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Kate Doyle, Director of the Evidence Project at the National Security Archive, photo courtesy of Skylight Pictures from GRANITO.

Washington, DC, February 3, 2012- Kate Doyle, director of the Evidence Project at the National Security Archive, and Fredy Peccerelli, the forensic anthropologist of the Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala, have won the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archive (ALBA) and Puffin Foundation Award for Human Rights Activism, one of the world's largest prizes in the field of human rights.

Doyle and Peccerelli have worked for twenty years to bring to light evidence of genocide in Guatemala.

They were recognized as "indefatigable defenders of human rights" by Sebastiaan Faber, Chair of the ALBA.

The award goes to "individuals or groups whose work has an exceptionally positive impact on the advancement and/or defense of human rights," said Puffin Foundation President Perry Rosenstein. It carries a $100,000 honorarium. The award will be presented on Sunday, May 13th at 2:30pm at the Museum of the City of New York, located at 1220 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

A forensic archivist, Doyle works to bring to justice former military and civilian officials in Latin America by documenting human rights crimes using evidence found in government files. Doyle's September 2008 expert witness testimony helped lead to the conviction of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori for killings and kidnappings during a long armed conflict with leftist guerrillas. With the help of declassified U.S. documents she produced, the ex-dictator was convicted for crimes against humanity and sentenced to 25 years in jail.

Doyle has contributed to many of the Archive's greatest achievements. She directs the Archive's newest program, the Evidence Project, which seeks to unite the struggle for human rights justice and the right to information.


Genocide Cases

In 2009, Kate Doyle made public a collection of Guatemalan army documents that described "scorched-earth" massacres in the early 1980's. The Operación Sofía records are now serving as crucial evidence in the genocide indictment handed down on January 26 against ex-president General Efrain Rios Montt of Guatemala.

Doyle has also provided expert witness testimony in the Guatemala genocide hearings held in Spain beginning in February 2008, analyzing declassified U.S. documents from the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department. The documents detail Guatemalan army operations to kill thousands of Mayan civilians, as well as describe the composition of the military, the commanders, campaigns, military plans and general operations.

Fernando García and Dos Erres

Doyle provided evidence to prosecutors in the case of the Dos Erres Massacre, in which four former Guatemalan Special Forces soldiers were sentenced to 6,060-year prison terms for the murder of 201 civilians and crimes against humanity.

In the case of the disappeared Guatemalan labor leader Fernando Garcia, Doyle submitted an expert report and expert witness testimony on declassified

U.S. government documents used as evidence in the trial. The judge in that case sentenced two police officers to 40 years in prison each after they were convicted on charges of forced disappearance.

Historical Archive of the National Police (AHPN)

Doyle has served as a key advisor to the Historic Archive of the Guatemalan National Police, a unique cache of evidence whose existence the government had long denied. The seven-year effort to preserve, protect, and present to the public millions of pages of records has been a watershed in the struggle for human rights and justice in Guatemala.

Truth Commission

During years of research, Doyle obtained thousands of declassified U.S. records through Freedom of Information Act requests regarding human rights violations and the U.S. role in the conflict. Her findings supported the work of the UN-sponsored Historical Clarification Commission, charged with investigating Guatemala's brutal 36-year civil conflict. After the commission published its report in 1999, the Archive began working with Guatemalan human rights organizations to mine the U.S. documents for use in several pivotal human rights cases. A digitalized collection of the documents – "Death Squads, Guerrilla War, Covert Operations, and Genocide: Guatemala and the United States, 1954-1999 (Guatemala and the U.S.," – was published in 2002.

Page from the DeathSquad Dossier, a Guatemalan Intelligence document.

Death Squad Diary

Doyle made front-page news around the world in 1999 by unveiling the Guatemalan "death squad dossier," a military logbook chronicling the forced disappearance and murder of more than 100 Guatemalans in the 1980s. The Death Squad Diary is the subject of a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Myrna Mack

Doyle provided expert witness testimony in the murder of Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack before a criminal court in 2002 and the Inter-American Court in 2003. These cases were crucial in establishing momentum for the freedom of information and due process. The criminal trial ended with the first-ever conviction of a senior Guatemalan military officer on human rights charges, for planning and ordering Mack's assassination.


