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Sister Dianna Ortiz—US Nun Who Survived Guatemala Torture to Become Human Rights Champion—Dies at 62

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/02/21/sister-dianna-ortiz-us-nun-who-survived-guatemala-torture-become-human-rights


A US court held others accountable for their misdeeds, which of the US evildoers were punished?


What a terrible, terrible ordeal. What a terrible story.

“The U.S. government funded, trained, and equipped the Guatemalan army’s death squads—my torturers themselves.”


Dorothy Kazel of Cleveland, Ohio,
Cleveland region sent sisters and priests to central America from WW2 through 1992. I recollect one of my dads school mates coming home to retirement after spending his whole priestly career in Guatemala. They were together every morning for mass. After my dad’s funeral, the good father retired, again!
One order, in Chardon, had a high school boarding for the teen daughters of the DC ambassadors from central america. They were blond and blue eyed. Their dads would have a turn as the nations el presidente’.

I am greatly saddened for Dianna’s terrible experiences. Yes, our army does train the central american armies. And they are brutal.


Rest in peace, Sister.


The early church’s original purpose of having certain people declare themselves as celibate had to do with the Romans torturing people to death through crucifixion and through feeding them to lions for public sport. Sister Dianna Ortiz enlisted in this cause. She then went to Guatemala. She spoke out. She almost died and then she bore her inner wounds for the rest of her life. This happened then and this happens today.

Best guess, Sister Dianna would say that she was doing her job.


This atrocity against Sister Dianna Ortiz only one of thousands, that were direct products of official and clandestine US policy in Central and South America!

Those policies provided and supported the training, arming, recruitment and funding, brainwashing and incitement of utterly depraved right-wing “anti-communist” terrorist killers; a reality that murdered and kept Guatemala and other nations from evolving into democratic states - kept from reforming the policies of oligarchic rule and corrupt power of US corporations that owned many nations, like United Fruit and others.

The abomination that was/is the School of the Americas provided the terrorist military training, the US Congress provided funding and arms while others were secretly provided by CIA and other spook alphabet agencies.
The terrorism that was and remains the reality in Latin America, Central America especially, created the current refugee crises with military, governments and hyper-violent criminal gangs ruling over the vast majority of people.

The terrorist state is the United States, the criminal killers and their handlers/bosses/presidents never brought to justice; a truth that remains to this very day! That same mindset and legacy of government policy and spook agency terrorism remains active today in other parts of the world, evolved partly into vast military interventions that divert/steal financial resources and progress from our civilian needs and priorities - the Military Industrial Congressional Complex MICC; a de facto military dictatorship and premeditated construct of adoration of the military as “patriots”,.rather than knowing or unknowing tools of oppression, death and destruction - with corrupt “rebuilding” lie thrown in to rub salt into the woulds of many peoples…





The terrorism of US spook agencies, the US government itself, its co-conspirator tools, bit-players and “Manchurian” agents, killers and dupes, included crimes and assassinations against our own people, elected politicians and civilian leaders, some proven, some inferred, some white-washed via “Commissions” and BS “evidence” and other manipulated lies, and some recently revealed including the murder assassination of Malcolm X.

" Almost 56 years since the day [Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City, lawyers and family members of the late civil rights and Black nationalist leader released new evidence they claim shows the NYPD and FBI conspired in his murder."

And the beat goes on…



Thank you for this fine news feature, Brett, recounting the late Sister Dianna Ortiz and her life and work, particularly with the people of Guatemala, 1987-89.

“Her legacy is a witness to nonviolence and to love in the face of evil and to redemption.”
Ursuline Sister Larraine Lauter

Dubuque is home to a growing community of Guatemala expats, and a relative is close with this community.

Sister Dianna’s earthly life and suffering are over, and may she now rest in power, and in peace and joy.


I have to acknowledge her bravery, but her motivation (so that children could read the bible!) sucked. If fewer grew up in thrall to the RC religion, it’s quite possible that more would fight back against the US-trained psychopaths.

What a damned waste.


Her legacy of love the enemy also reveals the truth of American CIA driven foreign policy: torture and surveillance to silence those supporting the Christian “preferential option for the poor” (Catholic Church in central America, 1980’s). With Julian Assange’s torturous imprisonment for revealing American militarism, her book: The Blindfold’s Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth, is a must read for how love and truth are one.


She should have been teaching them the Communist manifesto instead. Christianity has provided cover for American slave owners, the American imperial government and global genocide since Europeans landed int he Americas. I don’t think that Sister Ortiz did anything bad by teaching people to read and write (even if it were using a bible!) and she is a hero. But like most Americans, she had no idea when she began that her government was the anti-Christ in the flesh.
Today slavery continues in Guatemala with the U.S. supporting whatever evil dictatorship they install. Biden will make sure that the U.S. continues its legacy of slavery throughout Latin America and the killings will continue until Americans can get rid of these two evil Party’s that pretend to represent us. I hope I live long enough to see a Party in the U.S. that takes a stand against genocide and war, but I won’t hold my breath.


