Tech Forensics in Guatemala Results in Groundbreaking Arrest for Decades-old Human Rights Crime

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15 Responses to “Tech Forensics in Guatemala Results in Groundbreaking Arrest for Decades-old Human Rights Crime”

  1. MrFrankenstein says:

    Curious to have an article dealing with a murder, that doesn’t mention the direct responsibility of the USA – who supplied the weapons, training, and money to finance the specific murder, and a larger countrywide genocide, in the first place.

    Its a bit like having an article on bone forensics at Auschwitz, that forgets to mention the Nazi’s.

    ‘Reagan and Guatemala’s Death Files’
    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Ronald_Reagan/Reagan_Guatemala.html
    and ‘Group says files show US knew of Guatemala abuses’
    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/AP/story/956938.html

    or just google CIA and Guatemala

  2. Anonymous says:

    @ #3 Robert:
    Perhaps the creation of records allowed the lower level participants to feel they were involved in something “official,” and state-sanctioned, and therefore not completely unconscionable.

  3. Ugly Canuck says:

    Oh yeah, Reagan was all for freedom…to kill and torture children.
    D’ya think the ‘lessons learned” were put to use in Iraq during the Terror in Bagdad in 2005? No?

  4. Xeni Jardin says:

    #4, they believed they were doing right, or at least they were doing the job they were assigned to. They were on the right side, you know? They weren’t the bad guys.

    #6, don’t be a jerk. This isn’t an “article,” this is a very very brief blog post which points to dozens of reports, some of which I’ve reported myself, which delve into the USA’s blood-stained history in Guatemala. You’re not telling me something I don’t already know, and not *ever* single mention of the conflict will allow space or focus to re-tell the entire history and lineage of the United States’ involvement.

    The immediate story here is about the archivos, and what that process has led to.

  5. pirano says:

    This is amazing. VERY nice to see that 25 years later, at least some of those involved can longer hide.

  6. fltndboat says:

    25 Years ago most of us did not have the luxury of sitting at home and browsing the World. Trying to make a difference often involved putting our bodies in harms way. Holding past perpetrators accountable for the pain and suffering they unleashed may send a message to our new group of criminal cowards that their acts will not be forgotten. I hope.

  7. ScribblingSquid says:

    Another great example of this sort of thing happened in Argentina.

    Mary Clare-King is a Seattle genetics and breast cancer researcher who also does a good deal of human rights and other public interest work.

    In Argentina, the death squads were torturing and killing off just about everyone in sight. They didn’t seem to need much, if any, excuse.

    After killing someone off, they grabbed any infants still alive and hauled them off to be adopted by ultra right wing activists or officials.

    Many of the kids were brought up thinking that these ultra rightists were their real parents.

    Mary Clare-King went over and did DNA matching to link many of these orphans back up with their real families. She also does things like go out to mass grave sites from massacres all over the world and performs DNA tests to help identify the victims.

  8. CaptainKabob says:

    I wonder what impact this will have upon other high-ranking people who have skeletons in the closet: skeletons that weren’t brought out during the Historical Clarification Commission (Guatemala’s truth and reconciliation commission): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Clarification_Commission

  9. skrewgun says:

    A friend of mine happened to be traveling in Guatemala 15 years ago and got involved with documenting a dig of a village wiped out by soldiers. He ended up taking photos of the corpses of children exhumed from a well, where they were all thrown while still alive.

    Hopefully theses techniques can be used to catch more of these monsters.

  10. jonesey says:

    Must. Have. That. Shirt.

  11. Anonymous says:

    the christian right in the usa, ie, jimmy swaggart pat robertson etc directly supported this event with political stances and even $.
    i may have proof one day, but the quotes from their own mouths are out there…
    i think they better start praying.

  12. jphilby says:

    #6 Thanks for the links. The involvement of the US in the endless misery in S.A. for the past 150 years is a subject that deserves endless links all over the place until Americans wake up to the multiple hells they’ve paid for.

    You’re utterly right: no mention of atrocities in any part of the world fueled in any way by US tax dollars should *ever* go without links to that information. One way or the other, Americans will pay until they stop being a primary source of world misery.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is the problem with blogs. You leave out the source where you got the tex: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB273/index.htm

    Then you give the National Security Archive as the “project.” The National Police Archives in Gautemala (Archivo Historical de la Policia Nacional – AHPN) is very different from the National Security Archive at GWU. It’s important to clear this up.

  14. Robert says:

    So whose bright idea was it to *document* their own human rights abuses? I mean, I know the Nazis did it (oops, Godwinned) because they genuinely thought they were going to rule the world. But Guatemala?

  15. FreakCitySF says:

    I want that shirt too!

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