Introducing the GAM Digital Archive Project

In 1984, the friends and family members of Guatemalans ‘disappeared’ by state security forces formed the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM). Members of the GAM searched for their loved ones and demanded information from state officials during a period of Cold War violence in which Guatemala’s military and police routinely murdered activists, union leaders, agricultural workers, and anyone deemed an insurgent or subversive threat. In the countryside, the military waged a genocidal campaign against indigenous Guatemalan communities in an effort to combat guerrilla forces by taking “the water away from the fish.” The Guatemalan Truth Commission’s 1999 report documented over 200,000 deaths during internal conflict (1960-1996) and attributed 93% of human rights violations to state security and related paramilitary forces. The GAM has spent the past three decades collecting textual, visual, and audio-materials related to ongoing human rights trials and historical memory.

The Digital Scholarship Compañeros - The First Semester

My name is Rosemary Cohen, and I’m a senior history major at Haverford. I got involved with the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo project because I am a research assistant for Brie Gettleson, a research and instruction librarian at Magill Library, and Brie is a key part of the GAM project. I followed her into the project and took on my own role. I work closely with the six Digital Scholars Compañeros on projects and I also act as an intermediary between the student workers and the library staff.