Guide to the Washington Office on Latin America Records, 1962-2008 and undated, bulk 1974-2005
The Washington Office on Latin America is an international human rights advocacy organization headquartered in Washington D.C. The Washington Office on Latin America Records span the dates 1962 to 2008 and consist of research and project files on nearly every country in Latin America, administrative records, clippings, correspondence, and printed material, all relating to the work of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a human rights advocacy organization based in Washington D.C. WOLA partners with local organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean to raise awareness of human rights abuses in the region and to influence the foreign policy agenda of the United States government. Materials in this collection provide a rich resource for the study of politically motivated violence and other human rights abuses throughout Latin America and also document the changing political climate towards the region in Washington D.C. over nearly four decades.
- Collection Number
- Washington Office on Latin America records
- 1962-2008 and undated, bulk 1974-2005
- Washington Office on Latin America
- 290.5 Linear Feet, 153,361 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Bulk of the material in English and Spanish
- Administrative Files Series, 1968-2007 and undated
- Geographic Series, 1962-2008 and undated
- Initiatives and Activities Series, 1980-2008 and undated
- Sound Recordings Series, 1988-2005 and undated
- Oversize Material, 1971-2000 and undated
- Accession (2010-0069)
- Accession (2012-0016)
- Accession (2013-0053)
- Accession (2017-0169)
The Washington Office on Latin America Records span the dates 1962 to 2008 and consist of research and project files on nearly every country in Latin America, administrative files, clippings, correspondence, and printed material, all related to the work of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a human rights advocacy organization based in Washington D.C. WOLA partners with local organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean to raise awareness of human rights abuses in the region and to influence the foreign policy agenda of the United States government. Materials in this collection provide a rich resource for the study of politically motivated violence and other human rights abuses throughout Latin America, and document the changing political attitudes towards the region on the part of the U.S. government over nearly four decades. Numerous files of individual human rights abuse cases, including torture, forced disappearances, and executions can be found in this collection. In addition, WOLA's efforts to lobby for legislative change are chronicled throughout the collection. Material includes some ephemeral or hard-to-find printed material produced by leftist or guerilla groups in Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico, as well as some audiovisual recordings housed within country files.
The collection is arranged in the following series: Administrative Files, Geographic, Initiatives and Activities, Sound Recordings, and Oversize Material. The Administrative Files Series (43 boxes) contains records kept by WOLA directors and staff, many funding-related files, some overviews of WOLA's activities, and other files of an administrative nature such as meeting minutes and planning, and staff retreats. The largest in the collection, the Geographic Series (250 boxes) is divided into subseries for most countries in the region, documenting the major political and human rights issues associated with each country. These files typically include large sub-groupings on the following broad topics: human rights cases specific to that country; economic development; drug policy and related issues, especially in Colombia and Mexico; elections; police and military; U.S. policy; international relations; files related to WOLA visits to or activities in that country; and in some cases, files of printed materials assembled by WOLA staff. The human rights files cover such issues as labor rights, peasants' rights and land reforms, indigenous people's rights, politically motivated abuses, killings, and discrimination, civil rights cases of all kinds, reconciliation and truth commissions, and the activities of human rights organizations in each country and in the U.S. The Initiatives and Activities Series (115 boxes), divided into topical categories as arranged by WOLA staff, covers the organization's issue-based work in areas such as U.S. drug policy, trade and banking, democratic and peace processes, economic development, issues related to the deployment of military and police forces, and more. A large group of records documents the extensive legislative work performed by WOLA on behalf of human rights issues. There is considerable overlap between this series and the Geographic Series. The Sound Recordings Series (9 boxes) contains recordings of conferences, speeches, and events sponsored by WOLA and other groups. Finally, the six boxes in the Oversize Material section at the end of this collection guide contain large items such as posters and newspapers separated from the main collection and rehoused for preservation purposes. Materials are chiefly in English and Spanish, with a smaller percentage in French and Portuguese. All of the series and each subseries are described in more detail in the description of the collection that follows. Unprocessed additions to the collection have been added at the end of the finding aid. Collection was acquired as part of the Duke University's Archive for Human Rights.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.
Original audiovisual materials and some fragile newspapers are closed to patron use. Technical Services staff need to produce use copies before these can be accessed.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.Conditions Governing Access note
[Original audiovisual recordings are closed to research. Use copies must be made before contents can be accessed. Please contact the Research Services staff before coming to use these materials.]
Accession 2017-0169 is closed until processing. This includes boxes 485-504.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Washington Office on Latin America Records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Documents a variety of administrative-level activities of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) staff for almost the entirety of the organization's history up to 2007, with the majority of files representing the 1980s and 1990s. Organized into the following subseries: Development, Funding, General Management Files, Initiatives and Activities Office Files, and Publications. Arranged in original order as received, either unarranged, or in rough chronological or alphabetical order. See subseries descriptions below for details on contents and arrangement.
Documents pertaining to WOLA initiatives or projects to be funded. Includes targeted mailings; lists of contacts and prospects for funding; application materials and guidelines; grant proposals; newsletters and other publications regarding funding institutions; WOLA activity reports over a long time span; correspondence with funding institutions; and information on funding institutions regarding past grants. International donor files often contain copies of form letters relating to the Advocacy Training Project, while others contain larger amounts of materials such as reports, correspondence, follow-up material, and proposals. Other initiatives focus on violence against women (see the Liz Claiborne files, box 2), and drug policy work (Century Foundation Files, box 2). U.S. prospective donor files include information on Oxfam, Century Foundation, and the Greenville Foundation. Files retain arrangement and titles of folders as received from WOLA.
Arranged in the following four subgroups: General Files, Appeals, Foundations, and Religious. Similar to the Development Subseries; contains folders pertaining chiefly to past contributors of grants or gifts to WOLA. See individual subgroup descriptions below.
Nine folders containing a variety of documents, including award notifications; drafts of form thank-you letters; lists/reports of donors, and related documents; correspondence and other documents related to contributing members of the fund-raising group "WOLA Friends;" notes, internal correspondence, results reports, and clippings regarding direct mailing campaigns and fund raising operations; a folder of notes and definitions regarding lobbying regulations; and copies of form letters soliciting funding from individual contributors and materials in support of these letters.
Correspondence, clippings, draft letters, mailing lists, and other documents in support of periodic funding appeals to both individual donors and institutions; also includes annual reports and other funding activity summaries.
Files on potential funding organizations or previous supporters contain correspondence, grant proposals and other supporting materials for applications, and other relevant documents, with some files related to specific WOLA projects. Folders are in a rough and repeating alphabetical order, grouped in date ranges. Prominent institutions represented include ARCA Foundation, Ford Foundation, General Service Foundation, Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, Ruth Mott Fund, J. Roderick MacArthur foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Oxfam, and Veatch Program (of the North Shore Unitarian Universalists).
Fund-raising files for both individuals and religious institutions, chiefly in the U.S., include correspondence, contact lists, summary reports on past funding, and other related documents. Institution files are in a rough and repeating alphabetical order, grouped into date ranges by year. In part due to its original religious orientation, many of WOLA's initiatives and activities have been sustained by the Methodist, Baptist, and Catholic churches, as well as other religious and spiritual groups such as Quakers and Unitarian Universalists.
Series is organized into the following subgroupings: Director's Files, History Files, Other Organizations, Planning and Financial, Program Assistant Files, SAETH Files, Additional Files, Initiatives and Activities Office Files, and Publications. Includes information on organizational planning, including retreats; facilities (office space, computer systems, and telephone service); staff travel; management training; finances (tax returns, financial reports); working groups; staff meetings; personnel (manuals, regulations, staff member files and staff activity reports, vacancies and hiring); event planning; and public relations. The historical files were created by staff and contain varied materials documenting the history of WOLA from its beginning to 2003. The files from the Director's Office are chiefly from Alexander Wilde's tenure; these are varied in nature and include reports, files on events, notes on various topics, drafts of WOLA's mission statement, board member files, and internal and Congressional memos.
Extremely varied group of materials that were labeled as director's files and may have been maintained by a personal assistant to the directors. Includes correspondence, some of it to U.S. legislators; reports to and from the director; files on Central America, Europe, and countries related to WOLA activities; folders on notes on WOLA teams; WOLA event files; testimony files; delegations to countries; and other materials. One file labeled "Attacks" contains clippings and articles attacking WOLA and other organizations or movements considered liberal or left-wing.
