Reseña: Marina Franco, El final del silencio. Dictadura, sociedad y derechos humanos en la transición (Argentina, 1979-1983) (Buenos Aires, FCE, 2018)

Auteure de nombreux travaux consacrés à l’histoire récente du Cône sud et tout particulièrement de Un enemigo para la nación. Orden interno, violencia y subversión 1973-1976 (également publié au FCE en 2012), Marina Franco ne se contente pas avec ce nouvel ouvrage de débroussailler un champ de recherche sujet à maints débats car centré sur un passé récent, qui ne « passe pas » toujours. Elle poursuit ici une réflexion sur les conditions de la sortie de dictature, du retour à la démocratie et du modèle transitionnel adopté dans le cas de l’Argentine, en liaison avec la question persistante des droits humains dont les échos persistent dans le temps présent. Mères de la Place de Mai, bébés volés devenus des adultes recherchant leurs parents, souvent des militants assassinés par la dictature, centres d’emprisonnement et de torture transformés en musées ou mémoriaux, l’histoire du temps présent argentin et plus généralement des dictatures du Cône sud renvoie indéniablement à ce que l’auteur qualifie, sous forme de questionnement ouvert, de « culture des droits humains ». La seule mention des archives utilisées, ainsi du ministère de la Défense et de sa « direction des droits humains » (sic) atteste de l’intérêt porté à ce passé récent, douloureusement inscrit dans les mémoires, à ses victimes et à ses formes de justice et de réparation. D’autres images contribuent de fait à ce déplacement de focale. Comme en attestent les véritables « récits mémoriels » que constituent les images, la guerre des Malouines elle-même (1983) passe en effet à un second plan face à la rupture constitutionnelle et politique du 10 décembre 1983. Cette date signe en effet la fin de la dictature, la reconnaissance des luttes pour les droits humains et le triomphe d’Alfonsín. D’autres aspects furent, en revanche, oubliés voire durablement occultés en cette sortie de dictature, que cet ouvrage vise précisément à (re)mettre en lumière (…)

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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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Trump Administration Turns Over Massive Collection of Intelligence Records on Human Rights and Argentina

National Security Archive : Apr 12, 2019 Briefing Book #669 – Edited by Carlos Osorio and Peter Kornbluh

47,000 Pages of CIA, FBI, NSC, DOD and State Dept. Records Touted as “Largest” Government-to-Government Transfer of Declassified Documentation

Documents Spotlight Buenos Aires Base for International Death Squad Operations sponsored by Condor States; Record Ruthless Repression by Argentine Security Forces during Military Dictatorship, 1976-1983

National Security Archive Commends Completion of U.S. Government’s Special Argentina Project as ‘Model of Declassification Diplomacy’ and Major Contribution to the Cause of Human Rights and History

Washington D.C., April 12, 2019 –In late May 1976, the secret police chieftains of six Southern Cone military regimes gathered at a clandestine summit in Santiago, Chile, to create a “new unit, which was given the code name ‘Teseo,’”—a reference to Theseus, the mythical Greek King of the Athenians and heroic slayer of the Minotaur, among other enemies. The mission of “Teseo” was to “conduct physical attacks against subversive targets” abroad, particularly militant Latin American leftists in Europe, according to formerly secret CIA intelligence reports turned over today to Argentina by the U.S. government, and posted for the first time by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.

The “Teseo” program represented a new initiative under “Operation Condor”–the clandestine collaboration of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil to strike at their opposition in the Southern Cone and beyond.  At the time, the CIA also managed to obtain the “text of the agreement by Condor countries regulating their operations against subversive targets”—a comprehensive planning paper on financing, staffing, logistics, training, and selection of targets that reveals both the banal and dramatic details of organizing and implementing Condor’s “Teseo” death squad operations. The “Teseo” operations base would be located “at Condor 1 (Argentina).”  


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Prelude to Iguala: “Heavy-handed police tactics” used against Ayotzinapa students in 2011

U.S. Ambassador Wayne said state was “blaming victims” and “denying any responsibility
National Security Archive News Alert
Edited by Michael Evans
Posted – October 7, 2015

Washington, DC, October 7, 2015 – U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne said that “evidence of heavy-handed police tactics” was “strong and disconcerting” after a 2011 clash with student protestors from Ayotzinapa normal school left two youths and a gas station employee dead and several others wounded, according to a declassified cable from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

Authorities in the Mexican state of Guerrero “reacted defensively and insensitively by blaming the victims and denying any responsibility” for their part in what the Embassy cable called a “chaotic student protest” in which “both police and protestors resorted to violent tactics.”

