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Using Cemetery Information in the Search for the Disappeared: Lessons from a Pilot Study in Rionegro, Antioquia

Tamy Guberek, Daniel Guzmán, and Beatriz Vejarano. “Using Cemetery Information in the Search for the Disappeared: Lessons from a Pilot Study in Rionegro, Antioquia.” In Methodological Proposals for Documenting and Searching for Missing Persons in Colombia. (Available in Spanish) © 2010 EQUITAS. All rights reserved.


Clarifying the Pastand Commemorating Sri Lanka’s Disappeared: a Descriptive Analysis of Enforced Disappearances Documented by Families of the Disappeared.

Romesh Silva, Britto Fernando, and Vasuki Nesiah (2007). “Clarifying the Pastand Commemorating Sri Lanka’s Disappeared: a Descriptive Analysis of Enforced Disappearances Documented by Families of the Disappeared.” Benetech & Families of the Disappeared.


Human freedom and free software: Why choices about technology matter to human rights advocates.

Patrick Ball and Miguel Cruz (2003). “Human freedom and free software: Why choices about technology matter to human rights advocates.”


HRDAG Analysis Supports Efforts to Hold Salvadoran Commanders Accountable for 1989 Jesuit Massacre

Almost a quarter century ago, on November 16, 1989, six Jesuit scholars, their housekeeper and her 15-year-old daughter were massacred inside the University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador, El Salvador. Their chief target was the rector of the country’s leading university. The murders were carried out by members of the elite Atlacatl Battalion, acting on the direct orders of the highest-ranking members of the Salvadoran military. The United Nations–sponsored Truth Commission for El Salvador found that members of the Salvadoran military's high command “gave...the order to kill Father Ignacio Ellacuría and to leave no witnesses.” ...

Talks & Discussions

.ugb-925d517 .ugb-video-popup__wrapper{height:460px !important;background-color:#000000;background-image:url(http://hrdag.mcclister.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Screen-Shot-2020-03-04-at-10.15.19-AM.png)}.ugb-925d517 .ugb-video-popup__wrapper:before{background-color:#000000;opacity:0.3}.ugb-925d517 .ugb-video-popup__wrapper:hover:before{opacity:0.6}.ugb-925d517 .ugb-block-title{color:#ffffff}.ugb-925d517 .ugb-block-description{color:#ffffff}@media screen and (max-width:768px){.ugb-925d517 .ugb-video-popup__wrapper{height:208px !important}}Predictive Policing and Machine Learning | Skoll Foundation11 Minutes with Megan Price | April 2018 bl...

The case of Ana Lucrecia Orellana Stormont

When working with documents in an archive, every document offers the opportunity for statistical study and quantitative research. But a document can also offer the discovery of a story. That is the case with the disappearance of Ana Lucrecia Orellana Stormont, who was reported missing on June 6, 1983, at the age of 35. Ana Lucrecia, a professor of psychology at the University of San Carlos, was scheduled to attend a meeting with Edgar Raúl Rivas Rodríguez at the Plaza Hotel in Guatemala’s capital city. Edgar, who also went missing, was a teacher at the School of Political Science at the University. (Ana Lucrecia’s case is explained more fully ...

Tech Corner

The HRDAG Tech Corner is where we collect the deeper and geekier content that we create for the website. Click the accordion blocks below to reveal each of the Tech Corner entries. Sifting Massive Datasets with Machine Learning Principled Data Processing  

Timor-Leste FAQs

How do you know that there are more conflict-related deaths than have been reported to the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR, by its Portuguese acronym)? Where did the method of multiple systems estimation come from? If you didn't have access to the whole population, how do you know how representative these data are of the entire population? i.e. How do you control for bias? What are the total conflict-related mortality numbers? How many people were killed and disappeared between 1974 and 1999? And how many people died due to hunger and illness? What is the margin of error associated with these results? What is ...

HRDAG Report on Disappeared Tamils in Army Custody in Sri Lanka

HRDAG has published a report about the 500 Tamils who disappeared while in Army custody in Sri Lanka in 2009.

Chad – Photo Essay

[français] Hissène Habré was president of the former French colony of Chad from 1982 to 1990. Credible allegations of systematic torture and crimes against humanity have been made against Habré’s state security force, the Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS), which pursued political opponents and operated notorious prisons during his regime. One prison where the DDS is alleged to have tortured prisoners is the “Piscine,” a former swimming pool covered by a concrete roof. Prisoners were held in ten dank cells where witnesses say they were starved and abused. After being forced from power in 1990, Habré went into exile ...

