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.