Voice of Witness’s latest oral history book, Solito, Solita, has been shortlisted for the Juan E. Méndez Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America.

Solito, Solita shortlisted for book awardSolito, Solita (“Alone, Alone”) is an urgent collection of oral histories that tells – in their own words – the stories of young refugees fleeing countries in Central America and traveling for hundreds of miles to seek safety and protection in the United States. Fifteen narrators describe why they fled their homes, what happened on their dangerous journeys through Mexico, how they crossed the borders, and for some, their ongoing struggles to survive in the United States. In an era of fear, xenophobia, and outright lies, these stories amplify the compelling and much needed voices of migrant youth. The narrators in Solito, Solita bring to light the experiences of young people struggling for a better life across the border.

The Juan E. Méndez Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America honors the leadership and legacy of Juan E. Méndez, a champion of justice who has devoted his life to the defense of human rights. Méndez is the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and current Professor of Human Rights Law at American University.

This award began in 2008 as a collaboration between the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and Duke, in recognition of WOLA’s decision to deposit its institutional papers at Duke’s Rubenstein Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. In 2017, Duke University collaborated with Juan E. Méndez to reposition the book award in his honor.

The final award winner will be announced in January 2020. To learn more about the Juan E. Méndez Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America, visit the website. Read more about Solito, Solita and order the book here.

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