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Book of the Quarter

La Verdad Y La Justicia, Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Wednesday, November 12
4 - 5:15 p.m., Reception to Follow
Saint Clare Room, 3rd Floor
Learning Commons, Technology Center, and Library

The library is pleased to host a discussion on La Verdad: Witness to the Salvadoran Martyrs, by Lucia Cerna and Mary Jo Ignoffo. Lucia Cerna and Mary Jo Ignoffo will reflect together with Luis Calero, S.J. on the events of November 16, 1989 and share about the larger context, implications, and significance of this anniversary for El Salvador, the United States, and Santa Clara University.

This event is co-sponsored by the Library and the Bannan Institute.

About the Book

In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the assassination of the Jesuits and their collaborators at the Universidad de Centroamerica (UCA) in El Salvador, Santa Clara University co-published with Orbis Press: La Verdad: Witness to the Salvadoran Martyrs. La Verdad is the firsthand account of the El Salvador martyrdoms and the process of resettling in the United States by Lucia Cerna, a housekeeper at the UCA, accompanied by a reading of El Salvador's history and the vagaries of the American immigration system by local scholar and professor, Mary Jo Ignoffo.

About the Authors

Lucia Cerna is a native of El Salvador and during the 1980s worked as a housekeeper in the administration offices of the Jesuits at the Universidad Centroamericano, San Salvador. When a battle of that country's civil war made it too dangerous to remain in her home, she and her family sought refuge from the Jesuits of the UCA. On the same night she arrived at the campus in 1989, six of the Jesuits and two women were shot by Salvadoran military personnel. Cerna was the only witness willing to come forward to report what she had seen. As a result of her testimony, she had to leave El Salvador, and upon entering the US, was detained and interrogated by the US State Department and the FBI. Her witness and the subsequent interrogation are reported in La Verdad. In the U.S., she and her husband raised their daughter, and she earned certification as a nursing assistant, eventually rising to a training position. Cerna retired after twenty years in the health care field.

Mary Jo Ignoffo teaches history at De Anza College in Cupertino, California, specializing in modern U.S., California and local history. She has authored six books, and her Gold Rush Politics was the California State Senate's commemorative book in honor of California's Sesquicentennial. Ignoffo's articles or book reviews have appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, Santa Clara Magazine, The Californian, and California History. Ignoffo has worked as a preservation consultant, and as curator for more than a dozen installations at history museums in the San Francisco Bay Area. La Verdad, her latest book, is based on oral history interviews with co-author Lucía Cerna, the only witness to come forward to the 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests and two women on the campus of Universidad Centroamericano, San Salvador.

About the Interviewer

Luis Calero, S.J. is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Santa Clara University. Professor Calero's academic background in cultural anthropology has centered on the study of indigenous and peasant cultures of Latin America. He has carried out field research in Andean South America and Central America focusing on questions of ethno-history, cultural and environmental survival, sustainable development, globalization, and migration. Professor Calero received his Ph.D. in Latin American Studies, with an emphasis in anthropology, history, and geography, from UC Berkeley. He earned a master's in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, and a bachelor's in philosophy from Loyola University in New Orleans. For over a decade, Professor Calero has accompanied the faculty and staff delegation to El Salvador and served for several years as the Bannan Faculty Fellow in the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education.

Oct 13, 2015