HRDAG and AHPN Launch Book Detailing Collaboration

IMG_20160705_112916103Earlier this month, HRDAG and the Historic Archive of the National Police (AHPN) of Guatemala launched a book that represents a long-time collaboration between the two organizations. The book, “Una mirada al AHPN a partir de un studio de cuantitativo,” is, as the title states, a look at the Archive’s datasets via a quantitative study. Book authors are HRDAG executive director Megan Price and AHPN colleague Carolina López, with translations by Beatriz Vejarano. The book is available in Spanish and forthcoming in English.

The book explains how HRDAG and the Archive worked together over a decade to gain insight into the police activities that took place during the Guatemalan civil war. It reviews key findings, and, we hope, will serve as a guide for other projects in quantitative research and as an inspiration for other archives that may have valuable data stored in documents, books, photographs, and disks.

IMG_20160705_102333950At the Archive, HRDAG’s main collaborator was Carolina, who augmented her contributions by writing posts about her personal experiences with the data. Some of her stories and revelations—all born of the data—are captured on the HRDAG website. At the celebratory book launch in Guatemala City, which took place on July 5, she reflected on her learning curve doing data entry, coding and finding the beauty in quantitative analysis.

Also at the celebration Patrick Ball, HRDAG’s director of research, who initiated the collaboration, recounted his first trip to the Archive and the critical work that led to trials in Guatemala regarding the disappearance of Edgar Fernando García, a student union leader. In September 2013, Patrick Ball testified in the trial of Colonel Héctor Rafael Bol de la Cruz, national police chief at the time, for the kidnapping of Fernando García in 1984. The colonel was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

DSC08959Patrick and Carolina presented copies of the book to Archive leadership and past members of the coding and data entry teams.  “The presentation was the culmination of many things for me,” said Patrick. “The Archive leadership was thrilled to see this project completed, and the audience was eager to learn more about the role of quantitative research in expert witness testimony.”

Over the years many other HRDAG associates have worked on AHPN projects, including Ann Harrison, Daniel Guzmán, Gary Shapiro, Jeff Klingner, Paul Zador, Rafe Kaplan, Romesh Silva, Scott Weikart and Tamy Guberek.