When Pamela Yates made her first documentary, When the Mountains Tremble (1982), she could not have imagined that 30 years later it would be used as forensic evidence in the trial against Guatemalan ex-dictator Efraín Ríos Montt.

Part political thriller, part memoir, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator shows how a filmmaker's first documentary was instrumental in indicting Ríos Montt. Yates transports us back in time through a riveting, haunting tale of genocide and returns to the present with a cast of characters joined by the quest to bring a malevolent dictator to justice.

Pamela and Paco run Skylight Pictures, a company dedicated to creating films and digital media tools that advance awareness of human rights and the quest for justice by implementing multi-year outreach campaigns designed to engage, educate and activate social change. 

What the audience said

'A thought-provoking look at an issue deserving of greater international debate.'

'Very interesting and inspiring, thanks!'

'Very thought provoking and inspiring to see how individual actions can have an impact.'

'Excellent, very informative.'

'Inspiring and humbling'


The Dictator in the Dock series brings viewers into the courtroom as former dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt stands trial for genocide and crimes against humanity in Guatemala. This historic case marked the first time, anywhere in the world, that a former head of state was tried for genocide in a national court, in the country where the crimes were committed.

Granito: Every Memory Matters (GMEM) is a project that was inspired by the creation of the film Granito: How to Nail a Dictator. GMEM was created to help recover the Guatemalan collective memory, both for people living in the Guatemalan territory, as for the 1.3 million living in the U.S.

By using the power of memory to facilitate an intergenerational exchange to recover memories, and put them in a publicly accessible online site, Skylight Pictures hope to contribute to the long-term goal of establishing a shared historical narrative, and build a future in harmony.