Participants

Karin in Quetzaltenango, a few hours before the appeal in the case of Kelly's murder.

Karin in Quetzaltenango, a few hours before the appeal in the case of Kelly's murder.

Kelly

Kelly

Micaela Saquic and her children.

Micaela Saquic and her children.

Astrid.

Astrid.

Francisco and his son Benjamin, who was kidnapped.

Francisco and his son Benjamin, who was kidnapped.

Hortensia mourning her daughter Kelly. ©El Quetzalteco

Hortensia mourning her daughter Kelly. ©El Quetzalteco

Hortensia Reyes and Jose Diaz, Kelly's parents.

Hortensia Reyes and Jose Diaz, Kelly's parents.

Astrid's family in Guatemala.

Astrid's family in Guatemala.

Mardoqueo and Benjamin who were kidnapped with their mother Micaela Saquic.

Mardoqueo and Benjamin who were kidnapped with their mother Micaela Saquic.

Norma Cruz, the founder of Sobrevivientes, with Karin.

Norma Cruz, the founder of Sobrevivientes, with Karin.

We have had to deal with everything, good things, bad things, manipulation, criticism, yet we are still fighting so that this doesn’t go unpunished, that even if we are humble people, we can make the country change if we keep fighting.
— Karin

Karin Gramajo

Karin lives in Quetzaltenango, in Guatemala with her three children. Her younger cousin Kelly Margoth Diaz Reyes, who would have turned 20 in 2013, was brutally killed in March 2011 after being kidnapped by a gang. The family worked with the police to make sure the murderers are sentenced to lengthy prison sentences. It worked out as 4 men were sentenced to more than 100 years in prison at the end of 2011. But the family of Kelly was threatened and decided to leave Guatemala to go to the US. Karin decided to stay in Quet- zaltenango and devotes all her time fighting for justice. She helps families victims of kidnappings, rapes and murders like the family of Micaela Carac Saquic, who was beaten up to death in April 2013. 

I was barely 14 years old. I remember I went out to buy some stuff for my sister’s homework and for me. When I got off the bus, I saw a black car that passed. I had not walked much, when I felt that two people grabbed me
— Astrid

Astrid Elias Macario

Astrid is 20 years old. She is undocumented and lives LA with her parents and her younger sister, who are also undocumented. She was kidnapped in June 2007 and set free after her family paid a ransom. She fled to the US in 2010 and was caught at the border by the border patrol. She was etained for 2 months and then released to her parents pending the outcome of her deportation proceedings. 2013 is a crucial year for her because she will know if she can stay in the US or if she will be deported back to Guatemala. 

You couldn’t see her face. She had no skin. She had no more hair. And she had cement. I only saw her nose and said “It’s my wife”.
— Francisco

Francisco Saquic

Francisco Saquic just lost his wife, Micaela. She was kidnapped and murdered by 2 female gang members, who wanted to sell her 2 young children for adoption. The 2 children were released Francisco is extremely poor but vowed to make sure that the murderers of his wife would be sen- tenced to prison. He travels for more than 4 hours each way to attend court audiences. And Karin Gramajo helps him deal with the Justice system.

Astrid was raped, but it may not be enough to win an asylum case. And at the last hearing, the immigration judge basically said “no.” But tomorrow is a new day.
— Andrea

Andrea Garcia

Andrea Garcia is a young lawyer in Los Angeles. In 2011, she agreed to take Astrid’s case pro bono. It has been uphill battle for her as there are no precedents in US asylum law for cases like Astrid’s. And she is basically dealing with this case on her own. 

In the first months of the trial, we left the country.  The prosecutor told us that if we could leave the country, we should leave because he had seen many cases in which prisoners had people on the outside who could hurt you. 
— Francisco

Jose Diaz

Jose is Kelly’s father. Jose agreed to talk about his daughter’s murder despite the fact that his family still receives threats from gang members, who were not arrested at the time of Kelly’s kidnapping. Jose has a visa to stay in the U.S. but many of his children are undocumented.

I have no fear. I trust God that the judges will do justice. They will not do anything wrong. They will give us justice. Because how would all this end? How can we clean the people and the country? We have to fight for justice.
— Hortensia

Hortensia Reyes

Hortensia is Kelly's mother. She was kidnapped with her daughter but the kidnappers decided to leave her behind, when they took Kelly away. For the past 4 years, she has been fighting for justice for her daughter despite the fact that she had to leave Guatemala and emigrate to the US for her own protection. 

We met Karin and her family and they were very involved in the process. It’s very rare that a family gets involved so much in a process, because they’re scared that something could happen to them.
— Rodolfo

Rodolfo Diaz

Rodolfo is a lawyer for the Sobrevivientes Foundation in Guatemala. He is handling cases of femicides and kidnappings. He is the lawyer who is in charge of Kelly's and Micaela's cases. He is also a young father and an avid soccer player. 

We are part of a society that tolerates violence and where sexual abuse is accepted. And it is also something that was accepted and planned during the civil war that lasted 36 years.
— Norma

Norma Cruz

Norma Cruz is one of the most famous Guatemalan human rights activist. She has devoted her life fighting against violence against women, after her own daughter was raped. Through her foundation Sobrevivientes, she helped Karin and Kelly’s family, when Kelly was mur- dered. She now helps the family of Micaela Carac Saquic. In 2009, the US State Department named Norma Cruz an International Woman of Courage.