Almudena Bernabeu (Co-Founder) | Guernica 37
Almudena Bernabeu is a renowned international lawyer with a long career in the fields of Transitional Justice and International Criminal and Human Rights Law. During her years as Transitional Justice Director at the U.S.-based organization Center for Justice & Accountability Ms. Bernabeu successfully litigated more than a dozen civil cases brought under the Alien Tort Statute and criminal cases in Europe under the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction to assist victims achieve truth and accountability for international crimes. Almudena has been rewarded internationally for her contribution to justice and accountability mechanisms around the world, in particular, for bringing landmark cases in Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador and many other countries.
Among her multiple accomplishments, Almudena led the investigation and prosecution of the massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter, by members of the Salvadoran Military High Command, an attack that marked a turning point in the Salvadoran conflict. As a result of these investigations, a U.S. Court approved the extradition of Colonel Inocente Orlando Montano to Spain to face trial.
Almudena also led the investigation and prosecution of the Genocide committed against the Mayan people in Guatemala. The process before the Spanish National Court provided the victims the opportunity to tell their stories and present their “truth” about one of the darkest chapters in recent Guatemalan history. This investigation was instrumental in the conviction of the former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Rios Montt for genocide. Almudena’s contribution to this important case was the subject of the documentary film entitled: “Granito: How to Nail a Dictator”
Almudena investigated and provided essential evidence to secure a civil judgment against Pedro Barrientos Nuñez, a former lieutenant in the Chilean Military responsible for the torture and murder of the popular singer Víctor Jara.
Amongst her numerous international cases, in Peru, Almudena ensured the extradition of two military officials involved in the Accomarca massacre, an essential case for the Peruvian Truth Commission. Further, in relation to Argentinas dirty war, she collaborated in the second extradition of Guillermo Suárez Mason to Buenos Aires where he faced charges of crimes against humanity.
These and other cases demonstrate Almudena’s contribution to the development of International Justice and the impact to strengthen and re-shape international criminal accountability as well as its impact on national processes of transitional justice.
Due to her unparalleled contribution to international justice Almudena has received numerous awards, including to be listed amongst in Times magazine 200 most influential people, and the Letelier-Moffit Human Rights prize. In 2017, she received the 26th International Award of the Spanish Federation of Female Directors, Executives, Professionals and Businesswomen. Almudena holds a LLM degree in International Law from the University of Valencia, where she specialized in Public International Law; she is a member of the Valencia and Madrid Bar Associations and the American Bar Association. Almudena received a honoris causa PhD by the University of Santa Clara, California in 2013.
Areas of Expertise