30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Guatemala Civil War, 1960-1996

Mar 17, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 17, 2009 – Following a stunning breakthrough in a 25-year-old case of political terror in Guatemala, the National Security Archive today is posting declassified U.S. documents about the disappearance of Edgar Fernando Garcнa, a student leader and trade union activist captured by Guatemalan security forces in 1984.The documents show that Garcнa’s capture was an organized political abduction orchestrated at the highest levels of the Guatemalan government.

Nov 21, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 21, 2005 - On July 5, officials from the Guatemalan government's human rights office (PDH - Procuradurнa de Derechos Humanos) entered a deteriorating, rat-infested munitions depot in downtown Guatemala City to investigate complaints about improperly-stored explosives. During inspection of the site, investigators found a vast collection of documents, stored in five buildings and in an advanced state of decay.

Nov 18, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 18, 2005 - Investigative journalist Frank Smyth breaks new ground in documenting links between retired Guatemalan military officers and drug trafficking into the United States in "The Untouchable Narco-State: Guatemala's Military Defies the DEA." Smyth's story, featured in the independent weekly Texas Observer appearing on news stands today, uses declassified U.S. documents from the National Security Archive among other critical evidence.

Feb 4, 2004 | Briefing Book
Dear President Fox, Something remarkable has happened in Guatemala. You owe it to your country to take notice. On January 20, the Guatemalan Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a senior military officer, Col. Juan Valencia Osorio, for plotting and ordering the political assassination of Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack Chang in 1990. The colonel has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Nov 2, 2003 | Briefing Book
During Guatemala's protracted and savage internal conflict, which raged from 1963 to 1996, tens of thousands of Guatemalan citizens fled the violence in their country for the safety of Mexico. Whether they arrived as refugees, illegal immigrants, exiled political activists or members of one of the four guerrilla groups, most of them found safe haven on Mexican soil. Having survived the war, many of them today cherish a strong and enduring affection for Mexico.

Jun 1, 2000 | Briefing Book
Introduction In July 1994, the Guatemalan government and the URNG signed the Human Rights Accord establishing the Historical Clarification Commission. That same month, the National Security Archive began work on a Guatemala Documentation Project, an effort to obtain the release of secret U.S. files on Guatemala. The project's first objective was to support the human rights investigations of the Clarification Commission. We believed that the commission would benefit from access to declassified U.S.

May 20, 1999 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 20, 1999 – The Guatemalan military kept detailed records of its death squad operations, according to a document released by four human rights and public interest groups today. The army log reveals the fate of scores of Guatemalan citizens who were "disappeared" by security forces during the mid-1980s.

Oct 15, 1998 | Briefing Book
THE DOCUMENTS Document 1 [U.S. Counter-Terror Assistance to Guatemalan Security Forces] ?January 4, 1966 ?United States Agency for International Development, Secret cable U.S. Public Safety Advisor John Longan, on temporary loan from his post in Venezuela, assists the Guatemalan government in establishing an urban counter-terrorist task force in the wake of a rash of kidnappings for ransom by insurgent organizations.

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