Offers a rich source of information on WOLA's origins and early years. Files pulled together by WOLA staff contain clippings and reports from the earliest years; mission statements; WOLA publications from the early 1980s, including a run of Update, WOLA's newsletter; flyers and other materials from the 10th (1984), 25th, and 30th anniversaries of WOLA's founding; a few annual reports from 1983 and later; detailed papers on WOLA's history and role in shaping U.S.-Latin American policy; early funding files relating to the Ford Foundation's early support of WOLA initiatives; a file on the "WOLA History Project," a proposal sent to the Ford Foundation in 2003 to document WOLA's history; and other materials. WOLA materials dating from the 1970s and 1980s may also be found in other series in the WOLA collection.
Files on other organizations supporting human rights causes, chiefly U.S.-based. Typically one folder per organization, but one set of multiple files relates to the Letelier-Moffitt Award. Arranged in alphabetical order. Abundant numbers of files on human rights organizations and their work are also found in the country files in the Geographical Series, and files throughout the collection.
A small group of planning files for WOLA events and proposals chiefly from the 1990s through 2004. Documents include correspondence, meeting agendas and notes, strategic planning notes, mission statements, and extensive descriptions of the functions of various working groups and their status at that time. A significant set of files documents a major WOLA planning retreat held in 2002, and discusses all aspects of its operations and programs. Also includes a large file of material on WOLA's efforts to gain consultative status with the United Nations. Other WOLA planning documents can be found scattered in other subseries in the Administrative Files, as well as other series in the collection, especially Initiatives and Activities. Tax returns and financial statements from 1979 through 2006 make up the bulk of the financial files.
As with the Director's Files, a varied set of office files created in support of key positions at WOLA. Most files date from the 2000s. Includes such material as memos, organizational lists, files of contacts, outreach files, web development, planning for events, WOLA reprints, and a few news clippings files dating from about 2006 on Haiti, Venezuela, and other countries and topics.
Documents relate to the activities of WOLA's South America and Economic Team working group, abbreviated to SAETH. Folders chiefly contain routine materials such as invitations to events, event planning, memos, press packets, training manuals and style guide, phone system files, and other office files.
Files that could not be categorized in the groupings above include activity reports, WOLA Board documents, bylaws, contact lists, facilities and office systems documents, financial documents, intern files, lobbying regulations, personnel manuals, and staff writings.
Files maintained by WOLA assistants concern the management of WOLA programs and activities, and contain memos, press releases, clippings, and other documents regarding human rights projects and responses undertaken by WOLA and its staff. The actual project files are housed in the much larger Initiatives and Activities Series.
Production files for WOLA newsletters Cross Currents (English), and Enlace (Spanish). Folders contain proofs, notes, correspondence from readers, and other material. Some contain printed copies of the corresponding issue of the newsletters. See also the Geographic Series under individual countries or under the General Latin America Subseries for actual publication issues of many of WOLA's publications.
Files on individual countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, containing material assembled and maintained by the staff of the Washington Office on Latin America. Countries represented are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Perú, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The largest subseries are Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, and Perú. Most geographic files are a mix of documents created in each country and in the United States. Nearly all country subseries contain the following folder groups: Human Rights, U.S. Relations, and WOLA Files. Human Rights files document specific cases of abuse as well as some the organizations with which WOLA partners to improve the situation. U.S. Relations files, a major focus in each subseries, contain information on pending U.S. legislation, testimony before Congress, and files on the policy agendas of sitting administrations. WOLA files provide evidence of WOLA's diverse activities, including: organizing Congressional delegations to Latin American countries and visits to Washington D.C. for Latin American constituencies; organizing conferences and programs to increase dialogue and awareness of various concerns in Latin America; and efforts to influence the United States' foreign policy through lobbying. Larger subseries may have additional groups; common examples include Background Files, Economy and Development, Politics and Government, and Printed Material. With the exception of alphabetized printed material, the original order and organization of files has been maintained to the extent possible. A subseries on Latin America containing files that do not focus exclusively on one country completes the Geographic series. See subseries descriptions below for details on contents and arrangement.
Clippings, correspondence, and files primarily concerned with Argentina's stance towards political expression and human rights. Most material is dated between the late 1970s and the early 1980s. Prominent topics include cases of extrajudicial imprisonment of dissidents by the government, several of which were brought before the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). In addition, some files document controversies over proposed sales of arms to Argentina by the United States and Argentina's support of conservative authoritarian regimes in El Salvador and Bolivia. Material was created by WOLA staff, including Rachel Nield and Coletta Youngers.
[Some items removed to Oversize Material.]
Files and clippings on the Bolivian state and economy, almost all of which concern drug policy in some way. Many of these document U.S. relations with Bolivia, particularly with respect to military aid to combat drug processing and trafficking. Some documents and reports also examine Bolivian economic development in the context of creating economically viable alternatives for coca farmers. Finally, human rights abuses, most at the hands of foreign-controlled drug cartels, are documented. Additional Bolivia-related material may be found in the Drug Policy Subseries of the Initiatives and Activities Series.
Files documenting WOLA's programs in Brazil. Much of the material relates to Brazilian elections, particularly that of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and possible alliances between politically left regimes in Latin America. Clippings and other material related to Brazilian agriculture are also included.
[Some items removed to Oversize Material.]
Divided into files and materials collected by Patrick Ahern and those created by WOLA. The majority of the material in this subseries chronicles the events surrounding the 1973 coup that installed General Augusto Pinochet as leader of Chile and the ramifications of this event over several decades. The Patrick Ahern Files consist of material collected by Ahern, a Catholic priest with an interest in liberation theology. The bulk of this grouping consists of printed material from a range of Chilean and internationally based sources, many of which predate or run concurrently with the coup. Material in the subject files subgrouping documents the immediate aftermath of the coup and the response of key actors in the United States. WOLA Files contain clippings, press releases, correspondence, and reports on human rights abuses and the Chilean political environment. These focus on U.S. relations with Chile including the bombing of exiled diplomat Orlando Letelier in Washington D.C. and the changing political climate in Chile in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Finally, files from the 2000s chronicle international attempts to bring Pinochet to trial for human rights abuses and the Chilean state's response to these efforts.
[Some items removed to Oversize Material.]
The bulk of this grouping consists of Printed Material, including newspaper and magazine clippings, comic books, pamphlets, scholarly papers, monographs, and serials. In addition, a Subject Files subgrouping mainly comprises materials related to events following the 1973 coup and the response of key actors in the United States, including the nascent NGO community (including the first iteration of WOLA), members of the U.S. Congress, and various church organizations. The Ahern files contain some ephemera relating to Fidel Castro, assassinated president Salvador Allende's political campaign, and U.S.-based movements supporting Chileans persecuted under the Pinochet regime.
A collection of valuable early and sometimes ephemeral printed material on social and political conditions in Chile organized into the following subgroups: Clippings, Comics, Other Printed Material, and Serials. Clippings are from Chile- and U.S.-based publications. Most of the Chilean clippings are from El Mercurio, Chile's largest newspaper which is alleged to have undermined the Allende government with its editorial stance. Other titles represented include La Nacion, La Prensa, 3ra De La Hora. English language clippings come from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, as well as the Washington D.C.-based Daily Rag, The Eagle (student newspaper of American University), the Fond Du Lac Reporter (Wisconsin), and the Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO). A collection of Spanish language Comics are represented in the collection. With the exception of copies of Archiand El Condorito, all are leftist and explicitly political. These include La Firme and La Firme Extra, Documentos Especiale, and a comic book explaining how to vote. Pamphlets, conference materials, scholarly articles, and monographs are grouped in Other Printed Material. Serials in the Patrick Ahern Files date from the period leading up to the 1973 coup through the late 1970s. These include a mostly complete run of Chile Hoy (1971-1973) and Mensaje(1971-1976), and numerous issues of Ercillaand Solidaridad.
