Priscilla B. Hayner. Verdades silenciadas. La justicia transicional y el reto de las Comisiones de la Verdad. Barcelona: Institut Català Internacional per la Pau, 2014.

Priscilla Hayner’s extensive research on Truth Commissions makes a decisive contribution to our understanding of the new horizons of the protection of human rights. More importantly, this study is an excellent guide for action for those societies that decide to confront historic legacies of mass atrocities with honesty and courage.

Priscilla Hayner carefully avoids an instructive or prescriptive tone, and instead provides a rigorous analysis of the dilemmas, options and even the concessions that are sometimes necessary when facing the past and allowing it to enlighten us about the present and the future. This book is realistic about the difficulties and obstacles that the implementation of the “right to truth” entails, but in no way does it justify oblivion, negation or impunity. The methodology is a comparative analysis of historic experiences, based on interviews with the key stakeholders and the certification of documents from almost all the experiences of searches for truth of the past three decades.

In its original English version, this essential work about transitional justice has been the most authoritative word on Truth as an ethical imperative against human rights crimes for several years now.