Guatemala Releases Report on National Police History

10 June 2011

The National Security Archives June 8 posted on its website a copy of the report, “From Silence to Memory: Revelations of the Historical Archive of the National Police” (Del Silencio a la Memoria: Revelaciones del Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional), about the role of the Guatemalan police.

The report was officially released June 7 by the Historical Archive of the National Police (AHPN) in Guatemala during a ceremony at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

The National Security Archive’s senior analyst and director of the Guatemalan Documentation Project, Kate Doyle, spoke at the ceremony. (English version available, here. Spanish version here.) Doyle said in part:

The title of the AHPN publication is a tribute to the final report of the CEH, “Memory of Silence”: not only in the sense that the commission was able to deliver to the people of Guatemala the results of shocking and brilliant unpublished research but also in implicit reference to one of the thorniest problems for the commission – the lack of official information. Not the lack of testimony from survivors. Not the lack of bones of the exhumations. Not the lack of publications of human rights organizations, or the decisions of the inter-American institutions. Not the lack of press clippings, reports of the church, the family requests or reports from witnesses. Only the lack of official government information in Guatemala–the country’s army and its accomplice and subordinate, the National Police.

The discovery of the Historical Archives of the National Police, and the release of this report, are proof that official records of the repressive regimes during the conflict do in fact exist, contrary to what the government has insisted for years.

Report Cover

Divided into four chapters, the report explains 1) the structure of the National Police; 2) the institution’s relationship with the government and military’s security forces; 3) the role of the National Police during the conflict; and 4) examples of the research and investigations the AHPN has conducted on specific cases.

The report includes images of Police Archive records, as well as hyperlinks imbedded in the PDF file to additional documents on the AHPN’s new website.

The release of the report also coincided with the launch of the AHPN’s official website which can be found here.

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