Imminent Threat to Guatemala’s Historical Archive of the National Police

Published: May 30, 2019 – Update for Guatemala Police Archive under Threat posting

Morales Government Tightens Grip on Massive Human Rights Records Trove 

Washington, D.C., May 30, 2019– The National Security Archive joins our international and Guatemalan colleagues in calling for the protection of the Historical Archive of the National Police (AHPN) of Guatemala, which faces new threats to its independence and to public access to its holdings.

In a press conference on Monday, May 27, Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart signaled his intent to assert his agency’s control of the AHPN including the prospect of new restrictions on access to the archived police records and possible legal action against “foreign institutions” holding digitized copies of the documents. Degenhart made his statements as a crucial deadline approached to renew an agreement that for a decade has kept the archive under the authority of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The agreement now appears to be in jeopardy.

The hollowing out of the AHPN is taking place at a time when justice and human rights initiatives are broadly under siege in Guatemala and follows months of uncertainty for the celebrated human rights archive, which has been institutionally adrift since its long-time director, Gustavo Meoño Brenner, was abruptly dismissed in August 2018.

Since its discovery in 2005, the AHPN has played a central role in Guatemala’s attempts to reckon with its bloody past. Its records of more than a century of the history of the former National Police have been relied upon by families of the disappeared, scholars, and prosecutors.  The institution has become a model across Latin America and around the world for the rescue and preservation of vital historical records (…)

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Mexique : « AMLO » ouvre les archives secrètes des services de renseignement


Le président de gauche veut faire la lumière sur les abus commis sous le pouvoir du Parti révolutionnaire institutionnel.

Par Frédéric Saliba, Le Monde 4/3/2019

« Fini l’espionnage politique », martèle le président du Mexique, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, qui a annoncé l’ouverture, lundi 4 mars, des archives des services de renseignement mexicains. Celui qu’on surnomme « AMLO » promet de « faire la lumière » sur les dérives du « régime autoritaire » du Parti révolutionnaire institutionnel (PRI, centre), hégémonique de 1929 à 2000, puis revenu au pouvoir de 2012 à 2018. Le nouveau président de gauche en a lui-même été victime.

Trois mois après son investiture, « AMLO » a demandé, vendredi 1er mars, « pardon au nom de l’Etat » aux victimes des « heures noires » du PRI. La veille, il signait un décret déclassifiant plus de 10 000 caisses de documents, conservées sous scellés aux archives nationales. Les dossiers porteraient sur quatre-vingt-dix ans de persécutions politiques et de violations des droits humains, commises par la direction fédérale de la sécurité (DFS) devenue, en 1989, le centre d’enquête et de sécurité nationale (Cisen) (…)

La totalité des archives, de 1929 à 1985, seront en accès libre à partir de lundi. Les documents recouvrant les vingt-trois dernières années seront, eux, déclassifiés puis numérisés d’ici deux ans (…)

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Fifty Years After Tlatelolco, Censoring the Mexican Archives: Mexico’s “Dirty War” Files Withdrawn from Public Access

Washington D.C., October 2, 2018—Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the notorious Tlatelolco massacre, when the Mexican government killed dozens of students and bystanders protesting the authoritarian regime in a public plaza at Tlatelolco, Mexico City. Across the country, citizens are commemorating the event with marches and rallies, conferences, exhibitions, and performances.

But even as Mexico acknowledges the legacy of the student movement of 1968 and grieves the long-ago slaughter of its young leaders, the Mexican government has quietly removed, censored, and reclassified thousands of previously accessible archives from that era. The General Archive of the Nation (AGN) defends its actions by citing a 2012 Archives Law and new, stricter requirements to protect personal privacy. But the results are heavy-handed to the point of absurdity, as even the most widely known and published records about Tlatelolco and other flashpoints of the dirty war have now been rendered illegible by censorship.

The AGN’s reclassification project is a retreat to Mexico’s old, tired reflexes of disinformation and denial when it comes to politically threatening histories. It reflects the determination of State power to limit or distort what people understand about the past. And it goes hand-in-hand with five decades of impunity for those who planned and executed the crackdown on student protesters in 1968 and injustice for their victims (…)


(…) Fox did make one decision that dramatically altered what we knew about Tlatelolco. In 2002, the president announced the opening of a special collection in the Mexican national archives dedicated to government records about the dirty war. The gesture was made in the spirit of the political transition that had brought him to power and in response to rising demands from civil society to confront past State repression. A powerful report issued by the National Human Rights Commissionshortly after Fox took office, documenting the forced disappearance of hundreds of Mexicans in the 1970s and early 1980s, was another catalyst.

The historical records ordered declassified by the president came from the political intelligence branch of the Interior Secretariat, the old domestic intelligence agency Dirección Federal de Seguridad(DFS), and the Secretariat of Defense (…)

(…) In the wake of the AGN’s newly restrictive access policies, scholars of Mexico’s dirty war are pushing back. On September 13, a group of academics and researchers held a press conference in Mexico City to announce the launch of an ambitious digitization project aimed at making accessible thousands of records about the 1968 student movement and the years of violent state repression that followed. The transnational collaboration – dubbed “Mexican Intelligence Digital Archives” (MIDAS) in English and Los Archivos del Autoritarismo Mexicanoin Spanish – is made possible by researchers who have spent years collecting and copying the dirty war files during the decade beforethey were withdrawn and re-classified (…)

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Digitalizan en Chile 272 mil páginas de archivo sobre Jesuitas en América

El Archivo Nacional de Chile concluyó la digitalización de 272 mil páginas de “Jesuitas de América“, un documento declarado “Memoria del Mundo” por la Unesco y que desde ahora estará a disposición de los interesados de forma presencial o por Internet, dijeron hoy los responsables de la tarea.
El trabajo comenzó en 2011, cuando el Archivo chileno ganó una convocatoria de la Fundación Mapfre, a la que se presentaron 200 proyectos, para la conservación, catalogación y difusión de archivos históricos de América Latina, España y Portugal.
Se trata de información contenida en 433 volúmenes, que registran los inventarios de bienes existentes en las Misiones, Noviciados, Haciendas y Colegios, entre otras obras realizadas por la Compañía de Jesús entre los siglos XVI y XVIII en España, América y Filipinas.
La información fue generada por la Junta de Temporalidades de la Compañía de Jesús, organismo que supervisó y auditó los bienes de la Orde a partir de su expulsión de los territorios gobernados por la corona española (…)
Para seguir con este artículo de La Voz 21/08/2014
Y el sitio de Jesuitas en América:
El Fondo “Jesuitas de América”, custodiado por el Archivo Nacional de Chile, consta de 446 volúmenes provenientes de las “Juntas de Temporalidades – Compañía de Jesús”, organismo oficial de la Corona Española cuya función era realizar un catastro y administrar el destino de los bienes confiscados a los Jesuitas después de su expulsión desde los diversos territorios dominados por la corona española en 1767. La documentación que integra el fondo, fue producida entre los años 1561 y 1800, mientras que los lugares de producción de los documentos existentes, provienen de las diversas provincias jesuitas, entre ellas, Argentina, Bogotá, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, entre otras. Por su destacado valor patrimonial, éste fondo fue declarado por la UNESCO el año 2003 “Memoria del Mundo”.
Otros sitios relacionados: Archivo Nacional de Chile y Fundación Mapfre

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