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.