Statistics and Post-Conflict Justice

PRIMA co-founder Daniel Guzman supported prosecutors in two successful criminal cases against former National Police officials with his expert testimony based on a statistical analysis from a sampling project at the Historical Archive of the Guatemalan National Police (AHPN). Guzman, together with colleagues from the AHPN and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG), co-led the design, sampling, coding and analysis of police documents. They provided statistical evidence supporting arguments that police officials knew and had control over information relating to the disappearance of Edgar Fernando Garcia, a student and union leader. In his 2011 article in Chance magazine, Guzman’s chronicles his experience as an expert witness in the first trial.

Romesh Silva led a phase of HRDAG’s  work in Chad that uncovered the nature and magnitude of mortality in political prisons in Chad during Hissene Habré’s presidency. This analysis used administrative records from Chad’s secret police to test the hypothesis that Habré had command responsibility over the secret police prisons while mortality was at extraordinary levels. This analysis is informing ongoing investigations by Human Rights Watch and contributing to judicial processes at the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal.


Speaking Stats to Justice: Expert Testimony in a Guatemalan Human Rights Trial Based on Statistical Sampling.

By Daniel Guzmán
August 2011
CHANCE, American Statistical Association, Volume 24, Issue 3. 2011

State Coordinated Violence in Chad under Hissene Habre: A Statistical Analysis of Reported Prison Mortality in Chad’s DDS Prisons and Command Responsibility of Hissene Habre, 1982-1990.

Romesh Silva, Jeff Klingner, and Scott Weikart
January 2010
A Report by Benetech’s Human Rights Data Analysis Group to Human Rights Watch and the Chadian Association of Victims of Political Repression and Crimes