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Juan E. Méndez Human Rights Book Award: Matt Eisenbrandt, ‘Assassination of a Saint’

Duke University named Matt Eisenbrandt’s Assassination of a Saint: The Plot to Murder Óscar Romero and the Quest to Bring His Killers to Justice(University of California Press, 2017) the winner of the 2017 Méndez Book Award. Eisenbrandt will be visiting Duke on March 20 to receive the award and discuss his book.

Assassination of a Saint traces the thrilling story of how an international team of lawyers, private investigators, and human-rights experts fought to bring justice for the slain archbishop. Eisenbrandt, a lawyer who was part of the investigative team, recounts how he and his colleagues interviewed eyewitnesses and former members of death squads while searching for evidence on those who financed them, with profound implications for El Salvador and the United States.

Based in British Columbia, Canada, Matt Eisenbrandt is a U.S.-trained lawyer who has spent his career in the field of human rights and international justice. Matt is currently a Special Consultant to Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP on the law firm’s business and human rights cases, including two lawsuits against Canadian mining companies for alleged abuses connected to their overseas operations. Matt is also a Special Advisor to the Canadian Centre for International Justice, where he spent nine years overseeing the organization’s casework on behalf of survivors seeking justice for serious human rights violations. He previously served as the Legal Director for the Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA), a U.S.-based group that holds human rights abusers accountable through legal cases, particularly under the Alien Tort Statute. He was CJA’s lead counsel in jury trials against military commanders from El Salvador and Haiti, and a member of the trial team in a lawsuit against a Salvadoran man for his role in the death-squad murder of beloved archbishop Oscar Romero, which is the subject of his book Assassination of a Saint. Matt got his J.D. from the University of Virginia and B.A. degrees in Latin American Studies and History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This award honors the leadership of Juan E. Méndez, a human rights champion who has devoted his life to the defense of human rights. First awarded in 2008, this award selects among the best current non-fiction books published in English on human rights, democracy, and social justice in contemporary Latin America.

Co-sponsored by the Rubenstein Library’s Human Rights Archive, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute (DHRC@FHI), and the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

A light lunch will be served.

Learn More:

Méndez Human Rights Book Award Website

“Mendez Book Award Honors ‘Assassination of a Saint'” (DukeToday)

For more information, contact:

Patrick Stawski, Human Rights Archivist


March 20, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Rubenstein 153 (Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room)
Campus Dr.
Durham, NC 27708 United States
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