Series Human Rights Division - S-1810

Identity area

Reference code

S-1810

Title

Human Rights Division

Date(s)

  • 1980 - 1995 (Creation)

Level of description

Series

Extent and medium

No. of Boxes: 88

Context area

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

S-1810 contains records pertaining to monitoring and reporting on human rights, investigating human rights violations, and developing local human rights capability in El Salvador as carried out by the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL).

Human Rights Division
The chronological and correspondence files contain letters, memoranda and reports on a variety of subjects, including: land and property ownership; armed groups; relations of the Human Rights Division with the judicial system and the National Civil Police (PNC); forced disappearances; arbitrary killings; the problem of personal identity documentation among the El Salvadoran population; and the image of ONUSAL in the media.

The chronological and correspondence files also contain: case information sheets and updates on specific allegations of human rights violations; reports on discoveries of human remains; correspondence between the Human Rights Division and non-governmental organizations; discussion papers on ONUSAL’s human rights mandate and evaluations of the mission’s achievements; summaries of meetings of the Human Rights Division; correspondence between the Human Rights Division and the government Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman; letters from the general public denouncing human rights violations sent to the Director of the Human Rights Division; statistics on human rights abuses; and reports on relations between the Human Rights Division and the National Public Security Academy (ANSP).

Included also are weekly and biweekly reports sent to the Director of the Human Rights Division from the Coordinators/Heads of regional offices located in the departments of Chalatenango, San Miguel, San Salvador, San Vincente, Santa Ana, and Usulutan. These reports include: observations and analyses of developments among local branches of national institutions concerning the reintegration of ex-combatants, the land transfer program, education and training, elections, and other aspects of the peace process; and summaries of cases of human rights violations investigated and/or followed by the regional office.

Human Rights Division, Deputy Director
Records consist of: memoranda pertaining to the organization of the mission and the functions of the Human Rights Division; weekly reports sent to the Head of Mission; papers describing procedures to verify human rights violations; a report describing human rights violations committed by the National Civil Police (PNC); correspondence between the Human Rights Division and non-governmental and religious organizations in El Salvador; discussion papers pertaining to strengthening the work of non-governmental organizations in El Salvador; and reports on conditions in prisons.

Human Rights Division, Case Verification Unit (UVEC)
Records of the UVEC, which was responsible for tracking and reporting cases of human rights violations, consist of: memoranda describing complaints made against the National Civil Police (PNC); reports on the systematic violation of human rights by the PNC; registries of cases of human rights violations attributed to the PNC; guidebooks and program plans for ONUSAL human rights monitoring activities focusing on the PNC; letters sent to the Head of Mission and the Director of the Human Rights Division from the general public which describe and condemn human rights violations and urge ONUSAL to investigate; reports of death threats and violence enacted against mayors, political officials and human rights activists; analyses of the state of human rights in El Salvador, including the right to work and the right of association; papers on labor legislation and correspondence with labor organizations; and aide memoire for the Director of the Human Rights Division on cases of human rights violations registered by the UVEC.

Also included are records pertaining to prisons, which include: surveys and fact-gathering reports; questionnaires completed by prisoners; reports on conditions and visits to prisons; and reports of riots and violence in prisons. There are also documents pertaining to the return of exiled judges, which describe the circumstances of the judges’ removal by insurgents. Other documents about exiled judges concern the corruption of judges and the administration of justice in former conflict zones.

Case files for human rights violations investigated by the Case Verification Unit (UVEC) consist of: case information sheets; investigation reports, summaries and updates; handwritten statements and notes; interview summaries; incident scene sketches; medical evaluations of victims; and press clippings. Cases include: arbitrary execution and detention, forced disappearance, excessive use of force, torture, and denial of due process. Case files are also included for massacres and exhumations of human remains. Attached to S-1810 is a chart depicting the pathway of a complaint through the Human Rights Division.

Human Rights Division, Regional Office of Chalatenango
Records consist of correspondence and reports covering such topics as: reform of the penal code, armed gangs, the right to free movement in El Salvador, the verification of the National Civil Police (PNC), and the exhumation of human remains. Files containing case information sheets on human rights violations also occasionally include handwritten notes, investigation reports, police reports, and medical evaluation reports.