The newly-declassified cable was obtained by the National Security Archive under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and was the focus of an article published today by the award-winning team of investigative journalists at Mexico’s Aristegui Noticias.

The deadly 2011 incident against students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Normal School in Ayotzinapa came less than three years before 43 students from the university were disappeared and six others were killed after being detained by police forces in Iguala, Guerrero on the night of September 25-26, 2014. More than a year later, the federal government’s theory about what happened that night lies in ruins, and the families of the victims are no closer to knowing the fates of their loved ones.

Last month, a group of independent investigators invited by the Mexican government and appointed by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights of the Organization of American States rejected the government’s version of the 2014 case, which held that a cabal of local politicians, municipal police forces and members of a drug gang had kidnapped and killed the students before burning the bodies at a garbage dump. The group of experts said the government lacked physical evidence connecting the alleged perpetrators to the case, that security forces had tortured many of the witnesses, and that a fire in which the government claims the bodies were burned could not have happened.


Argentina: los archivos de la dictadura en línea

Capture d’écran 2014-03-23 à 10.00.40El 21 de marzo, ll Gobierno argentino (ministerio de Defensa) lanzó la plataforma virtual, donde se alojarán las digitalizaciones de todos los archivos secretos de la última dictadura (1976-1983) hallados en un edificio de la Fuerza Aérea el pasado noviembre.
La documentación comprende las actas de las juntas militares y las listas negras de intelectuales y artistas calificados como “peligrosos” por el régimen. Se podrá consultar de forma gratuita a través de la red mientras que los originales serán conservados en la Biblioteca Aeronáutica de la capital argentina (información Efe). El material digitalizado forma parte de las 1.500 carpetas de documentos encontradas en el subsuelo del Edificio Cóndor (Buenos Aires) por un empleado de mantenimiento el pasado 4 de noviembre.
El lanzamiento de este sitio web forma parte de las actividades de reivindicación de la memoria programadas con motivo del 38 aniversario del golpe de estado en Argentina, ocurrido el 24 de marzo de 1976.

“El Ministerio de Defensa reafirma su compromiso de apertura y accesibilidad de los archivos de las Fuerzas Armadas, estableciendo como eje transversal la política de estado de Memoria, Verdad y Justicia. Por ello, desde la Dirección Nacional de Derechos Humanos y Derecho Internacional Humanitario se crearon equipos de relevamiento y análisis de la documentación de interés histórico y/o judicial obrante en los archivos de las Fuerzas Armadas y se impulsó el Programa de Modernización del Sistema de Archivos del Área de la Defensa.

En este marco, se produjo el hallazgo de documentación correspondiente al periodo de la última dictadura militar en el subsuelo del Edificio Cóndor. Dicha documentación fue inventariada, relevada, conservada y digitalizada con el objeto de ser puesta a la consulta pública.”

The University of Texas at Austin – Documentos Digitalizados del Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional de Guatemala


A product of broad international collaboration, these digitized documents from the Guatemalan National Police Historical Archive (AHPN) aim to facilitate scholarly and legal research into a vast cache of historical documentation. The discovery of the National Police Historical Archive in 2005 opened an extensive and timely resource for the study of Guatemalan history and human rights in the region, spanning a broad array of topics from Guatemala’s armed conflict between 1960 and 1996 to the sexually transmitted disease experiments performed at the behest of the United States government in the 1940s. The Archive is presented online here for the first time.

This site currently includes over 10 million scanned images of documents from the National Police Historical Archive. This digital archive mirrors and extends the physical archive that remains preserved in Guatemala as an important historical patrimony of the Guatemalan people.

To make best use of this resource, we suggest taking some time to read the tutorial and examples found on the About this Site page, learning the organizational structure of the National Police, and then patiently exploring the archive. This is not a full text search engine like Google, but rather the digital iteration of what you would encounter working in the massive paper archive in Guatemala. When you go to an archive, you will seldom find the exact document you are looking for right away. It will often take many hours of investigation to find relevant documents, if they exist at all. This Archive is arranged in accordance with the professional archival principles of provenance and original order to reflect the Guatemalan National Police administrative structure, and understanding that structure is a valuable way to start.

AHPN: Digitized Documents is a collaborative project of the University of Texas’ Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies, Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, and Benson Latin American Collection, with the Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional de Guatemala. We hope this resource will serve to promote a better understanding of the social and political history of Guatemala and will facilitate the search for truth and respect for human rights in the region.