When Justice Prevails

Faces of some of the 183 people who were forcibly disappeared, tortured and in most cases executed in Guatemala in the Diario Militar case. (Graphic created by Takaaki Okada) – Skylight Newsletter ‘When Justice Prevails’

In the latest newsletter, from Skylight, Pamela Yates features an interview with Kate Doyle of the National Security Archive (NSA).


A powerful recent example [of justice cascade] comes from Guatemala, a small country yet one where human rights defenders have ensured that it remains a model for calling on international justice mechanisms to bolster and broaden its domestic courts. The survivors of the country’s genocidal campaign against indigenous communities, and those in solidarity, have never given up their quest for justice.

On May 27, 2021, the astonishing news broke that the Guatemalan police raided the homes and arrested 11 former military and state security agents accused of kidnapping, torture, and in most cases, the execution of almost 200 people in the early 1980s. Known as the Diario Militar case (Death Squad Dossier), a collection of intelligence and police records about the purported crimes was first leaked to Kate Doyle, a U.S.-Latin American policy and human rights expert, in 1999. It’s the story we tell in our film, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator. Doyle, Senior Analyst at the National Security Archive, was an expert witness in the Inter-American Court for Human Rights’ case of 2012 and together with the testimony of surviving family members, obtained a ruling determining that Guatemala was responsible for crimes associated with the Diario Militar case.

The ruling ordered the government to determine who committed them, locate the victims’ remains, provide psychological support to families, and various reparations.


Kate Doyle has continued writing about and testifying about the Diario Militar for more than 20 years, and the interview is well worth watching.

You can read the Newsletter, in full, including links, here, When Justice Prevails.

The image, above, by Takaaki Okada, was featured in that Newsletter.



Categories: Accompaniment, Genocide, Guatemala, Human Rights, Impunity, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Land, Military, Poverty, Report, Solidarity in Action, Violence

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