During the 36-year armed conflict (aka. Civil War), many people simply disappeared. A lot of these disappearances were at the hands of the army, others were at the hands of the well-known “paramilitaries” — contractors acting on the orders of the military or local public officials. Others were at the hands of the National Police. Unlike the others, the police in many cases kept detailed records of what they did, where and when. These records were mostly tied with string, and thrown into a big pile in a building near downtown Guatemala City.
The Police Archives Project is unbundling, scanning, and organizing these records so that more can be learned and understood about what happened during the Armed Conflict. The information they gather is forwarded to the Ministero Publico, which makes the decision whether to move forward prosecuting any cases or not.
Inside the police archives with Director Alberto
Alba Maldonado aka. Ex-Comandante Lola
Few women attained leadership positions in the people’s struggle against the installed military dictatorships during the armed conflict, but Alba Maldonado managed to do so. She also led a coalition of left-leaning organizations in recent years. Here’s an article describing the general state of the left as of 2002, which mentions her role: