In the wake of the Cold War’s end, state violence, militarization, and militarism continue to ravage the Global South. Latin America is no exception, suffering the indelible footprints of prolonged state violence. We maintain that the recovery of historical memory is part of the antidote to historical injustices. Through active recovery of historical memory and records from our base in New York City, HMP is committed:
We share our unique archives of mass atrocities with our audience, providing a comparative lens on state violence, war, and genocide. Our collections expose the Massacres of Panzos in Guatemala, Villa Grimaldi in Chile, and the Santo Tomas Chichicastenango Firefighters’ records registering their daily work during the genocide in Guatemala, to name some of the horrific events, records and sites of memory that demand public attention. Our archives document the Cold War ideologies of National Security and Development embodied in local, U.S.-trained security forces and counterintelligence operations carried out in the region. By publicizing these silenced connections, we promote a humanist community that bears witness to mass atrocities and defends against them.
Media (Coming soon)
Countries (In progress)
In Guatemala, the army and its collaborators launched genocidal campaigns against impoverished poor Maya communities (1981-1983) in more than 600 massacres.
In Chile, the regime of General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte persecuted, detained, disappeared, tortured, killed and sexually abuse thousands of political opponents after his coup d'etat deposing democratically elected socialist President Salvador Allende.
During the genocide in Guatemala, Municipal Firefighters from the Maya township of Santo Tomás Chichicastenango kept a log registering in painstaking detail when the truck went out into the mountains picking up survivors and corpses. Mr. Victor Garcia was part of the team of firefighters.
Professor Marcia Esparza conceived the Historical Memory Project based on her field research experiences with the United Nations’ Historical Clarification Commission, or Truth Commission (1997-1999), which uncovered gruesome war atrocities against the rural Maya people of Guatemala. To continue to reveal state crimes, war, and genocide against the indigenous population, Afro-descendants, workers, students, and peasants, Professor Esparza established Historical Memory Project at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, a public institution serving the children and grandchildren of immigrants, many of whom have vicarious or direct experiences with the brutal realities of state violence, war, and genocide. Nearly 40% of John Jay’s student body is of Latino descent. Since 2002, Historical Memory Project is in direct, constant connection with the bustling diversity and immigrant history of New York City, where the history of wars, genocide, and military dictatorships resonates all too loudly.
The HMP Team is grieving the recent loss of our esteemed Advisory Board Member, renowned criminologist Jock Young, Distinguished Professor, John Jay College and the Graduate Center, CUNY.
We are grateful for the continuous support of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the City College of New York, the Center for Worker’s Education and the larger City University of New York (CUNY) for our endeavors and mission, with particular thanks to the Office for the Advancement of Research at John Jay College.
HMP is proud to work with up-and-coming scholars and human rights defenders by offering Undergraduate and Graduate Internships, as well as opportunities for Post-Doctoral Studies.
Since 2002, HMP is in direct, constant connection with the bustling diversity and immigrant history of New York City, where the history of wars, genocide, and military dictatorships resonates all too loudly.