Saturday, March 7, 2009

Guatemalan Team to Release War-Era Military Files

A new government commission will organize and declassify military documents that could shed light on torture, disappearances and other atrocities during Guatemala's 36-year civil war, President Alvaro Colom announced Tuesday.

Starting next week, the five-member panel will spend 10 months gathering files from military bases and other institutions, Colom said. Once organized, the documents will be released to the public.

"We are no longer at war. We have no reason to hide anything," Colom told reporters.

However, the team of four civilian government workers and one Defense Ministry official will determine whether any of the documents contain secrets that could jeopardize national security, said presidential spokesman Ronaldo Robles.

A U.N. truth commission in 1999 found that 90 percent of the atrocities committed in the war were carried out by former soldiers and paramilitaries. More than 200,000 people were killed, mostly Mayan Indians.

Read the rest of the AP story here.

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