Contain files primarily related to solidarity movements organized against the Pinochet regime in the 1970s and early 1980s. Events and files in this section include those related to the 1976 assassination of Orlando Letelier, Chilean Ambassador to the United States under Allende in Washington D.C., files from several conferences organized in response to the 1973 coup and allegations of U.S. involvement in it, and the plight of individuals imprisoned by the military junta for political reasons. Also contains some ephemera relating to Fidel Castro, Allende's political campaign, and U.S.-based movements supporting Chileans persecuted under the Pinochet regime.
The WOLA Files on Chile consist of clippings, press releases, and correspondence, chiefly related to the 1989 democratic elections in Chile, the first in that country since the 1973 coup. Several files concern the assassination of Orlando Letelier and his assistant Ronnie Moffitt and international efforts to bring their killers to justice. In addition some files document human rights abuses of the junta helmed by Pinochet, among these a three-volume copy of the report issued by the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Efforts of human rights groups and some in the international community to bring Pinochet to trial in the late 1990s and early 2000s are documented as well.
Organized in the following folder groups: Human Rights; Politics and Government; Printed Material; U.S. Relations; and WOLA Files. United States drug control policy (commonly called the War on Drugs) forms the backdrop against which nearly all files are set. Files chronicle the Colombian government's attempts to maintain control within its borders against drug cartels and guerilla and paramilitary groups. The United States' role in Colombia, both as a military advisor and as a critic of alleged human rights abuses by the military are documented. Human Rights files examine specific cases of rights violations as well as more general reports by Colombian and U.S.-based organizations. Material in the Politics and Government grouping cover domestic issues in Colombia, including elections, the administration of justice, and the faltering peace process between the state and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia–Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP or FARC) the largest guerilla faction in Colombia. Printed Material consists of reports and serials. Most are published by U.S.-based institutions (including WOLA), although some by Colombian government agencies and human rights groups appear as well. Files on U.S. Relations with Colombia include testimony before Congress; correspondence by members of Congress to other leaders in the U.S. and Colombia; and numerous debates about foreign aid to Colombia to combat drug cultivation and distribution. WOLA's efforts to shape the policy debate in the United States are documented in WOLA Files, the largest grouping. Correspondence with officials in the U.S. and Colombia, reports and information relevant to pending legislation (known to WOLA staff as "Hill drops"), material related to conferences and programs organized by WOLA, and files coordinating delegations to Colombia make up the bulk of these files. One compact disc entitled Rehenes de las FARC and one videocassette complete the subseries. Material created by WOLA staff, including Charles Call, Jason Hagen, Tina Hodges, Winifred Tate, and Coletta Youngers, whose names can often be found in materials or on file folders. Additional files related to Colombia may be found in the Drug Policy Subseries of the Initiatives and Activities Series.
[Original audiovisual material closed to use. Technical Services may need to have a use copy made before contents can be accessed. Please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection.]
Files on Costa Rican economy and politics, many relating explicitly to the Contra War. Covers the 1986 election of Óscar Arias Sánchez and Costa Rica's ongoing issues with debt service related to development aid. Relations with the U.S. figure prominently in this subseries, with respect to economic and military aid and Costa Rica's efforts to remain a neutral party in the Nicaraguan conflict. Also contains some material describing the state of human rights in Costa Rica, particularly relating to the counter-revolutionary forces (often called "Contras") that used Costa Rica's northern border as a staging area for incursions into Nicaragua. While nearly all files explicitly refer to Costa Rica, a few relate to the larger surrounding region and the Contra War more generally. Researchers interested in the Nicaraguan conflict should consult subseries on Nicaragua and Honduras as well.
[Some items removed to Oversize Material.]
Pertains chiefly to the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba. Organized into the following folder groups: Human Rights, Other Material, and U.S. Relations. Human Rights is the smallest group in the subseries and contains files and reports related to Cuban human rights concerns, particularly the topics of political dissidents and religious freedom. A number of general reports from human rights organizations are included as well. Other Material consists of general files related to Cuban political history; files associated with conferences and seminars, the bulk organized by WOLA; documents on Cuba's relationship with the (non-U.S.) international community; and files related to the status of churches in Cuba, particularly the 1998 visit by the Pope.
The bulk of the subseries is housed in the U.S. Relations grouping. Most of this material relates to details of the longstanding U.S.-imposed trade and travel embargo. Files in this group document escalations of the embargo policy, particularly the 1996 Helms-Burton Act (also known as LIBERTAD), as well as calls for its easement or removal by members of Congress, WOLA, and other organizations. Many files concern the removal of restrictions on humanitarian aid to Cuba, travel restrictions to the island for U.S. citizens, and efforts by farm lobbies to open Cuba to U.S. agricultural exports. Additional files document allegations of Cuban links to terrorist activities by U.S. officials after September 11, 2001 as well as arguments against these claims. Finally, copies of a declassified 1962 Defense Department memorandum outlining the possible instigation of armed conflict with Cuba (Box 107) and declassified reports on the trial of anti-Castro fighter Orlando Bosch in Venezuela are included. WOLA staff, particularly Liah Rosenblum and Geoff Thale assembled and maintained material in this subseries.
[Some items removed to Oversize Material.]
One folder containing information on a conference in Ecuador on anti-drug crop fumigation. Issues of the newsletter Ecuador Focus and a file of information on a sign-on letter protesting a break-in at the offices of the Fundación Regional de Asesoría en Derechos Humanos (INREDH) in Quito follow.
The bulk of the material on El Salvador focuses on economic and human rights issues raised by the civil war, which lasted for eleven years from 1981-1992, between the government and the leftist political party, the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN). The subseries is separated into Economic Development, Human Rights, and Other Material. The Economic Development subseries includes newsletters, pamphlets, and other writings on development in El Salvador as well as reconstruction after Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and the devastating earthquake of 2001. Documents relating to agrarian reform, land transfers, and outsourcing of U.S. jobs to El Salvador also are found in Economic Development, as are records of international financial aid not contingent on human rights issues. Within Human Rights are records of international aid dependent upon the address of human rights violations (especially by the government's armed forces). Also encompasses clippings, formal reports, correspondence, and documentation of WOLA events revolving around elections, democratization, immigration, labor, judicial reform, criminal codes, and reform of the PNC (La Policía Nacional Civil). The majority of the material pertaining to U.S. foreign policy towards El Salvador appears in Human Rights, and these boxes contain original documents from the truth commission, the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL), the peace accords of 1992, and the FMLN. One VHS cassette produced by the American Jewish World Service appears at the beginning of this grouping. Other Material consists of issues of the Salvadoran magazine Tendenciasdated from 1991-1994 as well as copies of El Salvador Proceso. Conference material, files on elections and the solidarity group El Salvador Policy Project complete the subseries. While nearly all files refer exclusively to El Salvador, a few also address Nicaragua-centered Contra War. Material has been arranged as received and only separated insofar as was necessary to generate the categories described above.
[Some items removed to Oversize Material.]
[Original video closed to use. Technical Services staff may need to arrange to have viewing copy made. Please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection.]
Spans the dates 1965-2007 with the bulk of the material dated between 1978 and 2005. Subseries is divided into the following folder groups: Economy and Development; Human Rights; Peace Process; Politics and Government; Printed Material; U.S. Relations; and WOLA Files. Material details the political situation in Guatemala from domestic and international perspectives. Most of the files in this subseries relate to the conflict between guerilla groups and the government that began in 1960 through the 1996 peace accords and the tenuous process of building civil society afterward. The bulk of the material concerns human rights in some way. WOLA personnel who created and maintained material in this subseries include Adriana Beltran, Hugh Byrne, Rachel Garst, Susan Peacock, and Bonnie Tenneriello, whose names sometimes appear in materials or on folders.
Consists of reports on the state of the Guatemalan economy and moves towards development, including agrarian land reform, labor conditions, and reports by international donors and organizations. Issues of rural development; agriculture including coffee and genetically modified corn; and government fiscal policy implemented to satisfy the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and others comprise the majority of the material.
