Marco Gonzalez

International Human-Rights Advocate

YIU President Patrick Desbois and Director Marco Gonzalez visit the graves of Soviet POWs in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland.jpg

Marco Gonzalez is the Director of Yahad - In Unum (“Together in One”), a non-governmental organization dedicated to discovering genocidal wherever it is found around the world, providing documented proof of crimes against humanity, and serving as a voice of protest on behalf of all past and present victims of systemic hate crimes and mass murder.

Working closely with its well-recognized founder, Father Patrick Desbois, Marco has scoured Eastern Europe for witnesses and corroborating evidence of Nazi war crimes by the Einsatzgruppen (Nazi Death Squads). These soldiers hunted Jewish and Roma citizens across Eastern Europe, village by village. They gathered their victims in groups, shot them and buried them in unmarked mass graves. This dark episode of history has been termed as “The Holocaust by Bullets.”

Under Marco's guidance, Yahad - In Unum has become the foremost authority on the tragic episode of history known as "Holocaust by Bullets" as well as the world’s leading voice of protest against genocide in our time. 

Although Yahad in Unum is based in Paris, Marco himself is Guatemalan-born.  He was inspired to join the organization after an impressionable meeting with Father Desbois and then moving to Paris to study French and dedicate himself to furthering Yahad-In Unum’s solemn mission.

Personal Conviction

Marco’s work with Yahad-In Unum also has a deep personal resonance for him.  Growing up in Guatemala, he was always keenly aware of the abysmal human rights record in that region, especially the systematic mass killings of an estimated 200,000 ethnic Mayans, perpetrated by the country’s military dictatorships, mostly during the early 1980s.

His work is now allowing him to raise awareness of the Holocaust to the Guatemalan people and also of its parallel to the tragedy his home country endured in the recent past.  In January of 2016, Yahad - In Unum founded The Museum of the Holocaust in Guatemala, the first museum of its kind in Central America. The Museum trains hundreds of educators each year with more than 50,000 students visiting it so far. In 2017, the Museum was nominated by The Leading Culture Destinations Awards in the category of “Best New Museums of the Year – South/Central America”.

In November of 2017, Marco was instrumental in launching Yahad-In Unum’s "Holocaust by Bullets Education Week" in Denver, Colorado, offering an Enhanced Teacher Training seminar to over 50 current and future educators from throughout the state of Colorado. The program is designed to equip educators with the tools and resources to teach the relatively little-known aspect of WWII. The Teacher Training Seminar is also being presented in several other cities in Europe and the United States. In 2018, the program was customized for museum professionals during a weeklong program for over 130 museum guides and staff members of the Auschwitz Museum in Oświęcim, Poland.   In 2019, the first Latin America Teachers Training Seminar took place in Guatemala City, Guatemala at Marco’s behest.

 

Evolving the Mission

Marco has also been a leading force in evolving Yahad-In Unum’s mission into that of a modern global humanitarian initiative.  The organization has expanded its scope of historical forensic research to also focus on modern day genocide as well as systemic hate crimes and anti-Semitism that could potentially lead to genocide.   Since 2015, they have been investigating the Yazidi massacres in Northern Iraq at the hands of ISIS. The work has resulted in hundreds of hours of eyewitness accounts revealing the tactics and strategies ISIS utilized to abuse sexually enslaved Yazidi women and turn young boys into brainwashed soldiers. While Yahad-In Unum continues to collect evidence of the Yazidi Genocide, they have also established a practical support program in several refugee camps to help former captives’ transition back into society. They have built playgrounds and schools as well as skill advancement centers in tailoring and sewing. They have found ways to successfully administer rehabilitative counseling to people who are culturally resistant to accept this kind of outside help. Most recently, Marco proudly oversaw the delivery of care packages of food and sundries to dozens of young Yazidi orphans. 

The Rise of Genocide

The Jewish Holocaust, the slaughter of the Tutsi during the Rwandan Civil War, the mass murder of indigenous Mayans in Guatemala…these are horrific episodes of history that can easily be repeated unless resisted in their early stages.  The mass persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar revealed how recently the evil of genocide can manifest.  And now, we see the early stages of creeping genocide play out in the daily news cycles in Europe and the US.  Marco is forging the organization into the world’s preeminent genocide watchdog organization in its moral opposition and resistance to existing and impending genocide.   He is launching an agenda that applies Yahad-In Unum’s expertise in forensic research and education to the goal of resisting the current rise of anti-Semitism and organized hate crimes throughout the world.