Human Rights Division, Regional Office of San Miguel
Records consist of: minutes of Coordination Meetings; papers concerning the verification of the National Civil Police (PNC); and reports on armed groups. Records relating to judges include: notes for the file on the role and verification of judges in departments; information sheets and summaries of interviews with judges; and a report to the Director of the Human Rights Division on the administration of justice in San Miguel. Documents pertaining to prisons consist of: reports of visits to prisons and prison riots; papers on prison reform; and statistics and survey results on prisons. Reports prepared by Police Observers cover such topics as: allegations and investigations of human rights violations, demonstrations, and visits to prisons.

Human Rights Division, Regional Office of San Salvador
Records consist of: correspondence of the Head of the Central Region; complaints received from the Minister of the Presidency and from the High Command of the Armed Forces of El Salvador (FAES); and chorological files for human rights violations monitored by the Regional Office of San Salvador.

Chorological files of human rights violations consist of: summaries and updates on cases; incident scene sketches; autopsy reports; reports on visits to prisons and labor disputes; field reports of human rights officers; as well as correspondence between the Regional Office of San Salvador and the National Police (PN), non-governmental organizations in El Salvador, and unions.

Included also are records documenting activities of non-governmental organizations in the area of human rights reform. Organizations include the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIDH) and the Human Rights Commission of El Salvador (CHDES). Records include: talking points and summaries of meetings with non-governmental organizations; brochures and program literature; outlines for human rights training seminars and programs; correspondence and notes to the file.

Also included are records of the Division’s Office for the Promotion and Education of Human Rights (OPEDH). Records include: descriptions of the organization and functions of the OPEDH and of educational programs instituted by the OPEDH; summaries of human rights conferences at academic institutions attended by the OPEDH staff; and brochures and booklets (including drafts and original artwork) produced by OPEDH illustrating human rights concepts and violations.

Human Rights Division, Regional Office of San Vicente
Records include memoranda and tables relating to personal identity documentation. Other documents concern the death of Julio Cesar Guzman Navas, a Venezuelan socialist fighting for the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), including investigation reports, summaries of human rights officers’ interviews, and medical evaluation reports.

Human Rights Division, Regional Office of Santa Ana
Included are: papers on the promotion of human rights in the department of Santa Ana and bordering departments; memoranda about local human rights education campaigns; reports detailing cooperation between the Regional Office of Santa Ana and local governments in human rights promotion; reports on cooperative initiatives in human rights education undertaken by agencies and non-governmental organizations; reports by the Coordinator of Public Security, which summarize cases of human rights violations; and reports and summaries of staff meetings of the Office for the Promotion and Education of Human Rights (OPEDH).

Human Rights Division, Regional Office of Usulutan
Records consist of: case information sheets; and reports and updates submitted by Human Rights Officers on cases of human rights violations.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Alphabetical

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Language of material

  • Spanish, English

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Related units of description

Related to: 1995/0242-0001: ONUSAL Oficina de Director/Division Derechos Humanos subject files
Related to: 1995/0265-0001: ONUSAL Oficina Regional de San Salvador/Seccion Derechos Humanos subject files
Related to: 1995/0262-0001: ONUSAL Oficina Regional de Chalatenango/Seccion Derechos Humanos subject files
Related to: 1995/0244-0001: ONUSAL Oficina de Division Derechos Humanos/Unidad de Verificacion de Casos
Related to: 1995/0243-0001: ONUSAL Oficina de Director Adjunto/Division Derechos Humanos subject files
Related to: 1995/0256-0001: ONUSAL Oficina Regional de San Migue/Seccion Derechos Humanos subject files
Related to: 1995/0245-0001: ONUSAL Oficina de Division Derechos Humanos/Coordinacion del Area Judicial subject files
Related to: 1995/0269-0001: ONUSAL Oficina Regional de San Vicente/Seccion Derechos Humanos/Unidad Politica subject files
Related to: 1995/0264-0001: ONUSAL Oficina Regional de San Salvador/Jefe subject files
Related to: 1995/0272-0002: ONUSAL Oficina Regional de Santa Ana/Seccion General subject files
Related to: 1995/0266-0002: ONUSAL Oficina Regional de San Salvador/Seccion Asuntos Politicos subject files
Related to: 1995/0270-0002: ONUSAL Oficina Regional de Santa Ana/Seccion Derechos Humanos/Unidad Politica subject files
Related to: 1995/0271-0002: ONUSAL Oficina Regional de Usulutan/Seccion General subject files

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Alternative identifier(s)

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1995/0242, 1995/0243, 1995/0244, 1995/0262, 1995/0256, 1995/0265, 1995/0264, 1995/0266, 1995/0269, 1995/0270, 1995/0272, 1995/0271, 1995/0245

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