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National Security Archive’s Kate Doyle Wins Prestigious ALBA Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism

February 1, 2012

By: Claire Navarro

**UPDATE**: See National Security Archive’s full posting, here.

Doyle Featured in flim, "Granito: How to Nail a Dictator"

National Security Archive’s director of the Evidence Project Kate Doyle and FAFG’s forensic anthropologist Fredy Peccerelli are both recipients of the Second Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archive (ALBA) and Puffin Foundation Award for Human Rights Activism, announced the ALBA this week.  As noted by Puffin Foundation President Perry Rosenstein, “the award is designed to give public recognition, support, and encouragement to individuals or groups whose work has an exceptionally positive impact on the advancement and/or defense of human rights.”  Doyle and Peccerelli have worked for twenty years to bring to light evidence of human rights violations in Guatemala.

Peccerelli and Doyle, recognized for their work fighting against impunity in Latin America, were described as “indefatigable defenders of human rights” by Sebastiaan Faber, Chair of the ALBA.

Given the positive impact their work has already had, it is quite possible that the expertise of both Doyle and Peccerelli will be called upon in upcoming trials as expert witness testimony against Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemalan dictator from 1982-1983. Last Thursday, a Guatemalan court decided that there is sufficient evidence to formally charge the former dictator for genocide and human rights violations which led to the murder of 1,771 Mayan-Ixil civilians during Ríos Montt’s presidency.

Forensic archivist, Kate Doyle, has worked over the years to bring to justice past military officials whose crimes have been documented in government records, like that of the Operation Sofia papers.  As noted in Skylight Pictures’ film, “Granito,” in which Doyle appears, it is difficult, but not impossible, to “nail” a past dictator for human rights offenses committed during his reign.  For example, in the fifteen month trail beginning in December of 2007, former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was found guilty for the ordered killings and kidnappings of “subversives” during the 1990s armed conflict with the guerillas.  With the help of Doyle’s September 2008 expert witness testimony on declassified U.S. documents the ex-dictator was convicted for crimes against humanity and sentenced to 25 years in jail.

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Award Ceremony – Sunday, May 13th at 2:30pm
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY 10029

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