Case files on instances of human rights violations as well as general reports by various local and international human rights organizations. Most case files document abuses by forces linked to the Guatemalan military, including the rural Patrullas de Autodefensa Civil (PAC), assassinations of clergy and political figures, forced disappearances and torture of prisoners, and the so-called “death squads.” A considerably smaller number of human rights abuses by guerilla forces may also be found here. Prominent human rights cases include the murder of Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack Chang (in whose memory Fundacion Myrna Mack, a key partner organization of WOLA's was founded), the massacre at Xaman, the rape and torture of Sr. Diana Ortiz, and the assassination of Bishop Juan José Gerardi. Human rights organizations whose reports appear in this grouping, most based outside Guatemala, include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission. Because the resolutions to some of these cases became seminal components of the peace process, researchers are strongly encouraged to consult files in the Peace Process grouping for human rights issues.
Files document facets of the transition to civil government initiated as a result of accords between the umbrella guerilla group Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG) and the Guatemalan government in 1994-1996. These include press clippings about the peace accords as well as copies of them; reports and information related to the United Nations Mission for the Verification of Human Rights and of Compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights in Guatemala (MINUGUA); the Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico (CEH), Guatemala's truth and reconciliation commission; and files related to government efforts to bring the military under civil control. This grouping also includes files related to judicial proceedings stemming from acts committed during the decades of conflict that preceded the peace process as well as instances of witness intimidation by parties wishing to keep cases from coming to trial. Intimidation and abuse of refugees returning to the countryside from Mexico comprise another major strand of human rights cases that became part of the peace process.
Specifically concern issues internal to Guatemala. These include elections and campaigns, efforts to reform the administration of justice in Guatemala, and civil policing. Many files document the varying support of political parties for the peace process and political reform. Key issues include the popularity of the Frente Republicano de Guatemala (FRG) and its leaders, former president José Efraín Ríos Montt and Alfonso Antonio Portillo Cabrera. Many files document the Centro de Estudios Estrategicos para la Estabilidad Nacional (ESTNA), which in part facilitated Guatemala's slow transition to civil government.
Folders house printed material, much of it in Spanish, created and published by guerilla groups, workers' groups, political parties, and international solidarity organizations, and whose names appear on folder titles. Formats include pamphlets, flyers, newsletters, newspapers, broadsides, announcements, and manifestos. Includes some original communiques and pamphlets created by revolutionary groups in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Among these groups, the Ejército Guerrillero de los Pobres (EGP) and the Organización Revolucionario del Pueblo en Armas (ORPA) are most represented. Both would later become part of URNG. Arranged in alphabetical order by organization name or title of publication. A file of unsorted material appears at the end of the grouping.
[Some items removed to Oversize Material.]
Covers the extent of the United States' involvement in Guatemala, from direct military and economic aid to numerous and often substantiated claims of clandestine involvement by the CIA in the training and operation of the Guatemalan military. Congressional financial and political support of the Guatemalan peace process as well as files related to diplomatic delegations appear here. The majority of the material chronicles the United States' multifaceted relationship with the Guatemalan military. These include: a few declassified CIA and State Department documents; files on Congressional debates about military and economic aid to Guatemala; and military training at the School of the Americas (SOA), by the CIA, and through the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program.
Files document WOLA's activities related to Guatemala, including reports, drafts, and memoranda on the political and human rights situation there, background files, conference materials, and numerous letters to partner organizations in the United States and abroad. Files in this grouping all specifically involve WOLA in some way, either as part of correspondence or as the creator of the files. Because of the diverse nature of WOLA's work, topics covered in this grouping touch all of the other groupings. One audio recording of the WOLA conference The Prospects for Peace in Guatemala completes the series. Additional sound recordings related to Guatemala, possibly including additional cassettes from this conference, may be found in the Sound Recordings Series.
[Original audio material closed to use. Technical Services may need to have a use copy made before contents can be accessed. Please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection.]
One folder containing Carter Center report on the 2001 presidential elections.
Arranged in the following groupings of files: Background Files; Elections; Human Rights; Individuals; Organizations; Police; Politics and Government; Printed Material; U.S. Relations; and WOLA files. Many materials in the Haitian series are in French or Haitian Creole but the majority are in English. Several issues of grassroots publications are found in the sub-series. Unless otherwise noted, subgroupings are unarranged.
Series of folders on general issues, including the economy, drugs, U.S. relations, and politics and government. One folder includes maps of Haiti.
Material on Haitian municipal and national elections during the 1990s; includes reports, papers, and other documents, including a copy of the Constitution dated 1987.
Contains information on human rights abuses, cases, trials, and especially the judiciary (including the Truth Commission). Organizations submitting reports include the Institute for Policy Studies, National Council of Churches, Human Rights Watch, and WOLA. More specific topics include poverty in Haiti, Haitian refugees and U.S. policy toward them; the Haitian military, and the para-military organization FRAPH.
Folders of information representing various individuals linked with Haiti. Includes folders of writings as well as topical folders on politicians, activists, and others. Most are limited to one folder; however, one entire box is devoted to documents on Aristide, including folders on the January 1994 conference in Miami sponsored by Aristide's government concerning political reform and the refugee crisis. Other individuals with folders include Pam Constable, Jonathan Demme, Terry Karl, Rene Préval, Donald Schultz, and Dany Toussaint. Files on individuals are arranged in alphabetical order.
Folders of clippings, correspondence, published reports and other information pertaining to university centers, non-governmental organizations, and other institutions that have addressed Haiti. Substantial materials and prominent organizations include Amnesty International, the Carter Center, Center for International Policy (CIP), Haiti Solidarite Internationale (HSI), Human Rights Watch (Americas Watch), National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR, 2 folders), Organization of American States (OAS, 3 folders), Platform of Haitian Rights Organizations (Haiti: HR Platform, 2 folders), Washington Office on Haiti (WOH, 4 folders). Files on organizations are arranged in alphabetical order (acronyms/abbreviations are often utilized)
Folders of information including clippings (and photocopies of same), correspondence, notes, reports, and serial publications on a range of issues related to the police and policing activities in Haiti. There are substantial materials on U.N. Reports, Resolutions on Haiti and Security, 1993-2000.
Folders of information including clippings (and photocopies of same), correspondence, newsletters, notes, and reports on a wide range of issues related to the Haitian government and politics.
Organizational information packets, reports, serial publications, study group information circulars, and other materials. Includes one VHS tape of Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti: Walt Disney and the Science of Exploitation, 1996.
[Original video closed to use. Technical Services staff may need to arrange to have viewing copy made. Please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection.]
Folders of information including clippings (and photocopies of same), correspondence, notes, reports, press releases, published articles, and serial publications on a range of issues related to U.S. policy towards and relating to Haiti.
Folders of general institutional files from WOLA pertaining to Haiti including clippings (and photocopies of same), contact lists, correspondence, notes, reprints of published articles, and other material.
Files, reports, and clippings, mostly on human rights. Human rights abuses include reports of "disappearances," torture, and killings by the military as well as more general reports on the status of human right in Honduras. The tenor and level of the state's efforts at reform in light of human rights abuses also figure prominently in much of the material. Additional material on Honduran politics and government includes files on elections and the administration of justice by the state. Some earlier files directly and indirectly refer to the Nicaragua-centered Contra War as well as Honduran relations with the United States, including U.S. links to the infamous Battalion 316, which became well-known after a series of newspaper articles in the Baltimore Sun in the mid-1990s. There are also several files on the National Police, responsible for a significant amount of human rights abuses in Honduras. The other files in this subseries are miscellaneous files, some created by WOLA and some photocopies of reports created by Honduran agencies. One videocassette, Zoned for Slavery, an exposé on child labor in Honduran Export Processing Zones appears at the end of the subseries. Files created by WOLA staff, including Paula Church, Jared Kotler, and Bonnie Tenneriello.
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[Original video closed to use. Technical Services staff may need to arrange to have viewing copy made. Please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection.]
Arranged in the following groupings of files: Background Files; Drugs; Economy; Elections; Human Rights; Organizations; Politics and Government; Printed Material; U.S. Relations; and WOLA files. The latter category consists of staff files on trips to Mexico, contact lists, and visit itineraries. The Mexico files chiefly center on political issues, with the largest grouping focusing on Mexican presidential and local elections during the 1990s and later. Other large groupings are for Human Rights - within which exist two boxes of files on events in the Chiapas region during the 1990s - and Organizations, which houses many information files on Mexican human rights organizations and associated movements. Many materials in this subseries are in Spanish. Several issues of grassroots publications can be found in the Printed Material subgroup. Unless otherwise noted, files are in unarranged original order as received. Descriptions of the subgroups follow below.