When It Comes to Human Rights, There Are No Online Security Shortcuts

Patrick Ball. When It Comes to Human Rights, There Are No Online Security Shortcuts, Wired op-ed, August 10, 2012. Wired.com © 2013 Condé Nast. All rights reserved.


Herb Spirer, 1925 – 2018

Herb led and mentored a generation of statisticians working in human rights.

12 Questions about Using Data Analysis to Bring Guatemalan War Criminals to Justice

When people talk about war criminals in Guatemala, which war are they talking about? They’re talking about the Guatemalan civil war, which began in 1960 and ended in 1996. That’s thirty-six years of civil war. Even though it ended almost two decades ago, Guatemala is still recovering from it. At its simplest, this civil war story was right-wing government forces fighting leftist rebels. But it went deeper than that, of course. The majority of the rebel forces was composed of indigenous peoples, primarily the Maya, (more…)

Talks

Upcoming Talks TBA Past Talks 2015 Presentation on the research behind the Evaluation of the Kosovo Memory Book Database. National Archive, Pristina, Kosovo. Patrick Ball. February 4, 2015. How do we know what we know? Patrick Ball. Arizona State University. January, 2015. AAAS Science & Human Rights Coalition Meeting: Big Data & Human Rights. Megan Price, panelist. Washington, D.C. January 15-16, 2015. Examining the Crisis in Syria: Conference Hosted by New America and Arizona State University’s Center on the Future of War and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Megan Price, panelist. Washingt...

The Great Lessons in Research at the Archive

Doing an investigation on the contents of the Archive brought with it three major lessons. The first big lesson was the constant movement (nothing was static), The second great lesson was that everything evolved (the changes were a constant). The third major lesson was to discover how two institutions can work together while geographically far apart. The constant movement As there were other processes being carried out at the Archive, everything was in constant movement. In other words, one day the documents were in X location and tomorrow they may be in location Y or dispersed in multiple locations. This made it impossible to know with certai...

New Research on Civilian Deaths and Disappearances in El Salvador

This rigorous estimate shows that 1-2 percent of the country’s population was killed or disappeared during the civil war.

Megan Price Elected Board Member of Tor Project

Today The Tor Project announced that it has elected a new Board of Directors, and among them is HRDAG executive director Megan Price. The Tor Project is a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes online privacy and provides software that helps users opt out of online tracking. Megan and Patrick have long maintained that encryption and privacy are essential for enabling human rights work. Patrick's ideas are described in Monday's FedScoop story about encryption, human rights, and the U.S. State Department. “Human rights groups depend on strong cryptography in order to hold governments accountable," says Patrick. "HRDAG depends on local human ...

Opportunities

At HRDAG, we’re creating an exceptional team that will put our mission into action. We hope you'll join us. Job Title: Data Scientist Salary range: $75,000 - $90,000 (benefits described below) Location: San Francisco. We’re open to remote work for now, but once conditions improve with the pandemic, we need you to be on site with us a few days a week.  What we do: The Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) develops statistical techniques to assess and understand mass violence, especially when perpetrated by governments. Our expert testimony has helped to bring dictators to justice in five countries.  Over the past 30 years, our team ...

Speaking Truth to Power in Chad

Our hearty congratulations to our partners at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Association des Victimes des Crimes du Régime de Hissène Habré (AVCRP), Association Tchadienne pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (PDDH), and the Fédération Internationale des ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH) on today's launch of "La Plaine des mortes: Le Tchad des Hissène Habré, 1982-1990." This book chronicles the alleged human rights abuses of Hissène Habré, the president of Chad between 1982 and 1990. It is the culmination of more than 13 years of investigations, documentation and research focused on uncovering the nature of political ...

500 Tamils disappeared in Army custody — New Study

The Sri Lankan army must explain to the families of the disappeared and missing what happened to an estimated 500 Tamils who disappeared in their custody at the war end on/around 18 May 2009, said two international NGOs who have been collating and analysing lists of names.

Sri Lanka has one of the largest numbers in the world of enforced disappearances but these 500 represent the largest number of disappearances all in one place and time in the country. For a detailed account of the process of estimating the 500 please see: “How many people disappeared on 17-19 May 2009 in Sri Lanka?” .


Our work has been used by truth commissions, international criminal tribunals, and non-governmental human rights organizations. We have worked with partners on projects on five continents.

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