PRI’s “The World” interviews Kate Doyle

May 16, 2012

Kate Doyle accepts the 2012 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism. Photo Len Tsou.

Lisa Mullens interviewed ALBA/Puffin Award winner Doyle on the Public Radio International program The World. Doyle discusses her work in Guatemala and Peru. You can listen to the full hour-long program, or just the interview with Kate, titled “Documenting Latin America’s Painful Past.” (Transcript here.) “Yes, it is scary to go up against human rights criminals,” Doyle tells Mullens. “But I think all of us who do this work, that when we get to go up against them in a court of law, we feel that we are a participating in history…”

Asked about the notion that it is better for Latin America to forget about its violent past, Doyle says: “Latin America suffered its own kind of holocaust in the 20th century. It is hard for us as U.S. citizens to conceive of the dimensions of violence that took place during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s basically on behalf of an anti-communist ideology that the United States promulgated in the region. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Civilians, unarmed civilians were killed, hundreds of thousands more were disappeared by their governments. The family members of the disappeared will never forget what happened and will never walk away from the fate of their loved ones. So to me it’s a false argument this idea that you can somehow bury a past as painful as that. Ignore the continued search on the part of the hundreds of thousands of people for mothers and sons and sisters and brothers. And somehow pretend that healthy functioning democratic societies can go forward without coming to terms with the fact that their own institutions targeted their civilians for death.”

Listen to the whole interview here.