Series of folders containing briefings, reports, white papers, and printed material on assorted topics including human rights, drugs, U.S. relations, and politics and government. Significant background material include the State of the Mexican Union address in 1995 by President Zedillo, a white paper from 1991 on NAFTA and human rights, and a set of papers on poverty and social movements in Mexico. One folder includes a photocopy of a map of the Mexican state of Guerrero. Many of these folders also contain related correspondence with exchanges between WOLA and various individuals and organizations.
Folders contain clippings, correspondence, printed material, testimony, and reports on narcotics trafficking, drug control programs and policy, and U.S.-Mexico counternarcotics activities. Background files include a 1992 RAND report on narcotics trafficking in the 1980s, and there are many folders housing U.S. government reports and hearings. Specific topics of interest include the Mexican and U.S. military's role in counternarcotics efforts, as well as narcotics-related corruption in the U.S. and Mexico. Additional material related to drug policy appears in the Drug Policy Subseries of the Initiatives and Activities Series.
Clippings, correspondence, and printed material pertaining predominantly to Mexico's economic downturn in the mid-1990s, and how this relates to NAFTA, Mexican social movements, and labor rights and other human rights issues.
Materials on a broad range of topics pertaining to Mexican national and local civic elections and electoral reform from 1994-2004. The bulk of the material is from the 1994-1997 elections. Formats include articles, elections results, clippings, correspondence, newsletters, opinion polls, reports, Congressional statements, and other printed material. Folders are unarranged within boxes. Other material on elections appear in other subgroupings, in particular Organizations, Human Rights, and Background Files.
Includes folders on organizations such as Alianza Civica (also found in the Organizations Files), Academia Mexicana Derechos Humanos, the Carter Center, and various elections observer groups. The Alianza Civica folders include citizen guides to voting and manuals for poll observers. One set of folders houses extensive publications and documents from the offices of the Mexican Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE), including a full-length report on the 1994 elections. A set of files contains background readings, preparations, and reports from a WOLA delegation trip to Mexico at the end of 1994; the final report from the delegation on the 1994 Mexican elections (Jan. 1995) is included. U.S. Congressional reports and policy materials on pre- and post-election issues are also present. Reports on the Mexican media as related to elections can be found here as well.
Much the same content as the previous elections files above, with an emphasis on electoral reform. Alianza Civica materials are still present, including a large report on the dissemination of information during the elections in all 14 states, as are many reports and publications from the IFE. Box 11 contains a folder of background material on the history of Mexican electoral process and includes a simplified timeline. There are a few files of material on parties such as PRI and PAN, documenting their candidates and stating their position on electoral reform. Includes WOLA's proposal for a grant to send another elections delegation to Mexico for the 1997 election and files and at least one report from the subsequent trip.
Content of folders mirrors material from earlier elections above. Additional printed material comes from the Movimiento Ciudadano por la Democracia and other political reform organizations.
Material such as clippings, correspondence, and printed material on human rights issues in Mexico, primarily focusing on indigenous rights, peasant uprisings and political action, and workers' rights. Also includes some files on women's issues and gay rights. Split between Chiapas Files and Other Human Rights Files.
Houses documentary material relating to the Zapatista uprisings in the Mexican state of Chiapas and the subsequent violence that erupted, and government repression of indigenous communities. There are many examples and first-hand accounts of human rights abuses. Files also contain reports by various human rights groups, including WOLA, on Chiapas, including individual cases of kidnapping, murder, and other cases that brought international attention to the region; there is a full report on the Acteal massacre in 1997. Other folders pertain to the peace and reconciliation process in the late nineties. See also the WOLA Files subgrouping in box for a folder of information on a 1994 WOLA-sponsored roundtable in the U.S. on Mexico; one session was devoted to the Chiapas peace process.
Files contain information about human rights issues in Mexican states other than Chiapas, although there are items on Chiapas mixed in as they relate to the topic at hand. Materials cover a wide variety of issues: voter rights and other political action issues; indigenous rights; worker's rights (especially for "maquiladoras"); violence against homosexuals, women, and peasants; individual cases of human rights violations, including the Aguas Blancas massacre; and WOLA legislative "Hill drops" on Mexican human rights and other U.S. legislative folders. Individuals named in folder titles include General Gallardo, Digna Ochoa, and environmental activists Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera. Many boxes contain reports from U.S. and Mexican organizations on the human rights situation overall. Files arranged in original order as received.
Files on organizations, chiefly based in Mexico, typically containing reports, flyers, pamphlets, newsletters, emails, and other documentation. Servicio Internacional Para la Paz (SIPAZ), with its international office in Santa Cruz, California, is the most well-represented with three folders of material, including emails (chiefly exchanges with WOLA staff), minutes of meetings, and newsletters. Other organizations such as Foro Mexicano, Consejo Para la Democracia, Alianza Civica, National Commission for Democracy in Mexico, and Mujeres en Lucha por la Democracia, are represented by smaller amounts of materials.
There are relatively few folders in this category, as most of the materials relating to Mexican politics and government are filed within the larger series on elections, narcotics trafficking, and human rights abuses. Material in two folders are focused on specific officials, Carlos Salinas and his criminal trial, and the woman mayor of Mexico City, Rosario Robles. Another folder contains brief information on a SUNY (State University of N.Y.) exchange program with Mexican academics and politicians to reform the Mexican legislature. The remainder of the material covers issues of judicial and security reform.
Various items published by Mexican activist groups and U.S. government. Includes a nearly complete five-year run, 1994-1999, of Proceso, a Mexican magazine focusing on politics.
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Materials chiefly concern U.S. politics, responses in the U.S. press to events in Mexico, and immigration and shared-border issues.
Administrative files maintained by WOLA staff contain contact lists; planning materials for conferences, working groups, and visits from Mexican delegations and other individuals; correspondence; reprints of published articles; and other materials. Four folders of materials document in detail WOLA's role as co-coordinator of series of Washington roundtables on Mexico in 1994 and 1995: roundtables focused on Chiapas, drug trafficking, and process of democratic reform. Includes a folder of readings used by participants to prepare for sessions.
Chiefly concerns Nicaraguan politics and government. Files in this subseries do not directly address the 1979 revolution or its immediate aftermath, but to later events. Key topics include elections in 1990, 1996, and 2001; peace negotiations between the Nicaraguan state and rebel groups, and some assessments of the United States' role in Nicaraguan political affairs. Files are separated into the following folder groups: Human Rights, Peace Process, Politics and Government, Printed Material, and WOLA Files. Most files in Human Rights refer to abuses committed during hostilities between the ruling Sandinista (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN) government and the various counter insurgent groups commonly called "Contras." Reports on the FSLN's treatment of political dissidents also appear here. Peace Process files include copies of accords negotiated to end the Contra War as well as reports by international observers. The largest grouping, Politics and Government contains clippings, reports, and government documents related to national elections and constitutional law. Major election observers include the International Human Rights Law Group (IHRLG) and Hemisphere Initiatives. Printed Material focuses on Nicaraguan politics and government as well as human rights and includes a mostly complete run of Barricada Internacional from July 1993-September 1996. Finally, WOLA Files consist of correspondence and draft reports by WOLA and partner organizations attempting to influence U.S. policy towards Nicaragua. U.S.-Nicaraguan relations are a major component of this grouping, and some discussion of the role of the CIA in the Contra War can be found here. Files in this grouping document WOLA's efforts to influence policy as the shifting political climate of each presidential administration created different circumstances. Because the Contra War was international in nature, researchers interested in this subject are encouraged to consult subseries on Costa Rica and Honduras as well. Videocassette on Nicaraguan sweatshops and property rights can be found at the end of the subseries.
Files cover typical issues found in other series such as human rights abuses and reforms, politics and government, the economy, U.S. relations, and international relations. Specific topics include the Panama Canal, U.S. congressional activities, the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama and the trial of Manuel Noriega; drug policies and police forces in Panama; and the Catholic Church. Folders of information on human rights cases and organizations include analyses, conference reports, commentaries, and testimony. Main language is English although there are documents in Spanish from Panama. One folder contains a set of FBIS reports on Panama (the Foreign Broadcast Information Service is a U.S. government operation that monitors and translates news, speeches, broadcasts, and commentary from non-English sources around the world).
