Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: Do They Do Justice to Justice?
October 23 - 25, 2007 Convened by Padraig O'Malley, Moakley Chair for Peace and Reconciliation
Participants from El Salvador, Chile, Guatemala and South Africa who had been part of a truth and reconcilation process, gathered at UMass Boston to lend their experience to those from Northern Ireland who are beginning the process of examining their history. A representative from Serbia will help determine if another conference of this sort should be held.
"In May 2007, bitter political enemies became partners in a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland. Now that there is peace, can reconciliation follow?"
"What was it all about? Apartheid, racism, and a skewed division of the resources of our rich and beautiful country." - Mary Burton, South Africa
- Cath Collins is a professor at the Universidad Diego Portales in Chile and an associate fellow at the Irish School of Ecumenics in Belfast.
- Mark Ensalaco is the author of Chile under Pinochet: Uncovering the Truth and professor at the University of Dayton.
- Luciano Fouillioux was a member of the National Commission set up to qualify cases of victims of political detention and torture (2003-2005).
- Gerson Martinez is a Deputy in El Salvador’s unicameral Legislative Assembly and co-founder of the FMLN Party.
- Rodolfo Parker is the Secretary-General of the Christian Democrat Party and former Legal Advisor of the Armed Forces during some years of the conflict.
- Ricardo Paredes is ambassador to Japan from El Salvador and co-founder of the Institute for Central America Strategic Studies.
- Oscar Santamaria was the minister in charge of the process of Compliance with and Execution of the Peace Agreements by the Government of El Salvador (1992–1995).
- Jose Maria Argueta has served as Guatemala’s ambassador to Peru and Japan. He served as the National Security Advisor to President Ramiro de Leon Carpio.
- Mario Mérida has served as the director of the Guatemala Army Intelligence Department (1993) and Vice-Minister of Government (1994).
- Mary Burton served as a commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa.
- Mac Maharaj served twelve years on Robben Island in prison with Nelson Mandela, was a key player in the liberation movement, and served in Mandela’s government.
- Piers Pigou is the director of the South African History Archive, an activist archive dedicated to archiving past and contemporary struggles for justice in South Africa.
- Thulani Peter Grenville Grey is the longest serving member of the South African TRC.
- Jan Wagener is an attorney who has represented those being tried under the TRC for apartheid-era crimes.
- Alan McBride is Centre Coordinator at the WAVE Trauma Centre in Belfast and a member of the board of Healing Through Remembering.
- Ryan Gawn works with Save the Children UK as International External Relations Coordinator.
- Frank Gallagher is a leading member of the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG).
- Brandon Hamber is the Research Coordinator of INCORE and Chairperson of Healing Through Remembering.
- Monica McWilliams was appointed Chief Commissioner for Human Rights in Northern Ireland from September 2005 and was a signatory to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
- Dawn Purvis, MLA, is the leader of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) in Northern Ireland.
- Marie Breen Smyth is Director of the Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Contemporary Political Violence at the University of Wales and Treasurer of Healing Through Remembering.
- Mark Thompson is the Director of Relatives for Justice, a victim support NGO.
- Irwin Turbitt is a senior fellow at Warwick University’s Institute of Governance and Public Management.
- Paul O’Connor is Project Coordinator, Pat Finucane Centre for Human Rights, and Coordinator of the Recovery of Living Memory Archive.
- Vesna Nikolic-Ristanovic is the director of the Victimology Society of Serbia and a professor of criminology at Belgrade University.