Saturday, June 13, 2009

Let Loose at LASA

Just returned from a death squads comparison workshop…
Good to meet old friends-- David Holiday now in D.C.; Martha Doggett, whom I hadn’t seen since visiting her office high up in the secretariat at the U.N. 4 years ago.
Like minds end up in the same rooms here at the Pontifical University, which is good because otherwise people would be hard to find among 5500 attendees at more than 1240 panels over the four days of the conference.
Peter Kornbluh and colleagues from the National Security Archive presented fascinating panel on how uncovered documents pursue and nail dictators and other rights violators in Chile, Peru and Mexico. Never underestimate that good, old-fashioned virtual paper trail.
Unfortunately, Kate Doyle unable to appear, but word is the Guatemala genocide case is proceeding apace. Perhaps most hands-on useful of all was Emilene Martinez-Morales’ explanation about how access to information with regard to human rights is now mandated and available by request to govt. files in Peru, Guatemala, Uruguay , and perhaps soon, if legislation passes, in Argentina. And in Mexico now at
Mexico takes 12 days to reply; a Freedom of Information Act request to Washington takes an average of 2 years.
Look on the Archive’s website for more, but if needed, emilene’s mail is