Guatemalan civil war archives lead to first trial

GUATEMALA CITY,  (Reuters) – Information buried in  Guatemalan police archives is being used for the first time in  the trial of two former police officers accused of the forced  disappearance of a union leader during a 36-year civil war.

A Guatemalan judge decided yesterday to send officers  Hector Ramirez and Abraham Gomez to trial based on evidence  from an 80 million-page archive that was discovered in a  rat-infested Guatemala City munitions depot in 2005.

Human rights activists say union leader Fernando Garcia,  27, was on his way to work in February 1984 when he was shot by  police officers and taken to a police hospital. He was never  seen again.

“Documents found in the archive allow us to demonstrate  that the capture and illegal detention took place, and to  identify those responsible and the chain of command,” Gustavo  Meono, coordinator of the project to restore the archives, told  Reuters.