The BBC World Service is to broadcast a documentary about the police archives, much in the news recently. Entitled "The Atrocity Archives" it will be broadcast on 6 Apil. You can find out the programme details, listen to a trailer and find out the transmission times for different regions here.
The Atrocity Archives- BBC World Service: Part One
Programme One begins with the launch of the report in Guatemala City, attended by 1000 guests and journalists.
Gerry meets those at work restoring it – who lost loved ones during the civil war, killed or disappeared.
He speaks to Mayan people who suffered massacres, torture and the rape of their women, and looks at the risks posed by those who would rather names and evidence stayed secret.
Gerry also hears the story of a former general who expresses pride in what he did to ‘preserve the dignity of Guatemala.’ And the story of a Catholic bishop who – during the war – denounced the state, only to be murdered days later.
Due to evidence revealed in the archives – the bishop’s killers are now being prosecuted.
The Atrocity Archives- BBC World Service: Part Two
Programme Two begins with a tour of the archives – where documents, mouldy and crumbling, are being deciphered by a team of dedicated archivists and technicians.
Many of them do so in the hope of finding evidence of what happened to their loved ones were either killed or ‘disappeared.’
These include the case of union leader Fernando Garcia, and an eye-witness account of a village massacre, with buildings set on fire, children tossed into the flames, and women raped.
The last word goes to a Mayan spokesman who has seen the worst of Guatemala.
He tells Gerry that the opening of the archives might lead to justice, reconciliation, and the best of Guatemala.