Sister Dianna Ortiz – Torture Survivor, Human Rights Champion

As a young nun, Sister Dianna Ortiz went to Guatemala to teach indigenous children and support those being devastated by the military. She was kidnapped and severely tortured, in the presence of a man with an American accent. He took her away from there; fearing for her life, she jumped out of the car and ran. Vilified when she sought truth and justice, emotionally wrecked, she was helped by staying at the Marjorie Kovler Center for Survivors of Torture in Chicago. She went on to be a major campaigner for those whose human rights had been violated, in Guatemala and around the world. Since her death in 2021, she is venerated like a saint by many. A school is named for her in the indigenous community where she taught.

Speakers: Maria Emilia Martin, documentary producer; Dianna Mae Ortiz, nun, teacher, torture survivor, activist; Chico Martin, church sacristan in the community of San Miguel Acatan, province of Huehuetenango, Guatemala; Pat Davis, co-writer of Ortizs memoir, The Blindfold’s Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth; Sister Alice Zachmann, founder of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA.

The Women’s International News Gathering Service (WINGS) has been covering the global women’s movement and related issues for community radio around the world since 1986. Contact WINGS at “[email protected] or [email protected]”.

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