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Arranged in the following groupings of files: Background Files, which contain clippings, notes, and articles on such issues as the economy, elections, U.S. and other relations (Japan, South Africa), land issues, culture, energy, and the military; Clippings, files created by WOLA staff on a range of topics and events; Elections, containing information on 1989 and 1991 national and municipal elections; Human Rights, with information on human rights abuses, cases, trials, the judiciary, and organizations (the latter is arranged in alphabetical order and includes Amnesty International, America Watch, Centre de Documentation Paysanne du Paraguay, and several labor organizations); Politics and Government, with extensive files on U.S. relations and aid, particularly focused on the congressional record (approximately 1976-1985) and U.S. Ambassador Clyde Taylor's role, as well as files on the Paraguayan government's structure and activities; and Publications and Other Printed Material, a variety of analyses and articles, including WOLA's own Decline of the Dictator: Paraguay at a Crossroads, 1988; and one box of printed material, chiefly reports on Paraguayan human rights and politics-indexed by title below. Many materials in the Paraguay series are in Spanish but the majority are in English. Particular topics covered in the Human Rights files include land reform, peasants, and labor issues. Several runs of grassroots publications are found in the Human Rights files, notably a set of issues of Revista Mbya (1993-1995), a voice for indigenous peoples, especially the Mbya of eastern Paraguay.
Files in this subseries are generally related to the administration of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) and responses to it by human rights groups in Perú as well as associated solidarity groups in the United States. Most are concerned with efforts of groups, chiefly WOLA, to raise awareness or encourage action on human rights abuses attributed to the Fujimori regime. The vast majority of material was created or collected by longtime WOLA associate and fellow Coletta Youngers. Researchers interested in human rights in Perú are encouraged to consult the Coletta Youngers Papers, 1977-2004 and undated, housed in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke. Subseries is divided into the following folder groups: Articles and Reports; Conferences and Programs; Correspondence and Memoranda; Human Rights Organizations and Cases; Politics and Government; and Visits and U.S. Policy.
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Contains drafts and copies of op-eds and letters to editors, press releases, and reports published by WOLA and WOLA-affiliated personnel.
Consists of files related to conferences, seminars, and other events in which Coletta Youngers or other WOLA staff participated. Most of these were organized by WOLA, often in conjunction with the George Washington University's Latin American Studies Program.
Grouping contains a mix of letters to state officials in Perú, including Alberto Fujimori, as well as those in the United States, chiefly members of Congress and Secretaries of State James Baker and Madeleine Albright. In addition, internal communications between WOLA staff and associated colleagues and memoranda about recent activities are also included.
The largest grouping, files are further separated into Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDDH), the Perú Peace Network (PPN), and Other Organizations and Cases. The CNDDH is an umbrella human rights organization based in Lima, Perú that organizes and helps coordinate the activities of over fifty human rights groups working in Perú and is one of WOLA's primary partners in Perú. The PPN is a Missouri-based solidarity organization with which WOLA is affiliated. Other groups represented in this section include the Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH), Defensoria del Pueblo, Amnesty International, and Americas Watch. Specific cases include files on human rights advocate and Partido Democrático Descentralista co-founder Javier Diez Canseco; the 1997 Japanese Embassy hostage crisis; lawsuits filed against Texaco for environmental damage in Perú; Peruvian army intelligence officer and alleged torturer Tomas Ricardo Anderson Kohatsu; and the massacre at Los Barrios Altos.
Files refer to the political situation internal to Perú. Topics of note in this grouping include the Democratic Constitutional Congress initiated by Fujimori in 1992, some files on Peruvian drug policy, decrees issued by Fujimori, the 1995 border conflict with Ecuador, elections in 1990 and 2000, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission convened after Fujimori fled Perú in 2000.
Concern efforts to influence Peruvian human rights policy outside Perú. The bulk of the grouping details WOLA's efforts to organize meetings between members of Peruvian congress or human rights advocates and U.S. officials. Approximately one box of material relates specifically to visits by members of Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos. General files on U.S. policy towards Perú appear at the end of the grouping. These include files on congressional debates in the 1990s over whether to continue funding the Peruvian government's anti-narcotics programs in light of evidence of widespread human rights abuses.
One folder on Suriname's proposed truth and reconciliation commission. Includes a letter of support for this process from WOLA and paperwork for adding signatories. Information on Suriname's political background germane to the truth and reconciliation commission can be found at back of the file.
Mainly concerned with political events and human rights issues that arose during Uruguay's transition from military to civilian rule in the 1980s. The subseries is separated into the following folder groups: Background and Issues, Cases, Political Parties, Printed Material, WOLA Files, and Other Material. The Background and Issues group contains some research about the political history of Uruguay, but it is mainly composed of files about issues contemporaneous with WOLA's work there in the 1980s, including elections, human rights, the military, the press, and the 1989 referendum on the "Ley de Caducidad de la Pretensión Punitiva del Estado" (granting amnesty for many human rights violations committed under the military dictatorship of 1973-1985). The Cases files comprise correspondence and research about the 1976 assassinations of Uruguayan politicians Zelmar Michelini and Héctor Gutiérrez Ruiz. The Political Parties folders contain printed materials about the Frente Amplio, the Partido Colorado, and various communist and socialist parties in Uruguay. Journals and newsletters from various NGOs make up the bulk of the Printed Material group; organizations and/or publications represented here include Aportes, CELADU (Centro de Estudios Para la Democracia Uruguaya), CLAEH (Centro Latinoamericano de Economía Humana), IELSUR (Instituto de Estudios Legales y Sociales del Uruguay), and SERPAJ (Servicio Páz y Justicia). The WOLA Files consist mainly of newsletters, press releases, and other publications generated by WOLA, but also include correspondence, contact lists, and other office files. Finally, documents gathered under Other Material include general correspondence, letters to the United States Congress, and a variety of printed material and reports about Uruguay's history, politics, and current events. Arranged mainly as received, in groups of color-coded files, except for Other Material, which consists of folders that were either too few to constitute a group or whose organizational theme could not be determined.
Clippings, files and printed material on human rights, politics, and economic policy in Venezuela. Several files chronicle Hugo Chavez's first presidential electoral victory as well as challenges to his administration from politically right-of-center opponents. Files on Venezuelan economic policy are included, particularly concerning loans from international financial institutions and the role of oil. Material from human rights organizations including Red de Apoyo, PROVEA, and the Comité de Familiares de Víctimas del 27 de Febrero (COFAVIC) comprise most of the rest of the subseries. One folder containing the WOLA publication Venezuela Update dated March 2003 begins the subseries.
Files pertaining to multiple geographic subseries. Divided into General Files and Printed Material. General Files include clippings on human rights, economic, and political issues across individual states. Some of these files address particular regions, including the Southern Cone and the Andes, while others refer to South America or Central America. As with the rest of the collection, most files are oriented around United States policy toward Latin America. However, the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Organization of American States (OAS) figure more prominently in General Files. Conference and seminar-related documentation also appear in this group. Printed Material includes publications with the same broad scope as found in General Files. The largest component is a mostly complete run of Central America Report dated between 1985 and 1996. Other publications include a very early report by Americas Watch and numerous WOLA reports. Two boxes of printed material are unsorted. One videocassette, Peace, What Peace? Confronting Central America's New Economic War, produced by the Inter-Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America (ICCHRLA), and one audio cassette on ex-combatants in El Salvador and Nicaragua complete the subseries. Additional audio recordings on Latin America may be found in the Sound Recordings Series.
[Original audiovisual material closed to use. Technical Services staff may need to arrange to have viewing copy made. Please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection.]
Files documenting WOLA's issue-based work and activities in multiple countries. Separated into the following subseries: Advocacy Training Program, Conferences and Programs, Drug Policy, Hurricane Mitch, Legislative Files, Media Work, Rights and Development, and Security. The largest subseries are WOLA's longstanding programs on Drug Policy, Rights and Development, and Security. Initiatives and Activities files loosely mirror Geographic files in terms of structure, with the larger subseries divided into folder groups. As with other series, material has been rearranged only to the extent necessary to create folder groups. There is considerable overlap between materials in this series and those in other Geographical files; researchers looking into topics in Initiatives and Activities may wish to consult boxes in the country files as well.
