass graves in Rabinal and bring charges against the patrollers responsible for the massacres. In 1996, Osorio won the Reebok Human Rights Award. In 2002, he published his memoir, Memoria de las masacres de Río Negro; recuerdo de mis padres y memoria para mis hijos; Natalie Armstrong translated the memoir into English in 2003 and it was published under the title, The Rio Negro Massacres. Osorio continues to work on ending the economic and social injustices in the Rabinal community by leading 25,000 people in their ongoing campaign for compensation after the government violently displaced them in order to use their land for the Chixoy Hydroelectric Project.

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Scope and Contents Note

This collection is divided into two main series:

  Series 1, Edited Production Footage, 2000-2002

This series contains two WITNESS co-productions, Derecho a la justicia / A Right to Justice and A Massacre Remembered, and an edited video of a meeting in Spanish and Achi. Abstracts are provided by WITNESS. Videos are ordered alphabetically by title.

  Series 2, Unedited Footage, 1996-2002

This series contains unedited footage of interviews that were conducted for the documentary as well as b-roll footage from Guatemala.

  Subseries 1, Interview Footage, 1996-2002

This subseries contains an interview conducted by WITNESS with Jesus Tecu Osorio and interviews that Osorio conducted with witnesses of the massacres at Chilagua, Rio Negro, and Rabinal, Guatemala. Abstracts are provided by WITNESS. Videos are ordered alphabetically by title.

  Subseries 2, B-roll Footage, 1996-2002

This subseries includes b-roll footage of exhumations, memorial ceremonies and re-burials, political actions against amnesty for those responsible for the killings, and gatherings of former civil patrollers. There is also footage documenting legal proceedings against former civil patrollers involved in the massacres. Finally, there is footage of various indigenous Maya Achí rituals and performances. This footage was shot in the Rabinal area of Guatemala. Abstracts are provided by WITNESS. Videos are ordered alphabetically by title.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

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Index Terms

The is classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries catalog:
Subjects (Persons)
Tecú Osorio, Jesús, 1971-
Subjects
Massacres--Guatemala--Rabinal--History--20th century
Río Negro (Rabinal, Guatemala)--History--20th century
Guatemala--Human Rights
Places
Río Negro (Rabinal, Guatemala)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: [Name of video], Jesus Tecu Osorio's Footage of Rabinal, Guatemala, Human Rights Documentation Initiative, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin, [link to video if applicable].

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Box and Folder Inventory

 

I. Edited Production Footage 2000-2002
(4 videos)

box folder
2874 B00116
A Massacre Remembered
Guatemala's thirty-six year civil war claimed the lives of more than 200,000 citizens and displaced millions more, many of them Mayan civilians. During the war, the Guatemalan military killed, tortured, raped and butchered hundreds of thousands of people. This WITNESS Rights Alert feature tells the story of WITNESS partner Jesús Tecú Osorio, one of the few survivors of the Rio Negro Massacre that took place on March 13, 1982. After witnessing the massacre of more than one hundred children and nearly eighty women by members of the Guatemalan army and civil patrols, Jesús and seventeen other children were taken to work as servants in the houses of the patrollers who had killed their families. Jesus lived in captivity for three years until he was freed by his only surviving sister, Laura. This Rights Alert feature tells Jesus's story and informs viewers of the movement that he has spearheaded to acknowledge, commemorate, mourn and seek justice for the victims of this devastating tragedy. This piece is narrated by REM musician Michael Stipe, with music by Philip Glass.
box folder
2845 B00070
A Right To Justice. English version
A Right to Justice, shot by Guatemalan human rights advocate Jesus Tecú Osorio, expands on the earlier Rights Alert "A Massacre Remembered". Following the struggle of the indigenous Maya Achi people of Guatemala to have the truth of the genocide there in the early 1980s revealed, it includes footage of the recent trial of a few of the perpetrators. Detailing recent efforts to document the atrocities, and to secure justice through the prosecution of the masterminds of the massacres, it also includes sequences illustrating the impunity with which some perpetrators still act.
box folder
3067 B01508
Derecho a la Justicia
Derecho a la Justicia [English title: A Right to Justice], shot by Guatemalan human rights advocate, Jesús Tecú Osorio, expands on the earlier Rights Alert "A Massacre Remembered". Following the struggle of the indigenous Maya Achi people of Guatemala to have the truth of the genocide in the early 1980s revealed, it includes footage of the recent trial of a few of the perpetrators. Detailing efforts to document the atrocities, and to secure justice through the prosecution of the masterminds of the massacres, it also includes sequences illustrating the impunity with which some perpetrators still act.
box folder
1240 B00655
Sr. Lucas Tecú y Mujeres Lideres de Familiares Desaparecidos
An edited video documenting a meeting between the Vice-Mayor of Rabinal Lucas Tecú and women leaders with missing relatives. The video, date-stamped 14 August 2002 throughout, shows Lucas Tecú standing and speaking to a room of women and some men. The women in the audience respond to Tecú and ask him questions. Tecú was the commandant of the military commissioners in the early 1980s, commanding 280 members. He says that he has no knowledge of the massacres, and blames those who have since died. He says that is was difficult to control the commissioners and that he never used a weapon. The first woman who speaks asks him where their family members are buried.

