SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: January 18, 2013

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Association for the Advancement of the Social Sciences in Guatemala (AVANCSO)

Region & Country:Americas | Guatemala

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 18, intruders broke into and burglarized the offices of the Association for the Advancement of the Social Sciences in Guatemala (AVANCSO). They stole paper files, as well as several computers, flash-drives, digital cameras, and data disks. Other items of value were not taken.

At the time of the burglary, the institute was preparing to publish a report on the history of the police in Guatemala, and the break-in appears aimed at stealing research information.  AVANCSO has been targeted on multiple occasions since the assassination of its co-founder in 1990. Attacks in recent years have included surveillance and reported death-threats against the institute’s personnel. Guatemala experts have commented on the role of AVANCSO in Guatemalan scholarship, noting that the institute fills a knowledge gap that universities and colleges have been unwilling or unable to fill, due in part to fears of retribution.