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Commission for Historical Clarification (Comisión para el Esclaracimiento Histórico  CEH) (1994 to 1999)

Final Report: Guatemala: Memory of Silence: Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification

How the Commission was created: United Nations moderated peace accord. Agreement on the establishment of the Commission to clarify past human rights violations and acts of violence that have caused the Guatemalan population to suffer

Mandate of TRC: To document past human rights violations, to propose measures for reconciliation 


Type of Human Rights Abuses Investigated Covered "all human rights violations"

Period Investigated: 1962-1996

Geographic Area Investigated: Aimed to cover all regions, access to remote areas

Legal powers of investigation: No subpoena/no judicial powers

Access to state-military files and other sources of info: Full access according to mandate

Number & Nationality of commissioners: Three mixed foreign and national (2 Guatemalans and 1 German)

Budget: $8,500,000 USD

Perpetrators of the conflict: State armed forces, paramilitary groups, death squads and guerilla groups to a lesser extent

Number of victims: 8,000 victims

Number of cases presented to Commission: 8,000 cases presented, 200 collective testimonies, 80 investigated and included in report

Number of public hearings: None

Naming names: No 

Reparations offered: Obligation of the state. Many people did not receive reparations or did not realize that reparations were available.

Follow-up activities after Commission: Yes, collaboration with local human rights organizations, dissemination of findings 

Compiled from:
Justice: The First Casualty of Truth. Brody, Reed. The Nation, 30 April 2001.


Strategic Choices in the Design of Truth Commissions. European Centre for Common Ground & Program on Negotiation, 2002. 


Truth Commissions: A Comparative Assessment, Interdiciplinary Discussion. Harvard Law School, 1996. 


Truth Commissions Digital Collection. Jeannette Rankin Library Program & The United States Institute for Peace, 23 April 2004.


"Truth Commissions in Guatemala and Peru: Perpetual Impunity and Transitional Justice Compared." Crandall, Joanna. Peace, Conflict and Development. Issue 4, April 2002.  


"Truth Commissions and National Reconciliation: Some Reflections on Theory and Practice." Lerche, III, Charles O. The Network of Peace and Conflict Studies: George Madison University. Vol. 7 No. 1, May 2000.  

 "Truth Commissions, Transitional Justice, and Civil Society." Crocker, David A.Forthcoming in Robert I. Rotberg and Dennis Thompson, eds. Truth v. Justice: The Moral Efficacy of Truth Commissions: South Africa and Beyond (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), Forthcomming. 


Truth Commissions and Transitional Justice: A Short Guide. Bronkhorst, Daan. September 2003.


Truth Commissions: An Uncertain Path? Cuevas Espinoza, Victor; Ortiz Rojas, Maria Luisa; & Rojas Baeza, Paz.Corporacion de Promocion y Defensa de los Derechos del Pueblo & Association for the Prevention of Torture, 2002.