1. The precise number of countries depends on how strict a definition of truth commissions is applied. Truth commissions, or other mechanisms approximating a truth commission, have been set up in Uganda, Bolivia, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Germany, the Philippines, Uruguay, Chile, El Salvador, Rwanda, Brazil, Haiti, and Guatemala, as well as South Africa.
2. See Priscilla B. Hayner, Fifteen Truth Commissions--1974 to 1994: A Comparative Study, 16 Hum. Rts. Q. 597 (1994).
3. See Desmond Mpilo TUTU, NO FUTURE WITHOUT FORGIVENESS 30 (1999).
4. See GEIKO MÜLLER-FAHRENHOLZ, THE ART OF FORGIVENESS: THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS ON HEALING AND RECONCILIATION ix (1997).
5. MARTHA MINOW, BETWEEN VENGEANCE AND FORGIVENESS: FACING HISTORY AFTER GENOCIDE AND MASS VIOLENCE 78 (1998).
6. Hayner, supra note 2, at 607.
7. Michelle Parlevliet, Considering the Truth, Dealing with a Legacy of Gross Human Rights Violations, 16 NETH. Q. HUM. RTS. 142 (1998).
8. See STANLEY J. GRENZ, A PRIMER ON POSTMODERNISM 7-8 (1996).
9. See MICHEL FOUCAULT, POWER/KNOWLEDGE: SELECTED INTERVIEWS AND OTHER WRITINGS, 1972-1977, at 133 (Colin Gordon ed., 1980).
10. See Guatemalan Death Squad Dossier (visited 15 Nov. 2000) <http://hrdata.aaas.org/gdsd> (for an analysis of these documents and links to their full content).
11. See, e.g., 1 TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION OF SOUTH AFRICA REPORT 227-29 (1999) [hereinafter TRC].
12. Sean Field, Memory, the TRC and the Significance of Oral History in Post-Apartheid South Africa 5 (11-14 June 1999) (unpublished paper presented at a conference on The TRC: Commissioning the Past, at the University of the Witwatersrand), available at <http://www.trcresearch.org.za/papers.htm>.
13. Parlevliet, supra note 7, at 146. This statement is based on an interview given to Michelle Parlevliet in October 1996 and translated by her.
14. Id. at 147.
15. For example, a considerable number of victims gave quite different testimony in public hearings in South Africa than they provided in their individual statements.
16. See Janet Cherry, No Easy Road to Truth: The TRC in the Eastern Cape (11-14 June 1999), (paper presented at a conference on The TRC: Commissioning the Past, at the University of the Witwatersrand).
18. See 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 171.
19. Internal calculations in the CEH database area, November 1998 (on file with author).
20. An additional volume known internally at the TRC as the "codicil" will be published upon completion of the Amnesty Committee's work.
21. See Cherry, supra note 16.
22. See Deborah Posel, The TRC Report: What Kind of History? What Kind of Truth? (11-14 June 1999) (unpublished paper presented at a conference on The TRC: Commissioning the Past, at the University of the Witwatersrand).
23. See AAAS/CSVR Transcript Analysis Project (a project of the AAAS and the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation that is undertaking a systematic analysis of the public hearing transcripts); see also, 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 168, 267.
24. See COMMISSION FOR HISTORICAL CLARIFICATION REPORT, TOMO I, at 28 (copy available at CEH Online Report (visited 15 Nov. 2000) <http://hrdata.aaas.org/ceh/gmds_pdf/index.html> [hereinafter CEH, Tomo I]); see also CEH, TOMO XII, at 238; CEH database area (Nov. 1998).
25. See AAAS/CSVR Transcript Analysis Project, supra note 23.
26. See REPORT OF THE CHILEAN NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION, VOL. I, at 21-22 (Phillip E. Berryman trans., 1993).
27. See 2 & 3 TRC, supra note 11.
28. See Rapport de la Commission Nationale de Vérité et de Justice, ch. 3 (visited 15 Nov. 2000) <http://www.haiti.org/truth/table.htm> [hereinafter cited as CNVJ].
29. CEH, TOMO I, supra note 24, §101, at 51-52.
30. See Sonia Zambrano, The Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification: Database Representation and Data Processing, in MAKING THE CASE ch. 12 (Patrick Ball et al. eds., 2000), available at Making the Case (visited 15 Nov. 2000) <http://hrdata.aaas.org/mtc>.
31. See CEH, TOMO I, supra note 24, at 52.
32. See 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 110.
33. Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act §1(4)(a)(ii)(1995).