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II.Series 2, Unedited Footage 1996-2002
(33 videos)

I. Interview Footage, 1996-2002
box folder
1188 B00620
[Chichuvipal interview]
This is an interview with a Mayan Achi woman, in the Achi language, which concerns the massacre in Rabinal, Baja Verapaz in 1982. Not translated or logged.
box folder
1218 B00641
[Clip reel of raw footage/July 2002 Interview with Jesus Tecú Osorio], part 1
[Clip reel of raw footage/July 2002 Interview with Jesus Tecú Osorio], part 2
Clip reel of various raw footage shot by WITNESS partner Jesús Tecú Osorio. Includes footage from rallies against amnesty for perpetrators of mass killings in Rabinal, community memorials for victims of the massacres, and exhumations of remains from clandestine graves.
box folder
1181 B00616
[Exhumation at Pichec / Jesus Tecu Osorio speaking / burial ceremony / inspection of clandestine gravesites at Piedra Cal and other locales]
Footage from exhumation conducted by the Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala (FAFG), possibly in Pichec, Rabinal, Baja Verapaz.
box folder
1108 B00569
[Exhumations in Rabinal, Guatemala part 1]
Footage from exhumation conducted by the Footage of an exhumation of the massacre site in Rabinal, Guatemala. Footage includes many CUs of exhumation and memorial ceremonies with Maya Achi people around the exhumation site.
box folder
1116 B00571
[Exhumations in Rabinal, Guatemala part 2]
Footage from exhumation conducted by the Footage of an exhumation of the massacre site in Rabinal, Guatemala. Footage includes many CUs of exhumation and memorial ceremonies with Maya Achi people around the exhumation site.
box folder
1233 B00651
[Footage selections from two gatherings of former civil patrollers of Rabinal and interview with Juan Reyes]
Selections of footage from the first two gatherings of former civil patrollers in Rabinal in July 2002, and from an interview with Juan Reyes, the president of the committee of former civil patrollers in Rabinal.
box folder
1104 B00567
[Funeral rites and interviews / interview with Jesús Tecú Osorio / beginning exhumation]
Footage date-stamped 13 March 1998 shot at a nighttime memorial commemorating the Rio Negro massacre at the massacre site, Cumbre Pacoxom. Next, an interview with WITNESS partner and massacre survivor Jesus Tecú Osorio. Footage date-stamped 23 March 1998 shows another memorial with mourners. The ceremony involves the slaughter and burning of a chicken. Footage also date-stamped 23 March 1998 shows people at a site called Sarachl, and the preparation for an exhumation. Footage date-stamped 24 March 1998 shows Jesus Tecu Osorio and others in an office, meeting with an unidentified man.
box folder
1245 B00656
[Interview with Carlos Chen Osorio]
Interview with Carlos Chen Osorio about his activities as the founder of the Association of Widows, Widowers, Orphans, and Displaced of Rabinal Maya-Achí, including advocating for compensation and lands for people displaced by the Chixoy dam. He talks about the obstacles they face, and how they are also seeking justice, not vengeance, for the massacres. He talks about the Maya-Achi museum that he and Jesús Tecú Osorio hope to open, and his hopes for Guatemala in the future. He describes the history of land reform and struggles that led to the massacre of indigenous communities in the 1980s. He says that Mexico is employing a similar tactic of labeling indigenous people who are claiming their rights as "guerillas."
box folder
1224 B00644
[Interview with Jesús Tecú Osorio, April 1999]
WITNESS interview with Jesús Tecú Osorio, shot in April 1999. Jesus Tecu Osorio is a human rights activist born in Río Negro, Guatemala. He is one of the few survivors of the Río Negro massacre that took place on March 13, 1982. He works with the Association for Widows in Rabinal, and is a 1996 recipient of the Reebok Award for defending human rights. In his interview he describes the programs that he has implemented in Guatemala and his views about the future of his country [not translated].
box folder
1154 B00599
[Interviews with Maya Achi people / Pueblo Viejo-Quixal Hydroelectric Project and Chixoy Dam / interview with Carlos Chen Osorio]
