Ortiz v. Gramajo – International Human Rights and Solidarity – CCR Docket Fall 1991

Sister Dianna Ortiz, a U.S. nun who was living and teaching literacy and religion to school children in Antigua, Guatemala, was abducted by military and security personnel under the direction and control of Hector Gramajo.

Ortiz was stripped, raped, burned with a lit cigarette, and held in a pit filled with dead bodies and live rats while being interrogated for a period of twenty-four hours, until a man who spoke Spanish with a U.S. accent suddenly exclaimed, “Idiots, she is a North American. Let her alone. It’s already on the news and on television.” He drove her to

Guatemala City where she jumped from the car and escaped, and then returned to the United States. Ortiz still suffers the effects of the torture. CCR filed suit on her behalf in June 1991, in the District Court of Massachusetts, seeking compensation for personal injury and also for defamation stemming from Gramajo’s false public statements that Ortiz’ abduction and torture were the result of a love affair.

Gramajo responded pro se but failed to provide his current address or to send his answer to plaintiffs’ attorneys. CCR filed a motion requesting both.

Beth Stephens, Michael Ratner, Mary M. Gundrum, and Jose Luis Mor[n, with Paul Soreff, Alison, Soreff & Garber; and Mark A. Simonoff, Hill & Barlow