34. See 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 111.
36. See, e.g., JUDITH LEWIS HERMAN, TRAUMA AND RECOVERY ch. 9 (1997).
37. See 1 REPORT OF THE CHILEAN NATIONAL COMMISSION, supra note 26, at 16-17 (for a discussion of the presence of a social worker at each family member interview, and of the utility of collective support after group interviews). The CEH did not explain this goal explicitly. However, their choice of a victim's quotation to appear on the back of each volume (discussed in article), and the internal discussions at the CEH, suggest that they were very aware of the importance of this issue.
38. 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 114.
39. Id. at 113 (quoting from ALEX BORAINE AND JANE LEVY, HEALING OF A NATION (1995)).
41. 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 113.
42. Id. at 114.
43. See, e.g., CEH, TOMO I - XII, supra note 24.
44. See, e.g., CNVJ, supra note 28, ch. 1.
45. The CEH explicitly recognized the 1954 coup as the crucial turning point toward more exclusive social policies, even as the mandate restricted their investigative scope to the period 1960-1996. See CEH, TOMO I, supra note 24, at 105.
46. During 1994, religious leaders, including Archbishop Juan Gerardi Conadera, criticized the accord, as did popular movement leaders, such as Factor Méndez of the human rights group CIEPRODH.
47. Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, ch. 1, pt. 1, ix (1995).
48. Id. ch. 2, pt. 3, at 1a.
49. CEH, TOMO I, supra note 24, at 86.
50. See, e.g., KADER ASMAL ET AL., RECONCILIATION THROUGH TRUTH: A RECKONING OF APARTHEID'S CRIMINAL GOVERNANCE 19 (2d. ed. 1997).
51. Posel, supra note 22, at 29. See also Mahmood Mamdani, The TRC and Justice, in TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE NETHERLANDS 39 (Robert Dorsman et al. eds., 1999).
52. See Hayner, supra note 2, at 640.
53. See 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 54.
54. For lists of tasks assigned to various truth commissions, see Parlevliet, supra note 7, at 149; MINOW, supra note 5, at 88.
55. See CNVJ, supra note 24, ch. 3.
56. Calculated from figures in rand to dollars in the TRC report. See 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 300.
57. See id. at 317-18. Both sums are calculated at current rand to dollar rates of exchange, down from what they were during the life of the TRC.
58. See John de Gruchy, Redeeming the Past in South Africa: The Power of Truth, Forgiveness, and Hope in the Pursuit of Justice and Reconciliation (June 1997) (a paper presented at Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag, Leipzig, Germany) (copy on file with author).
59. See Lyn S. Graybill, South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Ethical and Theological Perspectives (1997) (unpublished paper) (copy on file with author).
61. There were two resignations, so the TRC finished with fifteen commissioners.
62. See 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 246.
63. Christian de Jager resigned from the Commission but retained his seat on the Amnesty Committee. Mapule Ramashala left the Commission for personal reasons. Wynand Malan issued the minority report, see id. at 435-56.
64. Id. at 254.
65. See id. at 258-59.
66. See CEH, TOMO I, supra note 24, at 36-40.
67. Note that the difficulty of drafting a report before the core themes were identified and defined was one of TRC Commissioner Wynand Malan's chief criticisms in his minority report. See 5 TRC, supra note 11, at 438 (he objected to drafting material before reaching these agreements). The CEH's insumo method solved this problem, but it did so by using an enormous amount of staff time.
68. See TRC Act § 4. See also 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 158-64 (for a more detailed analysis of the TRC's methodological needs).
69. CEH, Recommendations and Conclusions, Introduction.
70. This discussion uses a deductive method; inductive methods, in which theories are generated from the data, are equally scientific. When used properly, deductive and inductive approaches both insure that the data gathering and analysis methods do not preordain the conclusion. The point is to keep separate the process of creating the theory and the process of testing the theory with data, although the two steps can be in either order.
71. In strict terms, science does not confirm hypotheses. Rather it is said that a test may fail to reject the hypothesis, or that data are consistent with the hypothesis and apparently inconsistent with competing hypotheses.
72. See CEH, TOMO XII, ANEXO III, supra note 24, fig. 4, at 255. However, the data on which this analysis was based might have been biased. An evaluation of the possibility of bias in these data found no basis, see id. tbl. 13 at 257, fig. 5 at 258.