The first part of this video was shot on the bank of the Rio Negro near the Chixoy Dam. There is an interview with a man from Rio Negro who now lives in Rabinal. There is another interview with a Maya Achi woman, who is speaking in Achi (not logged). The second part of this video is b-roll of the Pueblo Viejo-Quixal Hydroelectric Project and Chixoy Dam. The third part of this video takes place at a memorial site in a wooded area. There is another interview with the man in the first part of the video (not logged). The fourth part of this video is an interview with Carlos Chen Osorio, a Rio Negro massacre survivor and activist. The fifth part of the video shows black and white photos of the Rio Negro from a book, while two men talk about Rio Negro and the Maya Achi people (not logged). The final part of this video is an interview with a man standing in front of house talking about the housing for the relocated Rio Negro people (not logged).
box folder
1236 B00652
[Plan de Sánchez massacre commemoration / Interview with Ex-PAC leader Juan Reyes / Nueva Esperanza workshop / INEBE Exhumation Part 1]
Footage date-stamped 18 July 2002 documents a ceremony commemorating the Plan de Sánchez massacre, which took place on 18 July 1982.
box folder
1119 B00585
[Rites for people killed in Rio Negro massacre (All Saints Day) / Ceremony with young girls (elección de la madrona)]
Footage of various events in which people pay their respects for those killed in the Rio Negro massacre.
box folder
1182 B01332
[Testimony of former civil patrollers Victor, Sical S Miguel [?] / burial for Panacal massacre victims], part 1
[Testimony of former civil patrollers Victor, Sical S Miguel [?] / burial for Panacal massacre victims], part 2
Testimonial interview with Victor, a farmer and former civil patroller.
II. B-roll Footage, 1996-2002
box folder
1144 B00589
[Buying a property / opening of the Community Museum of Rabinal], part 1
[Buying a property / opening of the Community Museum of Rabinal], part 2
Footage date-stamped 7 February 1999 shows workers celebrating the new farm bought by the foundation that Jesús Tecú Osorio and others created in Guatemala.
box folder
1169 B00609
[Civil Patrollers sentenced in Rio Negro case]
Footage from the sentencing of former civil patrollers Carlos Chen, Pedro González, and Fermín Lajuj Xitumul for their participation in the Rio Negro massacres.
box folder
1145 B00592
[Defendants' statements in the Rio Negro case]
Footage from a court appearance by Carlos Chen, Pedro Gonzalez and Fernin Lajuj, three men who were accused of killing the parents and family of Jesús Tecú Osorio.
box folder
1108 B00569
[Exhumations in Rabinal, Guatemala part 1]
Footage of an exhumation of the massacre site in Rabinal, Guatemala. Footage includes many CUs of exhumation and memorial ceremonies with Maya Achi people around the exhumation site.
box folder
1104 B00567
[Funeral rites and interviews / interview with Jesús Tecú Osorio / beginning exhumation]
Footage date-stamped 13 March 1998 shot at a nighttime memorial commemorating the Rio Negro massacre at the massacre site, Cumbre Pacoxom. Next, an interview with WITNESS partner and massacre survivor Jesus Tecú Osorio. Footage date-stamped 23 March 1998 shows another memorial with mourners. The ceremony involves the slaughter and burning of a chicken. Footage also date-stamped 23 March 1998 shows people at a site called Sarachl, and the preparation for an exhumation. Footage date-stamped 24 March 1998 shows Jesus Tecu Osorio and others in an office, meeting with an unidentified man.
box folder
1140 B00587
[Las Flores farm/testimonies for the creation of museum to commemorate the killings in Rabinal]
Footage date-stamped 17 September 1997 shows a farm called "Las Flores." Footage date-stamped 23 September 1997 shows a meeting between an anthropologist working in Rabinal, some of the relatives of the victims, representatives of other organizations, and community leaders.
box folder
1152 B00594
[Lawyer defends civil patrollers accused in Rio Negro massacre], part 1
[Lawyer defends civil patrollers accused in Rio Negro massacre], part 2
