Stories of Genocide and Hope in Guatemala: Film Screening and Discussion with Dominga Sic Ruiz


The Notre Dame Theology Department and the Common Good Initiative are pleased to present the PBS documentary, Discovering Dominga, and a discussion with Dominga Sic Ruiz about her continuing quest for justice for her Guatemalan community.

Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, McKenna Hall, Rm. 100-104

Film Screening: 6:30-7:30pm, Discussion with Dominga: 7:30-8:30pm

Dominga's Story:

In March 13, 1982, Denese Becker was a nine-year-old Maya girl named Dominga Sic Ruiz living in the highlands in Guatemala, when the Guatemalan army entered the village of Rio Negro. By the time the soldiers left, hundreds of people, including 70 women and 107 children, had been massacred and dumped in a mass grave. They became part of the estimated 4,000 to 5,000 men, women, and children killed in the Rio Negro area by military forces from 1980 to 1983. The Rio Negro villagers had been marked as "insurgents" for resisting their forced removal to make way for a World Bank-funded dam.

Two of the people murdered were Denese's mother and father. Denese was able to survive by hiding out in the forest with her baby sister for two weeks; the baby was not able to survive the ordeal. Denese was moved to an orphanage in Guatemala City and later adopted by an American family in Iowa, where she subsequently grew up.

After living nearly 20 years in America, Denese returned to Guatemala to learn more about the murders of her family members and to seek justice for the perpetrators. Discovering Dominga is the remarkable documentary of Denese’s (now Dominga Sic Ruiz) journey.

For more information on the film, see the following links:

Please join us on Saturday, February 15 as graduate students from across the country come together to continue the conversation at the Mission of Academics in the Context of Suffering Conference.  All conference activities will be held in McKenna Hall.  Talks will begin at 9 a.m.