Reasons for consideration:
Border scholars on the border region of Mexico and the United States are interested in data on
human rights violations. Border scholars in the San Diego region have expressed interest in the
possibility of data mining Human Rights cases–except these haven’t been digitized. Only the
recommendations (cases that make it to the National Human Rights Commission) are digitized,
and only the most recent recommendations have been anonymized. The CEDH human rights
lawyers have also expressed interest to see past cases digitized. Currently, they only have
access to the details of these cases in a minimal format: case number and case resolution.
Digitization and anonymization of the data would allow researchers and citizens alike to learn
the details of these cases.
The 2020 proposal stated that the funding was to be used to clean up, organize, prepare, and
scan only the materials scheduled for destruction, which as of October 2021 no longer exist.
Halfway through scanning everything that met the criteria, one of my assistants and I made two
discoveries. First, we discovered many poorly labelled boxes; and second, during the time the
offices were closed to the public, the lawyers at the different municipalities, having heard that
the digitization project was forthcoming, did a thorough clean up and sent the last of the cases
and paperwork from the 1990s through 2007 from their respective units. These two events were
definitely unexpected. We believed we were scanning a little over 70% of the material available
based on our estimates after the tour and going through some boxes, but it was actually closer
to 55%. Near the end of what is now called Phase 1A, we inspected, reorganized, and relabeled
every box by year and municipality. This was done in the hopes of scanning everything of value
before moving on to Phase 2 and before this final batch of cases is removed from the archives
and destroyed in Summer 2022.