Panel discusses merits of documentary to offer evidence for genocide trial

GranitoHow does the 2011 documentary film, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, offer evidence to put Efrain Rios Mont, former general and Guatemalan president, on trial for genocide? That’s what a three-person panel will discuss, following a screening of the film.

The screening and panel discussion will take place Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6:30pm at 1014 Ignat Kaneff Building, Osgoode Hall Law School, Keele campus. Pay what you can ($5 suggested). The event is sponsored by the Canadian Centre for International Justice Toronto Working Group in partnership with the Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security and the Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean (CERLAC).

Granito is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala’s past, and how a documentary film intertwined with a nation’s turbulent history emerges as an active player in the present. The characters sift for clues buried in archives of mind and place and historical memory, seeking to uncover a narrative that could unlock the past and settle matters of life and death in the present.

Each of the five main characters whose destinies collide in the film are connected by the Guatemala of 1982, then engulfed in a war where a genocidal scorched earth campaign by the military exterminated nearly 200,000 Maya people.

The panellists will explore the issues raised by the film.


Omar Cano, Guatemalan journalist and president of ASOGUATE, the Guatemalan Canadian Association.

York Professor Carlota McAllister of the Department of Anthropology, whose research focuses on the formation of political and moral agency in situations of violent conflict, particularly Guatemala.

Caren Weisbart, a York PhD candidate and the 2011 winner of CERLAC’s Michael Baptista Essay Prize for her analysis of contemporary political economy and cultural politics in Guatemala.

For more information, visit the CERLAC website.