30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Mexico and Central America

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.

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.

Dec 2, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., December 2, 2008 - National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" yesterday featured Archive senior analyst Kate Doyle in an extensive segment on the infamous 1968 Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City. The new documentary draws on years of research by the Archive's Mexico project and four previous publications of declassified documents obtained by the Archive from Freedom of Information Act requests in the U.S. and archival research in Mexico, with analysis and commentary by Kate Doyle. "Tlatelolco Massacre: Declassified U.S.

Oct 2, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., October 2, 2008 - We have arrived at the fortieth anniversary of the massacre at Tlatelolco with little to report. The events of that terrible day remain shrouded in the kind of secrecy that characterizes repressive dictatorships rather than the modern, developed and democratic nation that Mexico is today.

Sep 30, 2008 | Briefing Book
In 2006, fiercely-contested presidential elections with an uncertain outcome rattled Mexico’s openness community.  The Federal Institute for Access to Information (IFAI), along with journalists, academics and NGOs, worried that advances made after the political transition of 2000 could be seriously jeopardized by a new administration.  In response to these concerns, advocates sought to strengthen and consolidate their gains by pushing for a comprehensive reform of the Mexican Constitution, which would guarantee the right to know and establish permanent standards for openness that could not

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