When I started reading this article I mused “why does a good, caring person have to die, but scum-of-the-earth trump lives on to do even more damage?” But the further into the article I read I realized that making this about good vs evil falls far short of what her life was a testament to – she lived her life the way she saw fit and gave that other human beings would find strength, love and courage. She … and her actions, are what we should all aspire to!


You do have a point there.

I was raised RC, and can tell you that what she “gave” was the message that everyone must find the strength to tolerate abuse, experience a quasi-sexual love of the abuse and abusers, and have the courage to die without ever lifting a hand against their killers. “Mother” Theresa, who may have been psychotic but was more likely a neurotic psychopath who encouraged others to suffer and die “for Christ” but chose never to suffer a single minute herself if spending money could prevent it, would have approved of her.

She wasted her life preserving the hegemony of abusers and killers.

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That period in SA was about the time I stopped reading about it. I just couldnt take it. My children were young and I had some literature about it on my coffee table. About what was going on with the CIA backed torturing and murdering and disappearing folks…all without even a burp in the US msm, the alleged free press. Its very alienating to actually know what is going on! My little girl was just a toddler but it suddenly struck me that I could do?NOTHING to change what was going on, except contribute financially to various causes fighting that shite.
I didnt want my young kids finding this horror in amongst the other reading material. And now?I mean the US has learned?NOTHING. They still dont even honestly deal with their"legacy" there, in the ME or in Africa. Indeed all I see?Is that the situation is much worse now, the evil more completely entrenched. Murderers for hire like the rapture nut and crazed murdering pig, **Eric Prince?**For all of his evil[what else to call it?]deeds?He was?REWARDED. He now walks the corridors of power all over the planet. He is not pro-democracy,DOH.Thats just for the plebs. He is on a mission from gawd to kill all the muslims. Sick men like him?fit right in to the so called “goals” of the US military. The US is a fascist power and has been for a very long time. What do you call a country that starts a bloody war for oil and STEALS that oil right in front of the whole world and gets away with it?Commits war crimes like pre-emptive war, war profiteering and torture and what happens?NOTHING.The only one charged for the war crimes in Iraq was Chelsea Manning!Who did her duty!and exposed them. Oh and Assange, who published that information. All the criminals in that video, you know the one…not ONE charged. **And the top war criminals[**the dick and georgie!] are now feted on talk shows. Ellen Degeneres gives George a big ol HUG and then admonishes America to…wait for it…Be Kind To One Another. Excuse me whilst I go and vomit now wont ya?
The dick cheney placed Blackwater?ABOVE even military law, which allows them to murder and commit genocide anywhere, anytime…right now and they do and they are!!!They be posing as survey crews in hots spots!as I write this. All with the approval of the USA.
I admit it though. I cannot take it. To be really informed you must read about the heinous and ongoing horrifying acts that are done in the name of the US of America. Its?VOMIT INDUCING. There is a LOT of news that that the so called free press just ignores…ongoing. Every once a while a story bubbles up when enuf{sic} time has passed, with gruesome gory details like this one. Everyone is mortified!But somehow, it fades. And then on to the next distraction, that! IS how they get away with it. George W Bush a smirking ex coke head and rapture nut/torturer!!Still not charged and folks expect justice!PFFT. Justice?A joke.In fact, the reality is, there isnt even the Rule of Law in America, only Rulers.


No one despises religion more than I do. However, somehow many of my personal heroes—and I rarely use that word—are people of faith, who lived and died serving the cause of a true righteousness that has less to do with imaginary friends and ridiculous dogma than with fighting against injustice and for realizing the better world we know is possible. Sister Dianna. MLK. Oscar Romero. Rutilio Grande. The four missionary nuns murdered in El Salvador. Father Roy Bourgeois. The Kings Bay Plowshares 7. To name but a few…


The C.I.A. in Iran, 53’ and involved in many other criminal enterprises and assassinations. from 54’ on to the JFK conspiracy, drug running, weapons running, and hidden budgets.
What a country.
As the evidence piles up, and FOIA info is made available, barf bags should be provided along with face masks.


Except that Dianna’s declared purpose was to teach reading so that the bible would be more accessible (and the RC’s grip tighter). She was apparently not concerned with anything more mundane or even rational.

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I have long felt that progressives should be pushing harder to eliminate the CIA. We talk of eliminating ICE and the CIA has done way more damage with nothing good to show for it if you ask me.

Has anybody ever heard any progressive politician propose the idea? (since Kennedy that is)