Washington, DC, February 3, 2012- Kate Doyle, director of the Evidence Project at the National
Security Archive, and Fredy
Peccerelli, the forensic
anthropologist of the Fundación
de Antropología Forense de Guatemala,
have won the Abraham
Lincoln Brigade Archive
(ALBA) and Puffin
Foundation Award for Human
Rights Activism, one of the world's largest prizes in the field of
Doyle and Peccerelli have worked for twenty years to bring to light
evidence of genocide in Guatemala.
They were recognized as "indefatigable
defenders of human rights" by Sebastiaan Faber, Chair of the ALBA.
The award goes to "individuals or
groups whose work has an exceptionally positive impact on the advancement
and/or defense of human rights," said Puffin Foundation President
Perry Rosenstein. It carries a $100,000 honorarium. The award will be
presented on Sunday, May 13th
at 2:30pm at the Museum of the City of New York, located at 1220 Fifth
Avenue in Manhattan.
A forensic archivist, Doyle works to
bring to justice former military and civilian officials in Latin America
by documenting human rights crimes using evidence found in government
files. Doyle's September 2008 expert
witness testimony helped
lead to the conviction of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori
for killings and kidnappings during a long armed conflict with leftist
guerrillas. With the help of declassified U.S. documents she produced,
the ex-dictator was convicted for crimes against humanity and sentenced
to 25 years in jail.
Doyle has contributed to many of the
Archive's greatest achievements. She directs the Archive's newest
program, the Evidence
Project, which seeks to
unite the struggle for human rights justice and the right to information.
In 2009, Kate Doyle made public a collection
of Guatemalan army documents that described "scorched-earth" massacres
in the early 1980's. The Operación
Sofía records are now
serving as crucial evidence in the genocide indictment handed down on
January 26 against ex-president General Efrain Rios Montt of Guatemala.
Doyle has also provided expert witness testimony in the Guatemala genocide hearings held in
Spain beginning in February 2008, analyzing declassified U.S. documents
from the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department. The documents detail
Guatemalan army operations to kill thousands of Mayan civilians, as
well as describe the composition of the military, the commanders, campaigns,
military plans and general operations.
Fernando García and Dos Erres
Doyle provided evidence to prosecutors
in the case of the Dos
Erres Massacre, in which
four former Guatemalan Special Forces soldiers were sentenced to 6,060-year
prison terms for the murder of 201 civilians and crimes against humanity.
In the case of the disappeared Guatemalan
labor leader Fernando
Garcia, Doyle submitted
an expert report and expert
witness testimony on declassified
U.S. government documents used as evidence
in the trial. The judge in that case sentenced two police officers to
40 years in prison each after they were convicted on charges of forced
Historical Archive of the National
Doyle has served as a key advisor to the Historic
Archive of the Guatemalan National Police,
a unique cache of evidence whose existence the government had long denied.
The seven-year effort to preserve, protect, and present to the public
millions of pages of records has been a watershed in the struggle for
human rights and justice in Guatemala.
During years of research, Doyle obtained
thousands of declassified U.S. records through Freedom of Information
Act requests regarding human rights violations and the U.S. role in
the conflict. Her findings supported the work of the UN-sponsored Historical
Clarification Commission, charged with investigating Guatemala's brutal
36-year civil conflict. After the commission published its report in
1999, the Archive began working with Guatemalan human rights organizations
to mine the U.S. documents for use in several pivotal human rights cases.
A digitalized collection of the documents – "Death Squads, Guerrilla War, Covert Operations,
and Genocide: Guatemala and the United States, 1954-1999 (Guatemala
and the U.S.," – was
published in 2002.
Page from the DeathSquad Dossier, a Guatemalan Intelligence document.
Death Squad Diary
Doyle made front-page news around the
world in 1999 by unveiling the Guatemalan "death squad dossier," a military logbook chronicling the forced
disappearance and murder of more than 100 Guatemalans in the 1980s. The
Death Squad Diary is the subject of a case before the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights.
Doyle provided expert witness testimony
in the murder of Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack before a criminal
court in 2002 and the Inter-American Court in 2003. These cases were
crucial in establishing momentum for the freedom of information and
due process. The criminal trial ended with the first-ever conviction
of a senior Guatemalan military officer on human rights charges, for
planning and ordering Mack's assassination.
