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Notes from the Evidence Project: Kate Doyle Wins Human Rights Award and Gives Public Radio Interview

May 16, 2012

Doyle and Peccerelli accept ALBA/Puffin Human Rights Activism Award in NYC on Sunday. Photo by Len Tsou

On Sunday, May 13, 2012, National Security Archive senior analyst and director of the Evidence Project, Kate Doyle, was awarded the 2012 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism along with Fredy Peccerelli of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG). The ceremony took place at the Museum of the City of New York.

National Security Archive senior analyst and director of the Cuba Project, Peter Kornbluh attended the event and reflected:

“It was poignant and forceful, eloquent and beautiful, educational and inspirational. Kate gave a pitch-perfect, and truly lovely acceptance speech in which she discussed standing shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of human rights activists in Guatemala.”

Additionally, on May 15th, on the Public Radio International program, The World, host Lisa Mullins interviewed Doyle about her work in Guatemala and Peru. You can listen to the full hour-long program, or just the interview with Kate, titled “Documenting Latin America’s Painful Past.”

Interview excerpts:

“Yes, it is scary to go up against human rights criminals. But I think all of us who do this work, that when we get to go up against them in a court of law, we feel that we are a participating in history…”  – Kate Doyle

—–

“L. Mullins: Latin America is engaged in a debate about whether or not it makes sense to look back let alone uncover the bones themselves. How do you see that argument? Because there is an argument that says, look, let the past remain in the past.

K. Doyle: Latin America suffered its own kind of holocaust in the 20th century. It is hard for us as U.S. citizens to conceive of the dimensions of violence that took place during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s basically on behalf of an anti-communist ideology that the United States promulgated in the region. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Civilians, unarmed civilians were killed, hundreds of thousands more were disappeared by their governments. The family members of the disappeared will never forget what happened and will never walk away from the fate of their loved ones. So to me it’s a false argument this idea that you can somehow bury a past as painful as that. Ignore the continued search on the part of the hundreds of thousands of people for mothers and sons and sisters and brothers. And somehow pretend that healthy functioning democratic societies can go forward without coming to terms with the fact that their own institutions targeted their civilians for death.”

Want more?

CNN Mexico interviewed Kate Doyle and Fredy Peccerelli, you can see the Spanish-language interview, here. [en español]

Read more about Kate’s work in the Salon article, “The Human Rights Detective: How Kate Doyle Pursues War Criminals in Latin America.”

See what the Latin American press has to say about Fredy receiving the award with Spanish-language articles and interviews, here. [en español]

Check out this interview with Marina Garde, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), explaining the award, and why Kate and Fredy were chosen.

See more photographs of the awards ceremony taken by Len Tsou, here.

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