30+  Years  of  Freedom  of  Information  Action

Human Rights and Genocide

Nov 22, 2000 | Briefing Book
Update May 10, 2001: The National Security Archive recently received responses to FOIA requests we sent out earlier this year on Vladimiro Montesinos. These new documents focus on Montesinos' early career and links with the United States in the 1970s. These documents deal with the unauthorized trip to the United States that Montesinos made in September 1976 and his later arrest, detention and cashiering from the army in 1977.

Aug 17, 2000 | News
Context On February 1st, 1999, the Clinton White House ordered the U.S. national security agencies to “retrieve and review for declassification documents that shed light on human rights abuses, terrorism, and other acts of political violence in Chile” from 1968-1990--a policy initiative taken after the arrest of General Augusto Pinochet in London.

Jul 17, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 17, 2000 – On July 13, 2000 the Senate passed a measure in the FY 2001 Defense Authorization Act that – if approved by the full Congress – would severely undercut the public's ability to obtain critical human rights information gathered by U.S. defense attachйs (DATT) and other U.S. military representatives abroad. The provision would exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) the "operational files" of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Jun 30, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 30, 2000 – On Friday, June 30, 2000, the U.S. government released hundreds of formerly secret CIA, Defense, State, Justice Deparment, and National Security Council records relating to the deaths of Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi, both of whom were killed by the Chilean military in the days following the 1973 coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. The murders of Horman and Teruggi were later dramatized in the 1982 film Missing. Documents on another American, Boris Weisfiler, who disappeared in Chile in 1985, were also released.

Jun 29, 2000 | News
From:  Center for National Security Studies, Federation of American Scientists, National Security Archive Re:  Freedom of Information Act Exemption for Defense Intelligence Agency Files in S. 2549, Defense Authorization Act.

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 9, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 9, 2000 – Late last month, the U.S. Department of State released under the Freedom of Information Act an interagency study of recent U.S. humanitarian interventions titled, "Interagency Review of U.S. Government Civilian Humanitarian & Transition Programs." Under this turgid bureaucratic title lies an extraordinarily blunt, even scathing, "lessons learned" report from inside the U.S. government on the successes and failures of the most recent U.S.

Mar 14, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 14, 2000 – Today's Washington Post features an op-ed on page A17 titled "Hardly a Distinguished Career," written by National Security Archive director Tom Blanton and commenting on the CIA's decision to award the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal to the highest-ranking CIA official fired in a 1995 scandal for failing to inform Congress about the CIA's ties to human rights abuses in Guatemala. THE DOCUMENTS Document 1: The Biographic Register, U.S. Department of State, July 1973, p. 402

Feb 14, 2000 | Briefing Book
On January 21, Guatemalan police detained retired Col. Byron Lima Estrada and his son, Capt. Byron Lima Oliva, in connection with the 1998 assassination of Bishop Juan José Gerardi.  Although the two officers had been under suspicion since shortly after the prelate's murder, it was not until newly-elected president Alfonso Portillo took office that the government was willing to act. 

Oct 8, 1999 | News
On October 8, 1999, the U.S. Government released 1100 documents on Chile. Among them is a declassified State Department report on the case of Charles Horman, an American citizen who was killed by the Chilean military in the days following the coup. This document was released once before in 1980, pursuant to a lawsuit filed by the Horman family. At that time, significant portions were blacked out. The version released today reveals what was censored: the State Department's conclusions that the CIA may have had "an unfortunate part" in Horman's death.

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