Human Rights and Genocide
Characterization of Darfur violence as "genocide" had no "legal consequences" for U.S., according to 2004 State Department MemoAug 17, 2011 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, DC, August 17, 2011 - A secret June 25, 2004 Department of State memo entitled “Genocide and Darfur” written by William Taft IV, the legal advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell, stated that “a determination that genocide has occurred in Darfur would have no immediate legal--as opposed to moral, political or policy--consequences for the United States.” Writing for The Atlantic, National Security Archive Fellow Rebecca Hamilton argues that the memo’s determination that calling the conflict in Darfur genocide would yield no “legal consequences” influenced Secretary of State Co
From Silence to Memory: A Celebration of the Report of the Historical Archives of the National PoliceJun 9, 2011 | Briefing Book br>
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 br>
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 br>
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.
U.S. Opposition to International Criminal Court in 2004-2005 Held Up Peacekeeping, Slowed Justice for Genocide PerpetratorsFeb 1, 2011 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, DC, February 1, 2011 - The U.S. government’s opposition to the International Criminal Court held up deployments of peacekeeping forces in Sudan and slowed the eventual indictment of Sudanese leaders who perpetrated genocide in Darfur, according to the new book, Fighting for Darfur, by Rebecca Hamilton, and documents she obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, posted today by the National Security Archive. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations predicted a “train wreck” on Darfur policy in January 2005 because the U.S.
Jan 28, 2011 | News br>
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 br>
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.
Aug 11, 2010 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., August 11, 2010 - Documents posted by the National Security Archive on the 40th anniversary of the death of U.S. advisor Dan Mitrione in Uruguay show the Nixon administration recommended a “threat to kill [detained insurgent] Sendic and other key [leftist insurgent] MLN prisoners if Mitrione is killed.” The secret cable from U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers, made public here for the first time, instructed U.S.
Jun 11, 2010 | Briefing Book br>
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 br>
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.