The Yellow Book // Secret Salvadoran military document from the civil war era catalogued “enemies,” many killed or disappeared

The Yellow Book:


Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 486

Posted – September 28, 2014 in recognition of International Right to Know Day

Project Collaborators:

Kate Doyle, Senior Analyst and Director

The Evidence Project, National Security Archive

Carlos Osorio, Analyst and Director

Southern Cone Documentation Project, National Security Archive

Angelina Snodgrass Godoy, Director

Center for Human Rights, University of Washington

Philip Neff, Coordinator

Unfinished Sentences El Salvador, Center for Human Rights, University of Washington

National Security Archive Research Assistants:

Alexandra Smith, Research Assistant

The Evidence Project

Emily Willard, Coordinator

Genocide Documentation Project

Special thanks to:

Patrick Ball, Executive Director

Human Rights Data Analysis Group


more information contact:

Kate Doyle

Angelina Snodgrass Godoy


Read and download the Yellow Book: [PDF]


/ Español

A 1980s-era

document from the

archives of El Salvador’s military intelligence identifies almost two

thousand Salvadoran citizens who were considered “delinquent

terrorists” by the Armed Forces, among them current President Salvador

Sánchez Cerén, a former guerrilla leader. Other individuals listed

include human rights advocates, labor leaders, and political figures,

many known to have been victims of illegal detention, torture,

extrajudicial execution, forced disappearance, and other human rights


Called the Libro Amarillo or Yellow

Book, the report is the first-ever confidential Salvadoran military

document to be made public, and the only evidence to appear from the

Salvadoran Army’s own files of the surveillance methods used by

security forces to target Salvadoran citizens during the country’s

12-year civil war. Now the Yellow Book has been posted on-line, along

with related analysis and declassified U.S. documents, through a

collaboration between the National

Security Archive, the

University of Washington Center for Human Rights and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG).

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