The Rochester Committee on Latin America presents:

Reverend Dr. William Wipfler

El Salvador: The Struggle Against the Impunity of Violators of Human Rights* 

September 9, 2015, 7 PM

Downtown United Presbyterian Church, 121 North Fitzhugh St.

*Impunity means “exemption from punishment or loss or escape from fines.” In the international law of human rights, it refers to the failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice and, as such, itself constitutes a denial of the victims’ right to justice and redress.

The Reverend William Wipfler, an Episcopal priest, has been involved in the struggle for human rights in Latin America for sixty years and is uniquely qualified to tell this story.  He has received numerous awards for his work including the Letelier-Moffit Human Rights Award in 1980, commendations from the Governments of Chile (2001) and Brazil (2013) for “his contribution to the restoration of democracy and human rights,” and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 2007 from the General Theological Seminary.

Dr. Wipfler will discuss the human rights violations that took place in El Salvador during the Salvadoran Civil War from 1979-1992, including the assassination of his friend, Archbishop Oscar Romero, and the ongoing failures to prosecute these crimes. Despite an estimated 70,000-80,000 deaths, mostly at the hands of the Salvadoran military and death squads, 8,000 disappeared Salvadorans, 550,000 internally displaced people and 500,000 refugees in other countries, few perpetrators have been brought to justice. In 2015, Dr. Wipfler received a personal invitation from the Roman Catholic Church of El Salvador to participate in the Beatification ceremony of the martyred Archbishop Romero.  In October 2015, he will receive the Unitas Distinguished Alumni Award from Union Theological Seminary.

Join ROCLA for this special program!

Free and open to the public; accessible for those with mobility impairments and looped for the hearing impaired.