Facebook Twitter Flickr Pinterest Linkedint Youtube


CJA litigates civil and criminal cases against individual human rights abusers in the United States, Spain and Cambodia.


CJA litigates civil and criminal cases against individual human rights abusers in the United States, Spain and Cambodia.


In the United States, CJA files civil lawsuits against human rights abusers who reside in or visit the country. Under the Alien Tort Statute and the Torture Victim Protection Act, victims of human rights violations from anywhere in the world can seek justice in U.S. courts.

» Learn more about the Alien Tort Statute


In Spain, CJA  brings criminal cases before the Spanish National Court on behalf of survivors of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. These cases are brought under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, the principle that every state has an interest in bringing to justice the perpetrators of particular crimes of international concern, no matter where the crime was committed, and regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators or their victims.

» Learn more about universal jurisdiction

» Learn more about the Spanish National Court


Ahmed v. Magan
On April 21, 2010, CJA filed suit against Colonel Abdi Aden Magan, former Chief of the Somali National Security Service Department of Investigations during the military dictatorship of Siad Barré, on behalf of former law professor and human rights attorney Abukar Hassan Ahmed, who suffered brutal torture under Colonel Magan’s orders.
Cabello v. Fernandez Larios
CHILE: PINOCHET'S CARAVAN OF DEATH - In 2003, a Florida jury found Pinochet henchman Armando Fernández Larios responsible for the torture and murder of Chilean economist Winston Cabello. The trial marked the first time any Pinochet-era perpetrator was tried in the United States as well as the first jury verdict for crimes against humanity in a contested case in the United States.
Cabrera v. Jiménez Naranjo
COLOMBIA: NOTORIOUS PARAMILITARY LEADER & DRUG TRAFFICKER – In June, 2010, CJA filed suit on behalf of surviving family members of Eduardo Estrada Gutierrez and Alma Rosa Jaramillo Lafourie, both leaders of the nonprofit organization Program for Peace and Development in the Middle Magdalena (PDP). Both Alma Rosa Jaramillo and Eduardo Estrada were killed by members of a paramilitary group in Colombia known as the Bloque Central Bolívar (BCB) controlled by Carlos Mario Jiménez Naranjo, alias Macaco or Javier Montañez. The suit alleges torture, extrajudicial killing, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
Chavez v. Carranza
EL SALVADOR: THE CIVIL WAR'S MOST NOTORIOUS WAR CRIMINAL - In 2005, a Memphis jury found Colonel Nicolás Carranza liable for abuses suffered by our clients and ordered him to pay $6 million.
Doe v. Constant
HAITI: DEATH SQUADS AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: In 2006, a New York judge found death squad leader Emmanuel “Toto” Constant liable for abuses and ordered him to pay $19 million to three survivors of state-sponsored rape.
Doe v. Liu Qi
CHINA: TORTURE AND RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION - In 2004, a San Francisco judge issued a default judgment against Liu Qi, the Mayor of Beijing, for his role in the torture of Falun Gong practitioners.
Doe v. Lumintang
EAST TIMOR: ATROCITIES DURING THE INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM - In 2006, a D.C. Judge found General Johny Lumintang liable for abuses and ordered him to pay $66 million to six survivors. While the judgment was reversed on a technicality, Lumintang no longer travels to the U.S.
Doe v. Saravia
EL SALVADOR: THE ASSASSINATION OF ARCHBISHOP OSCAR ROMERO - In 2004, CJA won a $10 million judgment against Alvaro Saravia, one the architects of Archbishop Romero's assassination in San Salvador in 1980.
Guatemala Genocide Case
GUATEMALA: JUSTICE FOR THE MAYAN GENOCIDE - In 2006, CJA became lead counsel on the Guatemala Genocide Case filed by Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum and others in Spain against seven senior Guatemalan military officials.
Jara v. Barrientos
On September 15, 1973, the famed poet and singer Víctor Jara was killed at Chile Stadium by members of the Chilean Armed Forces in the days following the infamous coup d’état of General Augusto Pinochet. On behalf of Jara’s surviving wife and children, CJA filed a civil suit on September 4, 2013 against one of the alleged perpetrators of Víctor Jara’s death.
Jean v. Dorelien
HAITI: THE HIGH COMMAND AND THE RABOTEAU MASSACRE - In 2007, a Miami federal jury found Colonel Carl Dorélien liable for abuses and ordered him to pay $4.3 million in damages. In a separate state court action, a landmark $580,000 was recovered for Haitian massacre survivors.
Jesuits Massacre Case
EL SALVADOR: THE JESUITS MASSACRE CASE BEFORE THE SPANISH NATIONAL COURT - In 2008, CJA filed a criminal case in Spain against senior former Salvadoran military officials for their role in the 1989 Jesuits Massacre, in which six Jesuit Priests, their housekeeper and her daughter, were killed at the Universidad Centroamericana ¨José Simeon Cañas¨ (UCA) in El Salvador. On January 13, 2009, the 14 officers and soldiers named in the case were formally charged with crimes against humanity and state terrorism.
Khmer Rouge Trials
CJA represents 45 Civil Parties in Case No. 002 before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia against the two surviving senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge: Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan. CJA’s clients are all members of the Cambodian diaspora living in the United States.
Mehinovic v. Vuckovic
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: WAR CRIMES AND ETHNIC CLEANSING - In 2002, an Atlanta judge found Bosnian Serb war criminal Nikola Vuckovic liable for torture, war crimes and other abuses committed against Bosnian Muslims.
Ochoa Lizarbe v. Hurtado
PERU: THE ACCOMARCA MASSACRE I - In 2007, CJA filed suit on behalf of two survivors against Major Telmo Hurtado Hurtado for abuses. In 2008, after a trial on damages, a Miami judge ordered Hurtado to pay $37 million.
Ochoa Lizarbe v. Rondon
PERU: THE ACCOMARCA MASSACRE II - In 2007, CJA filed suit against Captain Juan Rivera Rondón for torture and killings committed during the Accomarca Massacre. Rondon's motion to dismiss the case against him was denied and he appealed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the case is still pending.
Reisner v. Leso
USA – On July 7, 2010, CJA filed a complaint with the New York Office of the Professions on behalf of psychologist Dr. Steven Reisner against psychologist Dr. John Leso for his role in designing and implementing a system of abusive interrogations at United States Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Reyes v. Lopez Grijalba
HONDURAS: FORCED DISAPPEARANCES - In 2006, a Florida judge held Colonel Juan López Grijalba responsible for abuses and ordered him to pay $47 million to six survivors and relatives of the disappeared. Grijalba was deported to Honduras in 2004, and CJA has worked with the Honduran prosecutors to hold Grijalba and other perpetrators accountable in Honduran courts.
Romagoza Arce v. Garcia
EL SALVADOR: COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY FOR CIVIL WAR ATROCITIES - In 2006, the 11th Circuit upheld CJA’s 2002 $54.6 million jury verdict against Generals García and Vides Casanova for the torture of three CJA clients.
Warfaa v. Ali (Col. Tukeh)
SOMALIA: CLAN VIOLENCE AND TORTURE - In 2004, CJA filed suit on behalf of Farhan Mohamoud Tani Warfaa against Colonel Yusuf Abdi Ali (aka Col. Tukeh) for war crimes.
Yousuf v. Samantar
SOMALIA: COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY FOR TORTURE & CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY - On August 28, 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema awarded CJA’s clients $21 million in compensatory and punitive damages against former Somali General Mohamed Ali Samantar. This judgment marks the first time that anyone has been held to account anywhere in the world for atrocities committed by General Samantar and the military dictatorship that ruled Somalia for over 20 years.