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Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory, and Justice in Guatemala | [Ana Arana, Sebastian Rotella]

Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory, and Justice in Guatemala

In 1982, at the height of Guatemala’s civil war, 20 soldiers from the army’s commando unit, called the Kaibiles, invaded the farming village of Dos Erres. Masquerading as leftist guerillas, the squad members cut their way through the small town, killing more than 250 men, women, and children. Only a handful of people survived. One of them, a young boy, was adopted by Kaibil lieutenant Ramrez and raised by Ramrez’s family, who named him Oscar. Just three years old at the time of the massacre, Oscar grew up unaware of his true origins. It wasn’t until almost 30 years later, living in the suburbs of Boston with a family of his own, that Oscar would learn the truth.
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Audible Editor Reviews

As civil war raged in Guatemala, 20 soldiers posing as leftist sympathizers led a raid on small rural village Dos Eries, leading to a brutal massacre that left no known survivors, or so it was thought. Thirty years later, Oscar Ramrez, now a family man living in Massachusetts, would learn of how the man he knew as his father had participated in the Dos Erres Massacre, abducting the three year old Oscar to raise as his own. Performer Kevin Stillwell deftly weaves the authors' volumes of meticulous research with the inescapable emotion of Ramrez' jarring discovery. Beginning with a lone survivor, Finding Oscar tells the story of the Guatemalan people as they struggle to bring justice to a troubled past.

Publisher's Summary

The harrowing and heartrending story of Guatemala’s Dos Erres massacre, and the survivors whose lives were forever changed by it

In 1982, at the height of Guatemala’s civil war, 20 soldiers from the army’s commando unit, called the Kaibiles, invaded the farming village of Dos Erres. Masquerading as leftist guerillas, the squad members cut their way through the small town, killing more than 250 men, women, and children. Only a handful of people survived. One of them, a young boy, was adopted by Kaibil lieutenant Ramrez and raised by Ramrez’s family, who named him Oscar. Just three years old at the time of the massacre, Oscar grew up unaware of his true origins. It wasn’t until almost 30 years later, living in the suburbs of Boston with a family of his own, that Oscar would learn the truth.

Drawn from interviews with massacre survivors, commandos-turned-protected witnesses, lawyers, and forensic anthropologists, Finding Oscar is a powerful, groundbreaking investigation into the Dos Erres massacre and its aftermath. It is an unforgettable account of the secret abductions of Dos Erres survivors, the mission to bring the perpetrators to justice, and the courage of the Guatemalan people.

©2012 Pro Publica, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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    Robyn 08-07-13
    Robyn 08-07-13

    Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime.

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    "highly recommended"

    This book is compelling and poignant. The title says it all: it's the story of a massacre, people's memories of it, the consequences and, finally, justice and a sad but heartwarming final scene. It held my interest all the way through and I 'read' it in one session. It is well written and the narration is perfect. You get more than your money's worth with this book.

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