Update: The Guatemalan Death Squad Diary and the Right to Truth

Published on National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book No. 378, by Kate Doyle – 646/670-8841, May 3, 2012. (also in espanol).

National Security Archive Expert Testifies before International Court – Fundación Myrna Mack Calls Hearing “Unprecedented”:

On April 25, 2012, Kate Doyle, senior analyst and director of the Guatemala Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, provided expert witness testimony before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of the Diario Militar (Case 12.590, Gudiel Álvarez et al. (Diario Militar) vs. Guatemala) during the Court’s 45th Extraordinary Session held in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  

Doyle’s prepared testimony was followed by questioning by the Petitioners’ legal representatives, and nearly 45 minutes of questioning by the seven judges. The representatives for the State chose to not ask questions.

The following text is an excerpt of Doyle’s testimony. Slides referenced in testimony can be found in a copy of the power point presentation 9.08 MB (to be clicked on NSA online).


25 April 2012 – Guayaquil, Ecuador:

To begin, the State of Guatemala has systematically hidden the information in its power about the internal armed conflict. The Guatemalan Army, the Police and the intelligence services are intrinsically opaque, secretive and closed institutions, and it has been almost impossible to gain access to their records. This policy of silence has survived the peace accords; it has survived the Historical Clarification Commission; and it continues today – despite the discovery of archives, the exhumations of clandestine cemeteries, the criminal convictions of perpetrators of human rights violations, and the unceasing demand for information by families of the disappeared  … (full text, video, commented pictures and many more links).

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