Last week in a Boston courtroom, a jury found the mayor of a small town in southwest Haiti liable of killing one man and torturing and trying to kill two others. The plaintiffs – David Boniface, Nissandère Martyr, and Juders Ysemé – spent a decade trying to hold Jean Morose Viliena accountable. They filed criminal cases in Haiti and even asked the United Nations for help. But nothing worked. Until now.
The determined victims and their creative lawyers used a U.S. human rights law, the Torture Victims Protection Act, to finally find justice. The case provides a blueprint for victims to hold abusers accountable when every other option has failed.
Joining us to understand this case are two of the lawyers who made it happen. Daniel McLaughlin and Ela Matthews are attorneys at the Center for Justice & Accountability, a nonprofit organization that uses the law to fight human rights abuses.
Listen to the podcast (transcript available as well) by clicking below.