Kirsten Weld

Paper Cadavers

The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala

Duke University Press 2014

New Books in HistoryNew Books in Human RightsNew Books in Latin American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network November 6, 2014 Alejandra Bronfman

Kirsten Weld‘s book Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala (Duke University Press, 2014) tells the story of the 2005 discovery of a vast...

Kirsten Weld‘s book Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala (Duke University Press, 2014) tells the story of the 2005 discovery of a vast police archive in Guatemala. Officials had long denied that it existed, and for good reason, because it documented years of kidnapping and murder under the auspices of counterinsurgency. Weld’s book accounts for the repercussions of that discovery on many levels. It is at once an ethnography of human rights activists turned archivists, an argument about the centrality of the production of knowledge with regards to both repression and human rights work, and a gripping account of the debates and politics of Guatemala’s reckoning with the legacies of its Dirty war.

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