HUMAN RIGHTS: Chasing Terror's Paper Trail


Kate Doyle tracks the perpetrators of genocide and human rights abuses by sifting through declassified records.

While the Nazis are infamous for keeping meticulous records of their atrocities, they are not alone in creating a bureaucracy of terror. Kate Doyle, a Senior Analyst at the National Security Archive, has found that murderous regimes tend to document their deeds, recording illicit abductions and assassinations in “the death squad equivalent of an annual productivity report.” Using their own paper trails against them, Doyle tracks the perpetrators of state terror and serves as an expert witness in human rights trials in an attempt to bring justice to countries where impunity has reigned for decades. A specialist in U.S. policy in Latin America, Doyle has testified in Guatemalan genocide cases and in a trial against former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori. As central to her mission as convicting perpetrators is using archival evidence to fill in the blanks for survivors who want to know what happened to their vanished family and friends.

Sarah Krupp
Publication date: 
January 11, 2011
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article