Friday, August 3, 2007

Guatemalan National Police Archive Project

"The dimension of the archive is truly gigantic," Alberto Fuentes, assistant project director, told National Public Radio in the U.S. "They say there are 80 million pages of documents here. So in every possible space, in every alcove, there are just stacks and stacks and stacks of these police records."

In March 2007, the Guatemalan National Police Archive project formed an International Consultative Commission. This commission, which includes Dr. Patrick Ball, is made up of archivists and researchers from Europe, Asia, North and Latin America. The HRDAG team will present their first round of data analysis of the archive to the office of the Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman by May 31, 2007. The Ombudman's office will then issue their official report on the archive in July 2007.
Human Rights Data Analysis Group

Guatemalan National Police Archive Project
Text: Ann Harrison, Photos: Tamy Guberek and Ann Harrison

An Astonishing Discovery

In July 2005, an explosion at a military munitions dump near Guatemala City raised concerns about the storage of explosives in nearby residential areas. People who lived in the neighborhood asked investigators to inspect a building at the Guatemala City compound of the National Civil Police. A team from the government-backed Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman (PDH) entered the decaying structure and discovered an enormous cache of documents. Full article with photos: