Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation
July 5, 2014 8:35 PM   Subscribe

An interesting commonality across the diversity of reconciliation methods is an absence of effective reparations, almost like the reconciliation process is also used to "close the book" as it were, on more corporeal forms of justice and recompense for victims.
posted by smoke at 8:36 PM on July 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I stopped reading anything about the Khmer Rouge trials after the first year. It was too painful to see the slow motion failure of justice. The one image that has stuck with me is of elderly people who had come from villages far away, lining up and waiting to give their testimony. The few good things from it have been that the expensive squabbling of the trials keeps the story alive and that there have been real efforts to put together an accurate history book of the period for Cambodian students. I have a copy in English for my kids, and recommend it.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:30 PM on July 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

I visited Cambodia several years ago, and stayed in Phnom Penh for several days. I visited Choeung Ek, one of the most prominent and accessible killing fields, where a stupa holding 5,000 human skulls stands. I spoke to one of the guides there, who told me about a man in Phnom Penh who was once a driver, delivering Cambodians from the Tuol Sleng interrogation centre in Phnom Penh to Choeung Ek. Nowadays, that man is known to international news crews, so whenever NBC or CBS or ABC or Fox needs some footage and on-site colour for a story about the Khmer Rouge, they call him up, he arranges transportation, and acts as his own guide at the site, pretending to be just a knowledgeable witness.

It was plain that the guides there hate him with a blinding fury, but won't disturb him, to avoid disrupting international attention momentarily focused on their genocide.
posted by fatbird at 12:09 AM on July 6, 2014 [5 favorites]

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