30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Mexico and Central America

Nov 25, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 25, 2011 – President Ronald Reagan was briefed in advance about every weapons shipment in the Iran arms-for-hostages deals in 1985-86, and Vice President George H. W. Bush chaired a committee that recommended the mining of the harbors of Nicaragua in 1983, according to previously secret Independent Counsel assessments of "criminal liability" on the part of the two former leaders posted today by the National Security Archive.
Nov 22, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 22, 2011 - The bodies of two men whose disappearance in 1984 was recorded in the notorious Guatemalan "death squad diary" have been located on a former military base outside the capital and positively identified through DNA testing, according to the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala, which announced its findings in a press conference this morning. The remains belong to Amancio Samuel Villatoro and Sergio Saъl Linares Morales, both captured by security forces in separate incidents and never seen by their families again.
Jun 9, 2011 | Briefing Book
Guatemala City, Guatemala, June 7, 2011 - This text is a copy of the speech given by Kate Doyle at the ceremony of the presentation of the report, "From Silence to Memory: Revelations of the Historical Archive of the National Police" at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Mar 23, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 23, 2011 - Thirty one years ago tomorrow, El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was shot and killed by right-wing assassins seeking to silence his message of solidarity with the country’s poor and oppressed. The assassination shocked Salvadorans already reeling in early 1980 from attacks by security forces and government-backed death squads on a growing opposition movement. Romero’s murder further polarized the country and set the stage for the civil war that would rage for the next twelve years.
Feb 18, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 18, 2011 - Twenty-seven years ago today, Guatemalan labor activist Edgar Fernando Garcнa was shot and kidnapped by government security forces off a street in downtown Guatemala City. He was never seen again. In recognition of the anniversary of his disappearance, the National Security Archive today posts the complete text of the historic ruling issued last October by a Guatemalan court that convicted two former policemen to 40 years in prison for the crime, as well as key documents from the Guatemalan National Police Archive that were used in the prosecution.
Jan 28, 2011 | News
Washington, DC, January 28, 2011 - A new documentary film about human rights in Guatemala featuring National Security Archive senior analyst Kate Doyle will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, will be screened tonight at the Sundance Resort where Kate Doyle, Almudena Bernabeu of the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), and film makers Pamela Yates, Paco de Onнs and Peter Kinoy, will attend the screening and speak to the audience after the film.
May 7, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. - January 20, 2011 - Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes was arrested in Alberta, Canada on January 18, 2011 on charges of naturalization fraud in the United States. Sosa Orantes, 52, is a former commanding officer of the Guatemalan Special Forces, or Kaibil unit, which brutally murdered more than 250 men, women and children during the 1982 massacre in Dos Erres, Guatemala. Sosa Orantes, a resident of Riverside County, California where he was a well known martial arts instructor, was arrested near the home of a relative in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
Mar 9, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 9, 2010 - A Mexican human rights activist who was orphaned in infancy when her parents disappeared at the hands of government forces filed a petition before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) yesterday, drawing on dozens of declassified U.S. and Mexican documents as evidence.
Dec 2, 2009 | Briefing Book
December 2, 2009, Washington, DC - The Guatemalan army, under the direction of military ruler Efraнn Rнos Montt, carried out a deliberate counterinsurgency campaign in the summer of 1982 aimed at massacring thousands of indigenous peasants, according to a comprehensive set of internal records presented as evidence to the Spanish National Court and posted today by the National Security Archive on its Web site.
Aug 20, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 20, 2009 - As Mexicans debate last week’s Supreme Court ruling vacating the conviction of 20 men for the Acteal massacre, newly declassified documents from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency describe the Army’s role in backing paramilitary groups in Chiapas at the time of the killings. The secret cables confirm reporting about military support for indigenous armed groups carrying out attacks on pro-Zapatista communities in the region and add important new details.

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