Files for WOLA's Central America Advocacy Training Program (ATP). The ATP's primary objective is to build the capacity of local civil society organizations to advocate for rights protection in their respective societies. Divided into folder groups for Administrative Files and Project Files. The Administrative Files mostly concern the activities of WOLA's Washington D.C.-based staff and cover a range of administrative topics, including office correspondence; grants and funding documents; project planning and external reviews of projects; office memoranda; and some research files. The Project Files mostly reflect the work of WOLA staff working in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Material includes conference and workshop agendas; training and educational materials; and numerous project proposals for various Central American civil society organizations. Major topical groups include police reform, the administration of justice, and violence against women. Administrative files created by Central America-based offices may be found in the Administrative Files group.
Files documenting WOLA's involvement in various meetings on topics germane to its mission. Divided into folder groups for Events and Summits. Eventsconsist of conferences and other programs such as brown bag lunches, speeches by visiting scholars and dignitaries, and seminars. Most of these were organized by WOLA staff, though conferences organized by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) are also included. Most events involve human rights in some way, though they cover the scope of WOLA's activities. Summits contain files related to major international meetings. The largest group of files relate to the Summit of the Americas, held in Miami in 1994 and in Santiago, Chile in 1998. In addition, material on a 1996 sustainable development summit in Bolivia and the Civil Society for Hemispheric Integration Project (CSHIP) are also included.
Files primarily relating to U.S. efforts to combat drug cultivation in the Americas and its sale in this country. Divided into the following four groups: Drugs, Democracy, and Human Rights Project; Research Files; U.S. Relations; and WOLA Files. Drugs, Democracy, and Human Rights Project (DDHR) files specifically pertain to the WOLA initiative of the same name, directed by Coletta Youngers and Eileen Rosin. The bulk of the material consists of drafts of papers and book chapters written for inclusion in Drugs and Democracy in Latin America: US Policy, an edited volume produced as part of the project. Research Files include notes, clippings, articles, and reports collected by WOLA staff for the DDHR Project and other activities. Topics covered in this group include aerial fumigation of coca crops, drug-related money laundering, and aerial interdiction of planes smuggling drugs out of South America. Most files specifically refer to Perú, though documents on Colombia and Bolivia are also well represented. This group also includes a small run of issues of Coca Bulletin, and English language newsletter promoting crop substitution printed in Bolivia. U.S. Relations files directly relate to the policies and actions of various offices of the federal government. The bulk of these are files on various Congressional hearings on pending U.S. legislation or oversight of Executive Branch activities such at those by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or the Executive Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Other files concern the CIA (most relating to allegations of drug profiteering in connection with the Nicaragua-centered Contra War), FBI, and various branches of the U.S. military. Numerous documents declassified through Freedom of Information Act requests are included, most concerning the ONDCP. WOLA Files include administrative planning documents, internal correspondence and memoranda, articles by WOLA staff, and material related to conferences on drug policy coordinated and/or attended by WOLA. Documents created by WOLA staff, including Charles Call, Eileen Rosin, John Walsh, and Coletta Youngers. Researchers interested in drug policy should also consult Geographic subseries for Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico. The Coletta Youngers Papers, also held by the Rubenstein Library at Duke, also contain pertinent files.
Files documenting the responses of WOLA, the larger NGO community, and state governments to the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Mitch, a massive storm that hit Central America in 1998. Files concern the countries most directly hit by the storm, most prominently Nicaragua and Honduras but also El Salvador and Guatemala. Material in this subseries chronicle WOLA's efforts to advocate for additional aid from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and to persuade USAID and other government agencies to sign on to the principles outlined at a meeting of world governments and NGOs in Stockholm, Sweden. The Stockholm Principles proposed a comprehensive restructuring of hurricane-affected countries that included enlarging and consolidating democratic civil society, improving agricultural and environmental practices, and reducing foreign debt. Printed material and reports by WOLA partners in the region, such as Confederación De Pueblos Autóctonos De Honduras (CONPAH) and Coordinadora Civil para la Emergencia y la Reconstrucción (CCER) are also included. Additionally, some files on appropriations and responses from the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch and the United Nations can be found here. Major topics include sustainable land practices; the plight of indigenous Central Americans and those of African ancestry; international donor nations and debt service reduction; and efforts to reduce prodigious gap between the wealthiest and poorest in the region. Files were created by WOLA staff including Vicki Gass, Eric Olson, and Geoff Thale. Geographic subseries for affected countries, particularly Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador contain some additional Hurricane Mitch-related files.
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Documents the Washington Office on Latin America's efforts to influence U.S. policy, particularly with respect to drugs and foreign military and development aid. Consists of correspondence, Congressional debates, newspaper editorials, and memoranda related to pending U.S. legislation. Contains many information packets for Congressional policy aids known internally as "Hill drops." In addition to correspondence to members of Congress, a few letters to Secretaries of State, President Clinton, and foreign heads of state are also included. Major topics include the process of certifying the cooperation of foreign countries in U.S. anti-narcotics programs, particularly with respect to Mexico and Colombia; military aid and training assistance; Hurricane Mitch; and numerous efforts to protect funding for the Interamerican Development Bank's (IDB) Fund for Special Operations (FSO), which provides financial assistance to the weakest Latin American economies. Additional files on WOLA's legislative work can be found in individual Geographic or Initiatives and Activities Subseries, generally in folder groups for U.S. Relations or WOLA Files. Assembled and maintained by WOLA staff, chiefly William Spencer.
Consists chiefly of clippings falling into three categories: Editorials, Op-Eds, and Reprints. Editorials are generally written by major U.S. newspapers. Some packets sent to newspapers by WOLA accompany clippings. Op-Eds, generally written by WOLA-staff, also mostly appeared in major U.S. newspapers. Reprints come from a variety of domestic and Latin American publications. Some directly refer to WOLA activities or personnel. Topics cover the extent of WOLA's work, including most countries in the Geographic Series as well as initiatives on Drug Policy, Hurricane Mitch, and Rights and Development. Most files were organized alphabetically, though some additions are unarranged.
Files on diverse issues of economic development. The majority of material concerns financial assistance to Latin American countries from international sources, particularly international financial institutions (IFIs). Several multilateral development banks (MDBs) figure prominently, including the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB, IADB, BID in Spanish); and the World Bank (WB), especially the activities of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Subseries is categorized into the following folder groups: Country Files; Indigenous Rights and Rural Development; Interamerican Development Bank; Labor; Multilateral Aid; Other Material; Printed Material; Trade; U.S. Foreign Aid; and World Bank. All groups are unarranged, except Country Files and Printed Material, which are organized alphabetically. Material created by WOLA staff, particularly Eric Olson.
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Primarily files of clippings for most of the countries and regions in which WOLA is active, except Panama, Uruguay, and Suriname. A list of these can be found in the Geographic Series. Topics vary but include international trade agreements, elections, and labor and workers' rights.
Includes material on efforts to preserve indigenous Latin American communities or the economic integration of rural areas. Most files directly concern the tensions between these competing goals. Topics include sustainable development and agriculture. The environmental and social consequences of the Hidrovia Project, a proposed system of waterways connecting interior areas South America near the intersection of the Paraguay-Paraná-Uruguay-La Plata river system are a major focus. While the bulk of the group consists of correspondence and research files, some printed material, including Indigenous Affairs and Abya Yala News are also included.
Files, correspondence, and reports relating to the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB, IADB) also known in Spanish as the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID). Many documents in this grouping were authored by IDB personnel, including a number of board meeting agendas and proceedings. Major topics include civil society participation in IDB decision-making, sustainable development, poverty reduction, and the Fund for Special Operations (FSO) through which the IDB makes loans to highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs). A few files are related to relief prompted by Hurricane Mitch, though the bulk of these may be found in the Hurricane Mitch Subseries.
Chiefly material on labor rights issues. The bulk of the files concern Guatemala and the U.S./Guatemala Labor Education Project (GLEP). Several of these files address the proposed investigation by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) of Guatemala's eligibility for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) given alleged abuses of labor activists. Additional files on the status of labor rights in Chile related to a proposed bilateral free trade agreement with the United States are also included.
