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Uruguay: National Archive of Remembrance

(Mar. 3, 2009) Law No. 18435, signed by President Tabaré Vazquez of Uruguay on December 12, 2008, creates the National Archive of the Remembrance to promote the importance of both the enforcement of human rights and of democracy, through the full exercise of the individual and collective right to truth, to memory, and to public information on violations of human rights by the state during the period of February 9, 1973, to March 1, 1985. The mission of the Archive will be to collect and organize copies of documents related to violations of human rights by coordinating access and publication with the Agencia para el Desarrollo del Gobierno de Gestion Electronica [Agency for the Development of the Government by Electronic Management] and the Sociedad de la Informacion y del Conocimiento [Society of Information and Knowledge].

For the purpose of this Law, a document is any expression in oral and written language, in images, or in natural or codified sound, collected in any format, and any other graphic expression or object constituting witness to violations of human rights during the established period. A Directorate Council will be responsible for management of the National Archive. A list of its functions is included in the Law.

Chapter III of the Law defines the method of selecting and evaluating documents and their protection and conservation. Article 12, dealing with destruction, suppression, and concealment of a document or true certificate, adds a paragraph to article 244 of the Criminal Code to state that those actions will be considered specifically as aggravating circumstances when related to documents incorporated in or intended for the new National Archive. (Ley No. 18435, 27643 DIARIO OFICIAL [official gazette] (Dec. 30, 2008), available at