73. See, e.g., 5 TRC, supra note 11, at 208.
74. See CEH, TOMO I, supra note 24, at 52.
75. In the language of the CEH report, the "parties" were the parties to the Oslo Accord, which was the CEH's mandate, i.e., the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) guerrillas and the Government of Guatemala.
76. See CEH, TOMO I, supra note 24, at 64.
77. The findings of the sectoral hearings are presented in 4 TRC, supra note 11. For evaluations of the medical sector hearings, see LAUREL BALDWIN-RAGAVEN ET AL., AN AMBULANCE OF THE WRONG COLOUR: HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND ETHICS IN SOUTH AFRICA (1999); HUMAN RIGHTS AND HEALTH: THE LEGACY OF APARTHEID (Audrey Chapman & Leonard Rubenstein eds., 1998).
78. The area reports were discarded by the outside expert hired to write the final report. The loss of the area reports was one of the greatest disappointments of the CNVJ.
79. See, e.g., LAS MASACRES EN RABINAL: ESTUDIO HISTORICO ANTROPOLOGICO DE LAS MASACRES DE PLAN DE SANCHEZ, CHICHUPAC Y RIO NEGRO (Ronaldo Sánchez ed., 2d. ed. 1997).
80. See PATRICK BALL ET AL., STATE VIOLENCE IN GUATEMALA, 1960-1996: A QUANTITATIVE REFLECTION 119 (1999).
81. RECUPERACION DE LA MEMORIA HISTORICA (REMHI), GUATEMALA: NUNCA MAS (1998).
82. Approximately 22 percent of all the deaths documented in the three projects were held in two or more projects. See CEH, TOMO XII, ANEXO III, supra note 24, at tbl. 4.
83. See CEH, TOMO I, supra note 24, at 71-73; and CEH, TOMO XII, ANEXO III, supra note 24.
84. 5 TRC, supra note 11, at 196.
85. For a discussion of this group's role, see 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 158-61.
86. See, e.g., Todd Howland, El Rescate's Contribution to the Salvadoran Peace Process: Creative Legal and Information Processing Applications (unpublished paper on file with AAAS describing the Indices of Individual Accountability Project). For the analogous project undertaken by the Comisión de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador (CDHES), see PATRICK BALL, WHO DID WHAT TO WHOM 57-68 (1996), available at (visited 15 Nov. 2000) <http://shr.aaas.org/www/cover.html>; Patrick Ball, The Salvadoran Human Rights Commission, in MAKING THE CASE, supra note 30, at ch. 1.
87. See 2 TRC, supra note 11, at 313-24.
88. See id. at 297.
89. The TRC report describes the process as responding to technical difficulties analyzing "long and complex narrative statements," and the change as "fine-tun[ing] the structure of the protocol." 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 139. However, in a review of the interview process at the time of the change, regional differences in quality were shown, but no systematic technical difficulties were found. See Patrick Ball, Evaluation of the Commission's Information Flow and Database, with Recommendations, Memorandum to the TRC, 9 Sept. 1996 (on file with author).
90. Staff pointed out that the new forms limited the information that could be recorded for each victim such that each type of violation could be noted only once; this was corrected in subsequent data processing by meticulously coding all the remaining narrative text. This analysis was provided by Themba Kubekha, head data processor of the Johannesburg office, at meetings of international human rights data experts held at AAAS in May 1999. If the data representation error had not been corrected, it would have introduced serious bias against counting violations that are more frequently repeated, such as severe ill-treatment. For a discussion of this kind of data representation error, see BALL, WHO DID WHAT TO WHOM, supra note 86, at ch. 2.
91. See Gerald O'Sullivan, The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Database Representation, in MAKING THE CASE, supra note 30, at ch. 4.
92. This paragraph is based on the author's memory and notes of meetings in the TRC during August-September 1996.
93. The Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee of the TRC was explicitly constrained to provide only for victims referred to it by the Human Rights Violations Committee or the Amnesty Committee. See TRC Act, art. 26.
94. This said, the commissioner who in August-September 1996 insisted on the elimination of almost all narrative from the protocol, Wynand Malan, later complained in his minority position that the TRC report contained insufficient qualitative analysis. It is ironic that the data Mr. Malan would require for a qualitative analysis was precisely that which his restructuring of the interview protocols attempted to eliminate in 1996. See 5 TRC, supra note 11, at 455.
95. For case studies of data processing, database design, and statistical analysis in truth commissions and NGO data projects, see Patrick Ball et al. eds., Making the Case.
