30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Political Crimes and Abuse of Power

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.

Sep 29, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 29, 2011 - Twelve years after the assassination of beloved Colombian journalist and political satirist Jaime Garzуn, a newly-declassified State Department cable, published on the Web today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org), supports longstanding allegations that Colombian military officials ordered the killing. Written just days after the murder, the cable from the U.S.

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.

Sep 29, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 29, 2010 - The U.S. ambassador to Colombia reported in 1998 that the "systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries" was "pivotal" to the military success of Gen. Rito Alejo del Rнo Rojas, now on trial for murder and collaboration with paramilitary death squads while commander of a key army unit in northern Colombia. The Secret "Biographic Note" from Ambassador Curtis Kamman is one of several documents published today by the National Security Archive pertaining to Del Rнo, whose trial resumes this month after years of impunity and delay.

Jun 11, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 11, 2010 – To mark the first-ever criminal conviction in Colombia's infamous Palace of Justice case, the Archive today posts a selection of key declassified documents pertaining to the episode, including a 1999 U.S. Embassy cable that found that Colombian Army soldiers under the command of Col. Alfonso Plazas Vega had "killed a number of M-19 members and suspected collaborators hors de combat ["outside of combat"], including the Palace's cafeteria staff." On Wednesday, a Colombian court sentenced retired Col.

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.

Apr 10, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, April 10, 2010 - Only five days before a car bomb planted by agents of the Pinochet regime rocked downtown Washington D.C. on September 21, 1976, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger rescinded instructions sent to, but never implemented by, U.S. ambassadors in the Southern Cone to warn military leaders there against orchestrating "a series of international murders," declassified documents obtained and posted by the National Security Archive revealed today.

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