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Margarita Melville Papers
MSS 0272  
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Papers of Margarita Melville, a former Maryknoll sister and human rights activist, that document revolutionary movements in Guatemala from the 1960s through 1993. Revolutionary groups represented in the collection include Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes (FAR), Guatemala Human Rights Commission and the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG). The collection mainly consists of subject files, fliers and newsletters published by activists and revolutionary groups, with an additional series related to Thomas Melville's book about Ron Hennessey, Through a Glass Darkly: The U.S. Holocaust in Central America.
Margarita Melville (née Marian Peter) was born in 1929 in Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico. She joined the Catholic Maryknoll Sisters in St. Louis, Mo. in 1949; attended Mary Rogers College in Ossining, N.Y. and graduated with a bachelor of education degree in 1954. She was sent by her order that year to Jacaltenango, a remote community in Huehuetenango in Guatemala's western highlands. Melville started a number of the Maryknoll Sisters' key social programs including Girl Scout troops and an experimental school called Monte Maria. Beginning in 1966, she began to associate with members of rebel groups in Guatemala, including FAR (Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes), the military wing of the Guatemalan Labor (Communist) Party or PGT. Her work with these groups continued until 1967, when the Maryknoll Sisters supervisor expelled Melville and a few others from Guatemala for their activism.
5.6 Linear feet (14 archives boxes)
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.