PBI-Guatemala concerned about situation at the Historical Archive of the National Police

Published by Brent Patterson on

On January 12, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted, “The Supreme Court of Justice had scheduled a public hearing on the AHPN situation but rescheduled it for February 24. Meanwhile the Archive is left without staff.”

The documents stored at the Historical Archive of the National Police (AHPN) have been instrumental in bringing to justice those responsible for serious crimes, including high-level police and army commanders.

Notably, Efraín Ríos Montt, a former general and president of Guatemala, was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity in May 2013 with evidence from the AHPN.

In July 2018, the director of the archive since 2005 was dismissed without explanation. Since the beginning of 2019, staff have been gradually, but continually, dismissed. At one point, 200 people staffed the archive. By June 2019, there were only 35 people left working at the archive. Now, PBI-Guatemala highlights, “the Archive is left without staff”.

This situation has generated concern among the human rights organizations who represent the victims and survivors of the armed conflict, as well as among all the people and institutions that work on historical memory in Guatemala.

For further background on this, there is the PBI-Guatemala article Organizations express concern for the Historical Archive of the National Police and the international statement The Government of Guatemala Should Guarantee the Protection and Access to the Historic Archive of the National Police.

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