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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:07 AM
Original message
Guatemala to open police archive to probe abuses
Guatemala to open police archive to probe abuses
03 Mar 2006 00:03:19 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Mica Rosenberg

GUATEMALA CITY, March 2 (Reuters) - Guatemala plans to digitize and eventually open to the public millions of police files that could hold evidence of torture and disappearances committed by security forces during the country's civil war.

But in a country where a U.N.-backed truth report implicated army and police forces in the murder of thousands of civilians, even the most mundane police business can have ominous undertones.

After a U.S.-backed military coup overthrew the government of President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954, thousands were arrested and their records stamped with political affiliations, said Gustavo Meono, lead investigator at the archive. "We found a record for Victor Manuel Gutierrez, the country's most important labor leader between 1944 and 1954," said Meono. "On the back of his application for a motorcycle license it said in big red letters: 'Number one communist in Guatemala.'"

During the civil war, union leaders, community organizers and university students were regular targets for arrest, torture and disappearances.

Prosecutions using the files as evidence are still a long way off, said Meono, since many of those implicated in state crimes are still in power.
"This is without a doubt the largest and most extraordinary collection from a formerly repressive state institution within the Western hemisphere," said Kate Doyle from the Washington-based National Security Archive.
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Trevelyan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm glad that Latin America seems to be throwing off the Bush, Sr. CIA's
horrific exploitation of their countries and facing the past that was engineered by US Imperialists. How can we copy what they did to obtain freedom because as Molly Ivins wrote the Bush Crime Family and Bilderberg/Carlyle are well on the way to colonizing us...detention camps on the mainland US, the industrial prison complex written about by Gary Webb who was murdered for speaking our on that and on the Bush/CIA major drug trafficking and money laundering, the emptying of our Treasury into Halliburton coffers as stated by Sen. Leahy, the major FUBAR of destroying health care including basic ER of even setting broken bones, even children are sent away with broken bones unset to on-call doctors who often will not make an appt. with patients without insurance, though in return for using hospital facilities they are required to treat not just see patients referred by ER, selling of American wilderness areas, murder of our troops who are not given adequate armor or even sanitary food and water or boots and blankets, the aggressive targeting of children by the Pentagon and on and on.
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TAPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I lived in Guatemala
for a few years in the mid '90s and my favorite memories of the police there are:
the time an officer at the station on the town square dropped his gun (a la Barney Fife) and sent a bullet flying into the square which was packed with shoppers and tourists... :woohoo:
the two cops you could find every day drinking beer in their squad car at the gas station. :beer:
It just seems to me that digitizing files is a little beyond their capabilities...
In fairness though, Guatemala is an amazingly beautiful country with some of the nicest folks I've ever met.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. You're lucky to have seen the Fife-like cops. From what we've heard,
people have seen far, far, far worse in that country. I surely hope their dark days are all behind them.

Welcome to DU, TAPat! :hi:

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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. cops you could find drinking beer in their car at the gas station

Sorta a different version of what we have up here

Our version is drinking coffee and eating donuts at Tim Horton's

Most precincts have hardly a cop in site

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
3. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. You're right.Hope it would be far harder to commit gross mass murder there
in the future, as more and more people learn what has happened, and how.

Welcome to DU, RISE_UP! :hi:

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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. "Many of those implicated . . . are still in power"
And not all of them are in power in Guatemala. Coughnegropontecough.
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