Wars in the Backyard

The National Security Archive has just declassified eleven documents on the extra judicial arrests conducted 25 years ago by the government of Guatemala. It appears that the US embassy clearly knew that the security forces were involved in the kidnappings. In a Department of State secret report, dated March 1986, we can read:

While criminal activity accounts for a small percentage of the cases, and from time to time individuals “disappear” to go elsewhere, the security forces and rightist paramilitary groups are responsible for most kidnapping. Insurgent groups do not normally use kidnapping as a political tactic, although they did resort to kidnapping for ransom in their formative years.
First used systematically by security forces against Communist Party and members of the moderate left beginning in 1966, the practice of kidnapping became institutionalized over time. Some 6500 persons have been kidnapping or disappeared since 1977, far short of the 38,000 claimed by critics of the previous Guatemalan governments. The average number of monthly kidnapping peaked in 1984 under regime of General Mejia. At first security forces utilized kidnappings to intimidate the left and convince potential guerrilla supporters to remain neutral. Kidnapping of rural social workers, medical personnel, and campesinos became common between 1979-83. Often innocent victims were accused of being insurgents by military commissioners, other village leaders or an individual’s personal enemies or business competitors. (…) In the cities, out of frustration from the judiciary’s unwillingness to convict and sentence insurgents, and convinced that kidnapping of suspected insurgents and their relatives would lead to a quick destruction of the guerrilla urban networks, the security forces began to systematically kidnap anyone suspected of insurgent connections. This tactic was successful. Most of the insurgent infrastructure in Guatemala City was eliminated by 1984.

The Guatemalan Civil War ended formally in 1996. But violence did not. According to national newspaper Siglo XXI, in the last fourteen months, an average of 17.6 persons have been killed every day. How many during the 36 years of civil war? 15.2.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

tweets


Twitter: frbailo

links


blogroll


RSS r-bloggers.com

  • Current approaches to Species Distribution Modelling in R
    Current approaches to Species Distribution Modelling in R My course notes for “Current approaches to Species Distribution Modelling in R “ for World Fisheries Congress 2021 are now free online. The course covers tidyverse and sf workflows for models,... Continue reading: Current approaches to Species Distribution Modelling in R
  • Why and How to Model Conditional Variance, with an Application to my Letterboxd Data
    One of the main assumptions of linear regression taught in statistics courses is that of “constant variance” or “homoscedasticity.” Having data that do not have constant variance (i.e., are heteroscedastic) is then often treated as a problem—a nuisance that violates our assumptions and, among other things, produces inaccurate ... Continue reading: Why and How to […]
  • Gold-Mining Week 3 (2021)
    Week 3 Gold Mining and Fantasy Football Projection Roundup now available. The post Gold-Mining Week 3 (2021) appeared first on Fantasy Football Analytics. Continue reading: Gold-Mining Week 3 (2021)
  • EARL online 2021: highlights
    Thank you to everyone who joined us for EARL 2021 – especially to all of the fantastic presenters! We were... The post EARL online 2021: highlights appeared first on Mango Solutions. Continue reading: EARL online 2021: highlights
  • GooglyPlusPlus2021: Restarting IPL 2021 as-it-happens!!!
    The IPL 2021 extravaganza has restarted again, now in Dubai, and it was time for me to crank up good ol’ GooglyPlusPlus2021. As in my earlier post, GooglyPlus2021 with IPL 2021 as it happens, during the initial set of IPL 2021 games,, a command script will execute automatically every day, download the latest ... Continue […]

RSS Simply Statistics

  • Streamline - tidy data as a service
    Tldr: We started a company called Streamline Data Science https://streamlinedatascience.io/ that offers tidy data as a service. We are looking for customers, partnerships and employees as we scale up after closing our funding round! Most of my career, I have worked in the muck of data cleaning. In the world of genomics, a lot of […]
  • The Four Jobs of the Data Scientist
    In 2019 I wrote a post about The Tentpoles of Data Science that tried to distill the key skills of the data scientist. In the post I wrote: When I ask myself the question “What is data science?” I tend to think of the following five components. Data science is (1) the application of design […]
  • Palantir Shows Its Cards
    File this under long-term followup, but just about four years ago I wrote about Palantir, the previously secretive but now soon to be public data science company, and how its valuation was a commentary on the value of data science more generally. Well, just recently Palantir filed to go public and therefore submitted a registration […]

RSS Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • More on that claim that scientific citations are worth $100,000 each
    Earlier today we discussed a stunning claim by scholar and Ted talk performer Albert-Laszlo Barabasi: It’s possible to put actual monetary value on each citation a paper receives. We can, in other words calculate exactly how much a single citation is worth. . . . in the United States each citation is worth a whopping […]
  • Albert-Laszlo Barabasi is underpaid. By a lot!
    David Sholl writes: I thought your readers might be interested in this excerpt from the relatively new book in the Malcolm Gladwell tradition by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success: It’s possible to put actual monetary value on each citation a paper receives. We can, in other words calculate exactly how much […]
  • f2f is better
    Today I had my first full in-person work meeting in over a year. It was great!