Footage from a public hearing in a courtroom. A lawyer gives a speech defending Carlos Chen, Pedro González Gómez and Fermín Lajuj Xitumul, three patrollers accused of killing two women whose bodies were exhumed from the site of the Rio Negro massacre. The lawyer argues that there is insufficient evidence to corroborate the survivors' testimonies. He argues that the verdict should not rely upon the testimonies of individuals who claim to have witnessed the massacre seventeen years earlier. Tape cuts abruptly to a different setting. There are interviews with two men who witnessed the 1982 massacres. Tape then cuts back to courtroom. The lawyer for the prosecution speaks (not logged).
box folder
1179 B00615
[Maya Achi wedding]
Footage date-stamped 18 December 1998 from a Maya Achi wedding.
box folder
1095 B00657
[Peacful March in Rabinal/Rio Negro memorial/Event at basketball court]
Footage from various events, including a church service and peaceful rally by survivors and families protesting amnesty for perpetrators of the Rio Negro massacres, shot on 29 December 1996; footage of a monument in memory of Rio Negro massacre victims; and an event calling for the fulfillment of peace accords with the Maya Achi people.
box folder
1136 B00586
[Petition against amnesty/Cumbre Pacoxom memorial ceremony], part 1
[Petition against amnesty/Cumbre Pacoxom memorial ceremony], part 2
Footage from a rally in Rabinal and of people mourning at the mass grave site at Cumbre Pacoxom.
box folder
1130 B00584
[Presidential campaign of Arzú / Burial of bones of dead from the 1982 massacre in Plan de Sánchez / Marriage ceremony in Rabinal]
Footage of various events, including a presidential campaign rally, a reinterment ceremony, and a marriage ceremony.
box folder
1141 B00588
[Procession in Santa Cruz, Guatemala]
This video is one of Osorio's attempts to preserve the culture of Rabinal that was almost eradicated during the massacres of indigenous people by the military, most tragically in the 1980s.
box folder
1119 B00585
[Rites for people killed in Rio Negro massacre (All Saints Day) / Ceremony with young girls (elección de la madrona)]
Footage of various events in which people pay their respects for those killed in the Rio Negro massacre.
box folder
1125 B00580
[Speaking event / Rabinal memorial ceremony / theatre works in Santa María Tzejá]
Footage of various events, including a conference or speaking event, a memorial ceremony, and a theatrical performance.
box folder
1192 B00624
[Testimonies from former civil patrollers in the Rio Negro case, part 1], part 1
[Testimonies from former civil patrollers in the Rio Negro case, part 1], part 2
Footage from the trial of Carlos Chen, Pedro González, and Fermín Lajuj Xitumul, three civil patrollers accused of murder as part of their participation in the 1982 Rio Negro massacre. Footage includes testimonies by four former civil patrollers, who were under the command of the accused men. Seated in front of the judges and lawyers in the courtroom, the four men each answer questions about their whereabouts and actions on March 13, 1982. The date-stamp 20 September 1998 appears briefly in the middle of the video.
box folder
1198 B01331
[Testimonies from former civil patrollers in the Rio Negro case, part 2]
Footage from the trial of Carlos Chen, Pedro González, and Fermín Lajuj Xitumul, three civil patrollers accused of murder as part of their participation in the 1982 Rio Negro massacre. Footage includes testimonies by four former civil patrollers, who were under the command of the accused men. Seated in front of the judges and lawyers in the courtroom, the four men each answer questions about their whereabouts and actions on March 13, 1982. The date-stamp 20 September 1998 appears briefly in the middle of the video.
box folder
1174 B00612
[Testimony of General Benedicto Lucas Garcia at trial of former civil patrollers]
Footage from the trial of three Civil Defense Patrollers (PAC) -- Carlos Chen, Pedro González, and Fermín Lajuj Xitumul.
box folder
1189 B00622
[Tour of prospective relocation site for Rio Negro residents/Religious ceremony/Rally in Panzós]
Footage date-stamped 8 May 1997 and 9 May 1997 from a tour of farmland near Pasmolon, Alta Verapaz, offered to the survivors of the Rio Negro massacre now living in Rabinal. Footage date-stamped 28 May 1997 from an unidentified communal gathering followed by a religious service. Footage date stamped 29 May 1997 CU people watching and lining up to sign or give their thumbprint to a petition.

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