Consists of general files on IFIs and MDBs, particularly relating to debt relief of HIPCs, as well as those involving collaborations between the IDB or WB and other institutions. Additional files on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are also included.
Files not fitting within other categories. Most involve general issues of economic development or human rights. These include files of economic indicators for countries, debt relief files not explicitly addressing the role of IFIs, private sector investment, and civil society development. Also includes files for specific WOLA personnel, including John Burstein, Bonnie Tenneriello, and Alex Wilde.
Files and correspondence on international trade, most involving the United States. The bulk of material relates to the passage and modification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the "fast track legislation" proposal put forth by President Clinton. Additional files relate to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), a proposed bilateral free trade agreement with Chile, the Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR) regional trade agreement in South America, and a free trade agreement between Mexico and the European Union. Information on the World Trade Organization (WTO) may be found in a few files but is not a major focus.
Material specifically relate to international aid from the United States. In addition to general subject files on U.S. appropriations for foreign aid, the bulk of the files concern the activities and funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other sources of non-military foreign assistance.
Files, reports, and correspondence pertaining to the World Bank (WB), particularly its International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) arm. These include memoranda by WB staff; performance evaluations of WB projects from within and outside the organization; sustainable development; the role of NGOs in WB policy; and reform efforts by James Wolfensohn, WB president from 1995-2005. In addition, copies of World Bank News may be found here.
Files primarily relating to Latin American security issues and U.S. involvement in them. Divided into the following folder groups: Police Reform; School of the Americas; Security Policy and Peacekeeping; U.S. Military; and WOLA Files. Police Reform files include country-specific folders for most of the countries in the Geographic Series, arranged in alphabetical order, regarding the conduct of civil authorities and associated human rights issues. A folder on police in Canada is also included. This section includes issues of Direitos Humanos, a Brazilian human rights publication in Portuguese; Dialogo Centroamericano, a Spanish-language publication on regional security and demilitarization; and a legislative document from Venezuela's Camera de Deputados regarding Venezuelan federal police. School of the Americas folders encompass courses, enrollment, press, and domestic legislative debate concerning the US Army School of the Americas (USARSA,SOA) located in Fort Benning, Georgia. A large portion includes academic as well as legislative material regarding human rights training at the SOA. The SOA files also include two declassified intelligence manuals on asset acquisition and interrogation. Security Policy and Peacekeeping includes information on military expenditure and folders concerning Latin American militaries, namely Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and one file on Ecuador and Perú. A number of printed publications and materials concerning the transition to new security strategies and policies is also included. This section also has a significant subsection of both United Nations files and files on arms trades, transfers, and terrorism. U.S. Military files concern American military policy toward Latin America and specifically concern physical placement of troops, economic aid, and educational training. The files include U.S. military budgets between 1989 and 1993 and significant subsections on civic action as well as military human rights training. WOLA Files are documents internal to WOLA regarding security-based initiatives and conferences. Specifically, information regarding the 1994 WOLA conference on police reform in Central America and Haiti is included. This grouping also includes the WOLA Manual for Civil Society as well as drafts and proofs for Citizen Security Monitor and other WOLA publications.
Audio cassettes and one compact disc. Organized to mirror the structure in the main collection of the Geographic and Initiatives and Activities Series. Most are recordings of conferences and programs organized by WOLA. The recordings are arranged first by country in alphabetical order, after which follow a series of groupings related to specific conferences, or to topics such as Hurricane Mitch, drug policy, rights and development, and security. Approximately two boxes of cassettes at the end of the series are unidentified and unsorted.
[Original recordings are closed to use. Technical Services staff may need to arrange to have listening copies made. Please contact Research Services before coming to use these materials.]
Comprises large items from other series. The bulk of oversize material consists of newspapers and newspaper sections. Additional items include large serial publications, political posters, and broadsides. The majority of the material comes from the Patrick Ahern Files, part of the Chile Subseries and includes copies of the Santiago-based El Mercurio as well as the serials Solidaridad, and VEA. Politically-themed posters from Chile, Cuba, and Panama are also included.
[Some papers are fragile. Technical services staff may need to make use copies prior to researcher use. Please consult with a reference archivist before coming to use these materials.]
Materials from programs in Haiti, Guatemala, Colombia, and Mexico, and development files from the organization. Materials have not been described or arranged beyond their original condition. Folder titles reflect the titles assigned by WOLA staff.
Contains publications and reports from The Washington Office on Latin America as well as other publications. Most deal with human rights issues in Latin America in the late 1970s and early 1980s and U.S. policies in the region. Documents are organized alphabetically.
Contains files of Adriana Beltran and Susan Peacock. The contents primarily focus on Guatemala and human rights issues, particularly violence against women (VAW). Materials include correspondence, reports, presentations, training documents, and AV materials. Folders are organized alphabetically.
Contains files of Rachel Neild. The contents primarily focus on the WOLA Police Project, international police reform, and U.S.-Cuba legislation and policy. Cuba, Mexico and Central America are well-represented. Materials contain correspondence, reports, conference proceedings/papers, presentations, sign-on letters, AV materials, and general documents. Folders arranged alphabetically.
Box 471 contains the Cuba files of Geoff Thale, Sr. Associate for Cuba Policy at the time.
Contains files of Vicki Gass and Geoff Thale with particular emphasis on WOLA's Rights and Development program, which focuses on the relationship between human rights, economic development and US policy; foreign aid and trade policy, with a special emphasis on poverty reduction, labor rights and the rural sector in Latin America. Materials contain subject and project files, correspondence, reports, conference proceedings/papers, pamphlets and articles, presentations, and general documents. Folders arranged alphabetically.
Contains files of general discussions, conferences, and projects related to the Human Rights Movement in Latin America in the late 1980's and early 1990's.
AV Materials including photos, digital files, training videos, and audio recordings of human rights roundtables and workshops held in El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. CD's include a 2005 study of the Chixoy Dam, and several digital files, mostly Powerpoint presentations, by Guatemalan/Mayan rights organizations on the disasterous effects of mining operations on Mayan communities.
Boxes 485-494 are closed until processing.
Military coup replaces the government in Paraguay
Coup in Chile led by Augusto Pinochet overthrows the democratically elected
government of Salvador Allende
Washington Office on Latin America founded
Former Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and his colleague Ronnie Moffitt
assassinated in a car bombing in Washington D.C.
Augusto Pinochet voted out of office in first democratic election in Chile
U.S. forces invade Panama
Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega surrenders to authorities
Governing Sandinista party voted out of office in Nicaragua
Jean-Bertrand Aristide elected president of Haiti
Aristide forced out of Haiti
Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori dissolves Congress in
Peruvian Maoist group Sendero Luminoso leader Abimael Guzman
Helms-Burton Act (LIBERTAD) passes both houses of U.S. Congress, further
restricting Cuban trade embargo
Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA) forces storm the Japanese
embassy in Perú and hold hostages
Peace accords between Guatemalan government and Unidad Revolucionaria
Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG) signed
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed into law in the United
Aristide reinstalled as Haitian president due in part to international
Hugo Chavez elected president of Venezuela
Augusto Pinochet arrested in London on charges of human rights
Pinochet released from house arrest in the United Kingdom on medical
September 11 attacks in U.S. reorient Latin American policy towards counter
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton implicates Cuba in Beyond the Axis of Evil
- Coletta Youngers Papers, 1977-2004 and undated, bulk 1983-1998 (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
- Global Rights Records, 1980-2006 and undated, bulk 1991-2002 (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Drug control -- United States
- Drug control -- Latin America
- Economic development -- Latin America
- Human Rights -- Andes Region
- Human Rights -- Argentina
- Human Rights -- Central America
- Human Rights -- Chile
- Human Rights -- Colombia
- Human Rights -- El Salvador
- Human Rights -- Government policy -- United States
- Human Rights -- Guatemala
- Human Rights -- Haiti
- Human Rights -- Latin America
- Human Rights -- Mexico
- Human Rights -- Mexico -- Chiapas
- Human Rights -- Perú
- Human rights advocacy -- United States
- Human rights advocacy
- Human Rights -- Uruguay
- Human Rights -- Venezuela
- Hurricane Mitch, 1998
- Indigenous peoples -- Civil rights
- Peace-building -- Guatemala
- Peace-building -- Colombia