Montgomery, Maloney to give presentation on compilation of human rights archive

By Staff

Bruce Montgomery and Yolanda Maloney of University Libraries Archives and Special Collections at CU-Boulder will speak on “How the World’s Largest El Salvador Human Rights Archive was Built” during an event Friday at the Gates Woodruff Cottage Library. The talk will describe their travels to gain access to the secret archives of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, founded by Oscar Romero before his 1980 assassination.

The event also features Michele Leiby, assistant professor of political science at the College of Wooster, Ohio, whose presentation is “Bad Apples or Bad Leaders: Explaining State Repression and Sexual Violence in El Salvador.” Leiby’s research is based on a comparison of data collected from two Salvadoran human rights organizations and housed in the UCB Archives. She identified the timing and locations of various forms of state violence and compiled a demographic profile of the victims. This research, one of only two quantitatively oriented analyses of first-hand accounts of sexual violence during the civil war, demonstrates many of the limitations of data on wartime sexual violence and makes an important contribution to the academic literature on wartime sexual violence as well as to the historical record of violence in El Salvador.

Leiby will speak from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. today in IBS 155 (Institute of Behavioral Science, 1440 15th Street). From noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday in the Gates Woodruff Cottage Library, Leiby will participate in a panel discussion on “Unearthing the El Salvador Human Rights Archive.” She will be joined by Asuncion Horno-Delgado of CU-Boulder Spanish and Portuguese, who will address using the archive for class projects. Montgomery and Maloney also will give their presentation.

The University Libraries El Salvador Archive holdings are from five Salvadorian nongovernmental agencies and include photos, films, and case studies of civil war atrocities, such as sexual violence, disappearances and extra-legal executions. The same materials were consulted during the United Nations investigation into the human rights crisis and provided evidence used by the U.N. Truth Commission as part of the El Salvador peace accords.

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