New and Noteworthy
Gen. José Guillermo García, El Salvador’s defense minister from 1979 to 1983, may be deported from Florida to El Salvador because of his involvement in war crimes that occurred under his command. The recommendation comes from a Miami immigration judge, whose decision was supported with expert testimony from Stanford political science professor Terry Karl, who presented extensive statistical analysis of killings, disappearances, kidnappings, torture and other crimes under Gen. García’s watch. The statistical analysis was a joint effort between Professor Karl and Amelia Hoover Green and Patrick Ball of Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG). (more…)
On Wednesday, April 9, the file hosting service Dropbox announced the addition of Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, to their Board of Directors, citing the need for “a leader who could help us expand our global footprint.”
In response to this announcement, HRDAG requested (and rapidly received) a refund for our recent purchase of Dropbox for Business, and will drop the use of their service entirely.
Patrick Ball, HRDAG’s Executive Director stated: “As a human rights organization, we find Condoleezza Rice’s complicity in the serious human rights abuses of the Bush administration very worrying. But most importantly, her enthusiastic support of mass surveillance makes her particularly inappropriate for the Board of a cloud storage service. Why should anyone trust Dropbox with their data now?” (more…)
Working at the Historic Archive of the National Police (AHPN) of Guatemala, there are many skills I learned on the job. My many years of work on the team that studies the recovered documents have been like a custom-made course in how to do quantitative research.
The Archive documents I study are the result of 36 years of creation during civil war (1960 to 1996). Many of these documents are simply administrative—but we are able to use them to understand patterns that occurred during the conflict, to get a sense of what mattered to the National Police and what didn’t. Our quantitative research shows us the Police behavior in broad strokes. But it is just the beginning, and it gives us the key to what questions to ask next. (more…)
In early 2012, HRDAG was commissioned by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to do an enumeration project, essentially a count of all of the reported casualties in the Syrian conflict. HRDAG has published two analyses so far, the first in January 2013, and the second in June 2013. In this post, HRDAG scientists Anita Gohdes, Megan Price, and Patrick Ball answer questions about that project.
So, how many people have been killed in the Syrian conflict?
This is a complicated question. As of our last report, in June 2013, we know that there have been at least 93,000 reported, identifiable conflict-related casualties. The word “reported” is important because it includes only the victims who were reported to groups collecting information about killings. The word “identifiable” is important because it includes only victims who’ve been identified by name and date and location of their death. And the phrase “conflict-related casualties” is important (more…)