15 January 2008 News Releases

ProQuest Partners with National Security Archive to Offer Insight into the U.S. Foreign Policy at work in Latin America

ProQuest is advancing the study of modern Latin America with the first-ever digital release of this collection of primary source documents from the U.S. embassy in Lima, U.S. military officials, and U.S. intelligence.

ProQuest is advancing the study of modern Latin America with the first-ever digital release of this collection of primary source documents from the U.S. embassy in Lima, U.S. military officials, and U.S. intelligence. The documents in Peru: Human Rights, Drugs and Democracy, 1980-2000 provide a compelling portrait of Peru's civil war and growing authoritarianism during three successive Peruvian administrations.  It's available in ProQuest's widely-respected Digital National Security Archive (DNSA), considered to be the most powerful primary research and teaching tool available in the areas of U.S. foreign policy, intelligence and security affairs from post World War II through the present.  A complement to DNSA's six other Latin American collections, Peru: Human Rights, Drugs and Democracy, 1980-2000 documents U.S. foreign policy at work in Latin America and illuminates internal, domestic politics in Peru.

“ProQuest’s partnership with the National Security Archive, who collected these documents, equips researchers with digital access to previously classified documents, including many recently released by the U.S. government,” said Mary Sauer-Games, vice president of publishing for ProQuest.  “It’s partnerships like these that open the door to exceptionally rich and insightful sources of historical research.”

"This collection will be essential for any library that supports serious Latin American studies," commented Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive.  "The modern history of Peru includes one of the bloodiest insurgencies (the Shining Path), most controversial dictatorships (Alberto Fujimori), and most dramatic democratic transitions in all of Latin America."

Peru: Human Rights, Drugs and Democracy, 1980-2000 includes 1,997 documents collected from archival sources, hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests, and direct State Department releases to Peruvian truth and congressional commissions.   The records in this set reveal how U.S. counter-narcotics and counter-insurgency objectives at times clashed with professed U.S. devotion to human rights and democracy promotion. The set includes a vast array of on-the-ground reporting from embassy officials, chronicling the daily grind of relations between the two countries. The materials cover a wide range of research topics including human rights, counter-narcotics policy, authoritarian political regimes, corruption, electoral politics, foreign relations, military relations, Latin American studies, intelligence policy, counterinsurgency, guerrilla warfare, and relations between press and policymakers. 

The collection covers the 1980 inception of civil war between insurgent militants from the Shining Path (and later from the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement) and official and non-official government forces.  The documents chronicle human rights violations committed by both insurgent forces and the military, focusing on key cases pinpointed by the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  This includes State Department cables describing interviews with Peruvian police and military officers, who detail their direct participation in torture, extrajudicial executions, and attempted bombings

The digital version of this set is being published in two installments, revealing the growing political crisis faced by consecutive Peruvian presidents Fernando Belaúnde, Alan García and Alberto Fujimori. The first installment, already available, includes documents from 1966 up to President Alberto Fujimori’s inauguration in 1990, chronicling the new system of electoral democracy in the 1980s and the rise of the bloody civil conflict that shadowed consecutive democratic regimes. The second installment, to be released in 2009, covers the Fujimori era and beyond, with documents from 1990-2004.  It begins with Fujimori’s ascendancy to the presidency during the height of the war, details the winding down of the conflict, and unveils continued governmental abuses of power that lasted until Fujimori’s downfall in 2000.

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