96. See 2 TRC, supra note 11, fig. 17, at 176.
97. See CEH, TOMO III, at 314-423; and CEH, TOMO XII, ANEXO III, supra note 24, fig. 4 at 255.
98. Yasmin Sooka made this claim in response to a question at the conference The TRC: Commissioning the Past, held at the University of the Witwatersrand, June 1999. The TRC report contains over 200 graphs.
99. See Eva Scheibreithner, The Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification: Generating Analytical Reports, in MAKING THE CASE, supra note 30, at ch. 10.
100. Mamdani, supra note 51, at 34.
101. See ANTJIE KROG, COUNTRY OF MY SKULL (1998) (on the ubiquity and moral force of the hearings).
102. Ironically, the TRC understood this dilemma the other way around, that because of the requirement that findings be made on statements, "it became necessary to curtail the public hearings." See 5 TRC, supra note 11, at 9. Malan's minority report similarly dismisses the statement finding process as distracting from the report writing. See id. at 438.
103. Note that in the TRC report, graphs appear in Appendix 2 of the methodological chapter (ch. 6) in vol. I, and in vols. II and III which were written by the Research Department. There are no statistics in vols. IV or V, and the only quantitative analysis in vol. I was used by the Information Systems Manager in his report. See 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 165-73.
104. See Sonia Zambrano, The Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification: Database Representation and Data Processing, in MAKING THE CASE, supra note 30, at ch. 12.
105. See CNVJ, SI M PA RELE: 29 SEPT. 1991-14 OCT. 1994 (1995).
106. 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 1.
107. 5 TRC, supra note 11, at 212, 255.
108. For more discussion of this point, see the Dissemination section, below.
109. CEH, Conclusions and Recommendations, Introduction. Note that this was republished as Tomo V of the complete report.
110. See 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 114.
111. Personal communication with Charles Villa-Vicencio (Nov. 1999). See also Paul Van Zyl, Dilemmas of International Justice: The Case of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission 52 J. INT'L AFF. 647 (1999).
112. See Survivors' Perceptions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Suggestions for the Final Report (June 1998) (submission to the TRC by Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and The Khulumani Support Group, Johannesburg, South Africa).
113. On this point we differ from Jeremy Sarkin, who finds that the TRC produced "a relatively large amount of the truth . . . but very little reconciliation." Jeremy Sarkin, The Necessity and Challenges of Establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Rwanda, 21 HUM. RTS. Q. 767, n. 317 (1999).
114. U.N. Office of Project Services for Guatemala (forthcoming).
115. AAAS placed a copy of the CNVJ report in the Library of Congress. See also the CNVJ report (visited 15 Nov. 2000) <http://www.haiti.org/truth/table.htm>.
116. See CEH Report (visited 15 Nov. 2000) <http://hrdata.aaas.org/ceh/report/english>.
117. A CD-ROM version of the report is now available, but only with the purchase of a complete set of the print volumes, at a cost of several hundred U.S. dollars.
118. See CEH, TOMO XII, ANEXO III, supra note 24.
119. See CEH, TOMO I, supra note 24, at 72-73. Note that this is an analysis of all deaths, not just arbitrary executions which are the standard category in the report. This analysis does not include disappearances.
120. See GABRIEL EDGARDO AGUILERA PERALTA, LA VIOLENCIA EN GUATEMALA COMO FENOMENO POLITICO 61 (1971). See also SUSANNE JONAS, LA BATALLA POR GUATEMALA: REBELDES, ESCUADRONES DE LA MUERTE Y PODER ESTADOUNIDENSE (1994); THOMAS MELVILLE & MARJORIE MELVILLE, GUATEMALA: THE POLITICS OF LAND OWNERSHIP (1971).
121. See PAUL KOBRAK, ORGANIZING AND REPRESSION IN THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS, GUATEMALA, 1944 TO 1996 (1999).
122. 5 TRC, supra note 11, at 5-6.
123. See 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 168. See also, AAAS/CSVR Transcript Analysis Project, supra note 23.
124. 1 TRC, supra note 11, at 168-69.
125. Id. at 1.
126. The TRC recognized that people not selected for hearings resented the exclusion, but the report does not consider the disproportionate effect the selection process may have had on Africans and thus on social truth. See id. at 6; see also Hugo van der Merwe, The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Community Reconciliation: a Case Study of Duduza, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation Working Paper (1998).
127. For an example of such a critique, see ANTHEA JEFFERY, THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TRUTH COMMISSION (1999).