"The fact that I am alive today is thanks to PBI. For three years, I had permanent PBI accompaniment. They went everywhere with me. Sometimes Peace Brigades itself doesn’t even know the value of their presence and what they prevent or deter. The only day a PBI volunteer was not with me was the day the Army took me." - Carlos Gomez, Guatemalan Human Rights Activist
Carlos Gomez is a high profile human rights advocate who was protected by Peace Brigades International in Guatemala for three years, from 1994-1997.
One night, he videotaped U.S. Army helicopters landing near a displaced persons camp in a remote mountainous region of Guatemala. He fled the forest and tried to deliver the film to the network news media, but was abducted from a bus by armed men. He suffered torture and imprisonment, for which he later required five years of psycho-social rehabilitation.
The Guatemalan military and their agents actually tried to kill Carlos twice while he was being hospitalized and even after he arrived in Chicago by a medical helicopter.
Today, Carlos lives in Chicago and advocates for Guatemalan human rights with other solidarity groups. This is the first time he has shared his story with PBI supporters.
Reach Carlos at: The Foundation for Human Rights in Guatemala, 6210 N. Rockwell, Chicago, Il 60659.