We are a learning resource that documents and advocates for truth, historical memory, justice and public access to state violence war and genocide archives in Latin America. We collect and disseminate evidence, artifacts, and materials from the Cold War years, with special attention to their aftermath. We invite our audience to join us in bearing witness not only to state violence, war, and genocide, but also to heroic struggles and the triumph of the tireless human spirit.
We study and present collective efforts to preserve historical memory in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Guatemala, linking these with similar struggles in Africa, Asia, and Europe. In doing so, we bring together a wide, diverse audience – students, policymakers, sociologists, criminologists, anthropologists, photographers, lawyers, human rights activists, and survivors – to engage historical memory and to participate in justice events and processes across borders. In addition, we trace broad and concrete connections between state crime and its legacies around the world.
Professor Esparza conceived the HMP based on her experiences with the United Nations’ Historical Clarification Commission, or Truth Commission (1997-1999), which uncovered gruesome war atrocities against the rural Mayan people of Guatemala.
To continue to reveal state crimes, war, and genocide against the indigenous population, Afro-descendants, workers, students, and peasants, Professor Esparza established HMP at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, a public institution serving the children and grandchildren of immigrants, many of whom have vicarious or direct experiences with the brutal realities of state violence, war, and genocide. Nearly 40% of John Jay’s student body is of Latino descent.
Since 2002, HMP is in direct, constant connection with the bustling diversity and immigrant history of New York City, where the history of wars, genocide, and military dictatorships resonates all too loudly.