Convicting a Dictator
Kate Doyle is sworn inbefore a judge to testify against former president of Peru, Alberto Fujimori.Fujimori, seen in the background, was subsequently convicted of human rightsviolations and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Doyle's research and Freedom of Information
Act requests about human rights violations in Peru laid the groundwork
for the Peru Documentation Project. The project went on to publish revelations
about Peru's former intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos and role
of Alberto Fujimori's military in human rights abuses, and provided
important documentary evidence for Peru's Truth Commission Report,
"The Search for
Truth: The Declassified Record on Human Rights
Abuses in Peru."
That documentation also served in the
case against Fujimori. Doyle gave expert
witness testimony on declassified
U.S. government documents introduced as evidence at his trial. The former
president was convicted for crimes against humanity and sentenced to
25 years. The case was a blow against impunity for Latin American leaders
who abuse their power.
The cover image of the El Salvador 1980-1994 set of declassified U.S. government documents publishedby the National Security Archive under Kate Doyle's direction. The documentswere cited in the United Nations Truth Commission in El Salvador as some of theonly primary source documents.
Doyle's earliest research at the
Archive contributed to the gathering of documents on human rights violations
in El Salvador and the U.S. government's involvement in the country's
civil war. She and others in the National Security Archive provided
essential support to the efforts of investigators from the UN Truth
Commission in El Salvador, who spent weeks in the Archive's reading
room combing through our huge collections of declassified records. Many
of the records consulted by investigators were the results of the National
Security Archive's very first Freedom of Information requests, made
in the early 1980s.
The Truth Commission report created
front-page news in 1993, naming army officers and guerilla leaders responsible
for the most outrageous human rights violations in that country during
the 1980's. The Archive was cited repeatedly in the report (13 times
in the 24-page chronology of the violence alone). Following its publication,
Doyle helped to push the Clinton administration to release U.S. government
documents on 30 paradigmatic human rights cases investigated by the
President Clinton subsequently ordered
the disclosure of over 12,000 documents to the public in 1993 and 1994.
Doyle published these documents as the National Security Archive's
second digitalized collection on El Salvador, "El Salvador: War, Peace, and Human Rights,
1980-1994 (El Salvador 1980-1994)."
This effort paved way for the declassification of U.S. government documents
for the Guatemalan Truth Commission several years later.
The cover to the October 1998 Mileno, a Mexican magazine with thearticle Kate Doyle wrote about the iconic Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968 thatsparked the Mexican freedom of information movement.
Doyle's efforts to obtain declassified
U.S. documents about the Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968, and her published
works showcasing the documents in the Mexican magazine Milenio,
contributed to a Mexican movement for the right to information. It led
to the Mexican Freedom
of Information Law in 2002.
Milenio article (1998), here. Proceso
article (2003), here.
Doyle also published "The Dead of Tlatelolco" in Proceso magazine in 2006. Her investigation
into Mexican intelligence records created a definitive list of victims
of the 1968 student massacre. In October 2008, on the 40th
anniversary of the massacre, she dramatically updated the findings.
The Archive's Web postings included the full text of the documents
used, and launched an electronic registry designed to permit families
of those killed in Tlatelolco and others to provide information, photos
and official records about the deaths. Doyle underscored the importance
of writing history based on facts found in public documents such as
police records and autopsy reports.
As director of the Mexico Documentation
project, Doyle collected U.S. declassified documents, as well as Mexican
National Archives documents on the disappeared parents of Aleida Gallangos.
With the support of these documents as evidence, the case has gone to
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as one of the few cases
addressing human rights violations in Mexico's Dirty War.
Combining requests under the Mexican
law and labor intensive research in the archives, the Mexico Project
has revealed new information about the Guatemalan Army's deadly pursuit
of Mayan refugees living in Mexico in the 1980s, intelligence sharing
during Operation Condor in the Southern Cone, and the Argentine military's
determination to hunt down suspected leftists in Mexico City in the
mid-1970s. In Argentina, the National Security Archive has provided
prosecutors and judges key Mexican documents for use as evidence in
human rights trials in Buenos Aires.