Benetech Helps Establish “Forced Disappearance” as a Crime in Guatemala
July 26, 2011 | Grantee News | Human Rights

Using statistical analysis of evidence from the Guatemalan National Police Archives, MacArthur grantee Benetech — a non-profit that produces free software that helps hold abusive governments accountable for human rights abuses — helped convict and sentence two policemen for the disappearance of a prominent union leader. The group also provided evidence used to support the arrest of the former chief of the Guatemalan National Police on charges of complicity in the case. The landmark ruling established forced disappearance as a crime in Guatemala, enabled its court system to address the massive human rights crimes of the armed internal conflict, and paved the way for judges to trust archive documents as evidence in future human rights cases.

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