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Carney Latin American Solidarity Archives (CLASA) Collection

Creator: University of Detroit Mercy College of Liberal Arts & Education

Extent: 30+ Linear Feet, 62 storage boxes

Abstract:

This large collection is comprised of reports, bulletins, newsletters, journals, news clips, ephemera, films, Freedom-of-Information Act (FOIA) documentation, correspondence with the Federal government, etc. dating from 1975 - 2001, focused largely on 1980s Central America. The collection also contains many books on the politics, philosophy and religion affecting Latin American culture and history.

Access and Use

Acquisition Information:

These documents were donated to University of Detroit Mercy College of Liberal Arts & Education in 1999 by the former Michigan Inter-faith Committee for Central American Human Rights (MICAH), the Central American Solidarity (CASC) and the Organization in Solidarity with Central America (OSCA). At near the same time, Mrs. Virginia Smith of Lathup Village, Michigan, donated to UDM her collection of Freedom-of-Information Act (FOIA) documentation and correspondence with the Federal government focused on her family’s efforts to both locate the remains of their missing brother, Fr. James Guadalupe Carney, and achieve justice from those responsible for his presumed death. The physical collection was transferred to the McNichols Campus Library's archives on October 15, 2008.

Cite as: [item], folder, box, Carney Latin American Solidarity Archives (CLASA) Collection, University of Detroit Mercy Libraries Archives

Background Information

History:

In December of 1999, representatives from Detroit’s then merged Latin American solidarity groups, including the former Michigan Inter-faith Committee for Central American Human Rights (MICAH), the Central American Solidarity (CASC) and the Organization in Solidarity with Central America (OSCA) donated to UDM’s Liberal Arts Department their extensive resource library. This library includes a large collection of reports, bulletins, newsletters, journals, news clips, ephemera, films, etc. surrounding events in mostly 1980s Central America, as well as, many books on the politics, philosophy and religion affecting Latin American culture and history. The political activism initiated by these Detroit-area groups during the 1980s drew, in part, from the information and analyses included in these materials. This accession led to the founding of UDM’s Carney Latin American Solidarity Archives (CLASA.)  

Near to the same time, Mrs. Virginia Smith of Lathup Village, Michigan, donated to UDM her extensive collection consisting of Freedom-of-Information Act (FOIA) documentation and correspondence with the Federal government, all surrounding her family’s efforts to both locate the remains of their missing brother, Fr. James Guadalupe Carney, and achieve justice from those responsible for his presumed death, a matter now commonly referred to as the “Carney Case” in Washington, D.C. Most of the 1980s documentation included in this accession derives from Mrs. Smith (a sister) and other Carney family members, such as Eileen Connolly (a sister), Joseph Connolly (a brother-in-law), Maureen Carney (a sister) and Patrick Carney (a brother.)  Into the 1990s and beyond, Fr. Joseph Mulligan, residing in Nicaragua, has been the principle activist concerning the “Carney Case.”  

MICAH, in fact, named its resource library after Fr. Carney, who had attended the University of Detroit before deciding to become a Jesuit priest. After ordination, “Padre Lupe” Carney worked extensively among the poor campesinos in Honduras until he was expelled from that nation in 1979 due his activities at organizing cooperatives. Later, in 1983, he was “disappeared,” presumably by the Honduran military, while serving as chaplain to a revolutionary army which had just crossed the border from Nicaragua into Honduras. 

Important correspondents in the collection: 

Major General Vernon J. Andrews

Michigan Governor James Blanchard

U.S. Representative Edward P. Boland

U.S. Congressman William S. Broomfield

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, S.J.

U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton

U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy

U.S. Representative Joseph K. Knollenberg

U.S. Senator Carl Levin

U.S. Representative Mel Levine

Fr. Joseph Mulligan, S.J.

U.S. Senator Donald Reigle

U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes

U.S. Representative Howard Wolpe 

Scope and Content: The collection’s two separate accessions include the Carney Family Records (Accession A) and the Latin American Solidarity Archives (CLASA) Collection (Accession B)

Subject Terms:

Anti-clericism -- Central America

Assassins -- Central America

Contra War

El Salvador -- Politics and Government, 1980s

Guatemala -- Politics and Government, 1980s

Honduras -- Politics and Government, 1980s

Human Rights -- Central America

Nicaragua -- Politics and Government, 1979 -

U.S. -- Foreign Relations, 1979 -

U.S. -- Freedom-of-Information Act (FOIA) practices during1980s.

Women’s treatment in Central America, 1979 -

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