Human Rights Pursuer Almudena Bernabeu to Be Santa Clara University School of Law Commencement Speaker May 24
SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 2, 2014— The attorney who is helping to prosecute the alleged killers of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador in 1989 will be the featured commencement speaker at Santa Clara University School of Law.
Almudena Bernabeu has spent more than 16 years pursuing justice for victims of human rights abuses across Latin America, Africa, and the world. She will speak to the 2014 graduates of Santa Clara University School of Law on May 24 at 9:30 a.m. in the University’s Mission Gardens.
Bernabeu is an attorney with the Center for Justice and Accountability, a nonprofit human rights law firm in San Francisco, where she leads the center’s Latin America and Transitional Justice Programs.
She is the lead private prosecutor on the high-profile case, under way before the Spanish National Court, against the Salvadoran officials alleged to be behind the massacre of six Jesuit priests, as well as their housekeeper and her daughter in 1989. She also represented survivors of the Guatemalan genocide (including Nobel laureate Rigoberto Menchú Tum). She and her team’s relentless and exhaustive work to find evidence in the Guatemalan genocide case is featured in the 2011 documentary Granito: How to Nail a Dictator.
She studied at the University of Virginia, received her law degree from the University of Valencia School of Law, and is a Ph.D. candidate in public international law at UNED University in Spain. She is vice president of the Spanish Association for Human Rights, and serves as an adviser at the International Human Rights Clinic at Santa Clara University School of Law. She is a member of the board of the Peruvian Institute of Forensic Anthropology and the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation. She was awarded SCU’s 2012 Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize for her dogged pursuit of justice for the victims of human rights abuses across the world.