Convicting a Dictator

Kate Doyle is sworn inbefore a judge to testify against former president of Peru, Alberto Fujimori.Fujimori, seen in the background, was subsequently convicted of human rightsviolations and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Doyle's research and Freedom of Information Act requests about human rights violations in Peru laid the groundwork for the Peru Documentation Project. The project went on to publish revelations about Peru's former intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos and role of Alberto Fujimori's military in human rights abuses, and provided important documentary evidence for Peru's Truth Commission Report, "The Search for Truth: The Declassified Record on Human Rights Abuses in Peru."

That documentation also served in the case against Fujimori. Doyle gave expert witness testimony on declassified U.S. government documents introduced as evidence at his trial. The former president was convicted for crimes against humanity and sentenced to 25 years. The case was a blow against impunity for Latin American leaders who abuse their power.


The cover image of the El Salvador 1980-1994 set of declassified U.S. government documents publishedby the National Security Archive under Kate Doyle's direction. The documentswere cited in the United Nations Truth Commission in El Salvador as some of theonly primary source documents.

Doyle's earliest research at the Archive contributed to the gathering of documents on human rights violations in El Salvador and the U.S. government's involvement in the country's civil war. She and others in the National Security Archive provided essential support to the efforts of investigators from the UN Truth Commission in El Salvador, who spent weeks in the Archive's reading room combing through our huge collections of declassified records. Many of the records consulted by investigators were the results of the National Security Archive's very first Freedom of Information requests, made in the early 1980s.

The Truth Commission report created front-page news in 1993, naming army officers and guerilla leaders responsible for the most outrageous human rights violations in that country during the 1980's. The Archive was cited repeatedly in the report (13 times in the 24-page chronology of the violence alone). Following its publication, Doyle helped to push the Clinton administration to release U.S. government documents on 30 paradigmatic human rights cases investigated by the commission.

President Clinton subsequently ordered the disclosure of over 12,000 documents to the public in 1993 and 1994. Doyle published these documents as the National Security Archive's second digitalized collection on El Salvador, "El Salvador: War, Peace, and Human Rights, 1980-1994 (El Salvador 1980-1994)." This effort paved way for the declassification of U.S. government documents for the Guatemalan Truth Commission several years later.



The cover to the October 1998 Mileno, a Mexican magazine with thearticle Kate Doyle wrote about the iconic Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968 thatsparked the Mexican freedom of information movement.

Doyle's efforts to obtain declassified U.S. documents about the Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968, and her published works showcasing the documents in the Mexican magazine Milenio, contributed to a Mexican movement for the right to information. It led to the Mexican Freedom of Information Law in 2002. Milenio article (1998), here. Proceso article (2003), here.

Doyle also published "The Dead of Tlatelolco" in Proceso magazine in 2006. Her investigation into Mexican intelligence records created a definitive list of victims of the 1968 student massacre. In October 2008, on the 40th anniversary of the massacre, she dramatically updated the findings. The Archive's Web postings included the full text of the documents used, and launched an electronic registry designed to permit families of those killed in Tlatelolco and others to provide information, photos and official records about the deaths. Doyle underscored the importance of writing history based on facts found in public documents such as police records and autopsy reports.

As director of the Mexico Documentation project, Doyle collected U.S. declassified documents, as well as Mexican National Archives documents on the disappeared parents of Aleida Gallangos. With the support of these documents as evidence, the case has gone to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as one of the few cases addressing human rights violations in Mexico's Dirty War.

Combining requests under the Mexican law and labor intensive research in the archives, the Mexico Project has revealed new information about the Guatemalan Army's deadly pursuit of Mayan refugees living in Mexico in the 1980s, intelligence sharing during Operation Condor in the Southern Cone, and the Argentine military's determination to hunt down suspected leftists in Mexico City in the mid-1970s. In Argentina, the National Security Archive has provided prosecutors and judges key Mexican documents for use as evidence in human rights trials in Buenos Aires.

"Granito: How To Nail A Dictator" theatrical trailer from Skylight Pictures on Vimeo.

Kate is the final speaker at an NSArchive/WOLA event to mark the one-year anniversary of the Araguaia ruling on access to information in Brazil. She called for a regionalmovement to have the "right to information" recognized as a human right within the human rights movement.

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