October 26, 2003 - Atlanta Journal Constitution: Peace Corps unwilling to release information about crime

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: October 26, 2003: Dayton Daily News reports on Peace Corps Safety and Security: Archive of Primary Source Stories: October 26, 2003 - Atlanta Journal Constitution: Peace Corps unwilling to release information about crime

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-165-54.balt.east.verizon.net - on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 1:09 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps unwilling to release information about crime

Peace Corps unwilling to release information about crime

Corps unwilling to release information about crime

'Daily News' fights legal battle against agency to access volunteer records

From the Dayton Daily News

THE DAYTON DAILY News waged a 20-month legal battle with the Peace Corps and interviewed more than 500 people in 11 countries to obtain the information for "Casualties of Peace," the seven-part series that begins today.

Since February 2002, reporters filed more than 75 requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act with the Peace Corps, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of State. The Freedom of Information Act requires federal agencies to provide the public with access to government records.

Initially, the Peace Corps refused to acknowledge several of the newspaper's written requests and appeals. When it did send records, the agency removed the dates when attacks occurred, the names of countries, the names of some Peace Corps officials, the names of volunteers who died, and the identities of attackers, even those who had been arrested or convicted. The Peace Corps also initially refused to answer specific questions about assaults.

While the Peace Corps denied reporters information on assaults against volunteers, authorities in other countries provided access to the same information.

Reporters traveled to Russia, Ukraine, Bolivia, El Salvador, Cape Verde, Gabon, South Africa, Lesotho, Spain and Guatemala, obtaining records or other information from police, prosecutors and government officials.

After the Daily News filed suit against the Peace Corps on Nov. 1, 2002, the agency became more cooperative, releasing much of its databases on assaults, deaths and illnesses. After more than a year, the agency also began to respond to the newspaper's questions, but would do so in most cases only in writing.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Investigative Journalism



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.