Discovering Dominga: Film Screening and Discussion with Dominga Sic Ruiz


Location: Room 100-104, McKenna Hall

The Department of Theology and the Common Good Initiative present the PBS documentary Discovering Dominga.

A discussion with Dominga Sic Ruiz about her continuing quest for justice for her Guatemalan community will follow the screening.

Dominga’s Story:

In March 1982, Denese Becker was a nine-year-old Maya girl named Dominga Sic Ruiz living in the highlands in Guatemala, when the Guatemalan army entered the village of Rio Negro. By the time the soldiers left, hundreds of people, including 70 women and 107 children, had been massacred. They became part of the estimated 4,000 to 5,000 killed in the Rio Negro area by military forces from 1980 to 1983. The Rio Negro villagers had been marked as “insurgents” for resisting their forced removal to make way for a World Bank-funded dam.

Dominga, the sole survivor of her family, was moved to an orphanage in Guatemala City and later adopted by an American family in Iowa, where she subsequently grew up.

After living nearly 20 years in America, Denese returned to Guatemala to learn more about the murders of her family members and to seek justice for the perpetrators. Discovering Dominga is the remarkable documentary of her journey.