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Hundreds of photos on human rights in Central America 70s-90s now available at Senate House Library

Hundreds of photos on human rights in Central America 70s-90s now available at Senate House Library

Over 195 photos and 3010 slides which focus on human rights issues in Central America, have been catalogued and are now available at Senate House Library.


The Central American Photographic Collection (CAPHOTOS) contains photos from Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras taken by professional photographers and collected by activists, including the El Salvador and Guatemala Committees for Human Rights (ESCHR), based in London.

The collection, archived by Clara Cuccu (part of her MA Archives & Records Management at UCL), highlights issues around the treatment of children, refugees and women as well as social and political history concerning civil wars and state violence. There are photos (some with heart-wrenching descriptions on the reverse), slides and negatives showing rural life, portraits of adults and children; leaders, protesters, guerrillas and martyrs; refugees’ camps; elections, protest marches and celebrations of the end of civil wars. They were taken by Photographers which include: Jenny Matthews, Paul Smith, Steve Cagan, Mike Goldwater, Toni Lopez, Steve Smith, Peter Drury, Peter Chappell, Dana Schuerholz, and Joe Fish.


Children, families and refugees

  • Photographs and slides of children and repression including photos of rural life in Nahuala (Sololá department of Guatemala), life in el basurero (garbage dump) in Guatemala City, and internal refugee camp including the resettlement of the refugee camp, Calle Real.
  • It also includes negatives of rural life, orphans and widows, and agricultural project in the town of Chimaltenango, labourers in countryside, health care check for refugees and life in model villages.

Women’s history

  • Photographs and slides, c1986-1989. Includes slides of the Federation of Committee of Mothers and Relatives of Political Prisoners and Murdered and Missing people (FECMAFAM) office, in El Salvador and the Asociación Comité de Madres y Familiares de Presos, Desaparecidos y Asesinados (COMAFAC).
  • Slides of textiles weaving in Guatemala, c1982-1990.

Environmental, social & political history:

  • Slides of the damage after the earthquake in El Carrizal, El Salvador (10.12.1986), and photos of José Napoleón Duarte.
  • Slides of El Salvador, 1989-1992: countryside views, rural life, politicians, marches in Ciudad Segundo Montes, Rufina Amaya - lone survivor of the El Mozote massacre, December 1981.
  • Slides, 1981-1991, including coffee processing plants, scenes of El Mozote massacre, the guerrillas Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) in El Salvador, general views, and inhabitants of El Mezquital.
  • Slides, 1977-1990 - the earthquake in Guatemala (04.02.1976) and army and protesters in Guatemala City. Slides of CoMadres and CDHES, and slides of the funeral of the Archbishop of San Salvador, Óscar Romero.


For a more detailed list of the contents of the Central American Photographic Collection (CAPHOTOS), you can read the full list of CAPHOTOS contents.