The precedent-setting case of Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori, who was the first democratically elected president to be convicted of human rights crimes in his home country, will be shared in a free lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Jo-Marie Burt, director of Latin American Studies at George Mason University, will speak Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. in Room 221 of the Noel Fine Arts Center, 1800 Portage St. Her presentation, “Guilty as Charged: The Human Rights Trial of Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori,” is part of the Latin American/Caribbean Speaker Series sponsored by the College of Letters and Science. The lecture is open to the public free of charge.
President Fujimori was found guilty of four counts of grave human rights violations in 2009 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Drawing on theories in political science and legal studies, Burt, who has written extensively about the case, will explore the factors that made this prosecution possible and its implications for democracy and contemporary politics in Peru and Latin America. She will also reflect on the broader implications of the trial for the theory and practice of transitional justice and trends in international human rights.
“The Fujimori trial and conviction was a watershed moment for global justice efforts,” says Burt. “In a continent in which impunity for egregious human rights violations has been the norm, Peru has demonstrated that it is possible to secure justice for victims and their families.”
Burt is also co-director of the Center for Global Studies and associate professor of political science at George Mason University. Her research focuses on state violence, human rights and transitional justice; social movements and revolutions; and democracy and civil society in Latin America. She brings years of experience to her classroom, having worked with human rights organizations in Latin America and the U.S., including Peru’s National Human Rights Coordinator, Peace and Justice Service -Uruguay, and the Washington Office on Latin America, where she is currently a Senior Fellow. A book on the Fujimori trial and conviction is also in progress.
For more information, contact Jennifer Collins, assistant professor of political science at UW-Stevens Point, at 715-346-2439 or Jennifer.Collins@uwsp.edu.