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Stopping Genocide Perpetrators

Dublin Core


Stopping Genocide Perpetrators


Genocide intervention.
Trials (Genocide)


Oral history video clip featuring David Scheffer, United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.


Media Entertainment, Inc.


Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.


Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.




Scheffer, David
Prior, Cecily


Tape Number: 4059D


video / mp4




Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Prior, Cecily


Scheffer, David


U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.


You know, I often wonder how it is that certain elites assume they can get away with it and perpetrate massive waves of killing and brutality upon their own population. Of course, the reason is that many elites have gotten away with it. There are some elites who are currently enjoying sanctuary in various parts of the world who are responsible for massive crimes in the 1970s and 1980s and early 1990s. We actually -- we know where some of these elites are, we know where they have their sanctuary, and it's always our hope that ultimately they can be brought to justice for those past crimes.

But I think during the 1990s -- and particularly during our watch, during the Clinton administration -- what I hope is being established more firmly than ever before is that no elite can assume in the future that they will get away with it. They have to assume the high probability that they will be tracked for the rest of their lives for the purpose for being brought to justice. And if we can instill that deterrence factor into societies around that world and into governments around the word, hopefully, over a ten-, twenty-, thirty-year period, we can start to establish within the international community a very firm understanding that there are consequences that will be borne out if these crimes take place, and that the consequences will pinpoint not governments, but individuals within those governments, so that it becomes a very personal issue of criminal culpability.

It's going to take time. If you go into various parts of the world right now, the last people in the world who know anything about the laws of war are rebel groups who are rampaging through the countryside. They probably would have a hard time -- at least, the mass of them -- even understanding what the Geneva Conventions are or that there's a Genocide Convention. So, that ignorance factor is something that we also have to be very hard to work at, so that those who would seek to perpetrate these crimes -- not only at the leadership, the lead level, but at the lower level, the foot soldier or the rebel level on the ground -- understand that there are laws out there which it doesn't matter that they're within the sovereign borders of their own country. They're still violating those international laws, and that they are subjecting themselves to being brought to justice.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “Stopping Genocide Perpetrators,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed September 30, 2020,