Why have I never heard this story?

Why have I never heard this story? February 2, 2017

Meet Dianna Ortiz:

Dianna Ortiz (born 1961) is an American Roman Catholic nun of the Ursuline order. While serving as a missionary in Guatemala in 1989, she was abducted on November 2 by members of the Guatemalan military, detained and tortured for 24 hours before being released. After her release, Ortiz reported that an American was among her captors. This part of her account could not be confirmed.

Ortiz pursued her case in a Guatemala court and in a United States civil court. In the latter, she was the first to seek civil damages under the Torture Victim Protection Act passed in 1992. She filed a case against the Guatemalan Minister of Defense, General Héctor Gramajo, in power at the time of her abduction, arguing that he had command authority. In 1995 she was awarded $5 million in damages. She also filed a case with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.

In 1996, as a result of protests by Ortiz and others, as well as revelations of unauthorized CIA funding of the Guatemala military, which had been prohibited by Congress in 1990, President Bill Clinton ordered the release of CIA papers associated with her case, and the declassification of decades of documents related to US relations with Guatemala. These showed that a Guatemala colonel paid by the CIA was implicated in the deaths of the American Michael DeVine in 1990 and guerrilla leader Efraín Bámaca Velásquez in 1993. Congress closed down the CIA program. It also showed decades of United States support of Guatemala during its genocide of its rural indigenous people.

The Center for Constitutional Rights represented Ortiz in her civil case and before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, which found in 1997 that the State of Guatemala had violated numerous articles of the American Convention on Human Rights in regard to Ortiz. It recommended that the government complete its long-delayed investigation and that it provide compensation to Ortiz.

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