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Sylvia Sellers-Garcia

Sylvia Sellers-García is currently a PhD candidate in history at the University of California, Berkeley. Her novel, When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep, has just been published in paperback by Riverhead Books.


The Criminal Record

Winter 2009 | Essays

The police archive sits in a cemetery of confiscated cars at the edge of Zone 6 in Guatemala City. Behind the high wall of the police-headquarters complex, the cars are piled three, four, even five high, their rusted bodies giving the area around them the feel of a junkyard. For years, in fact, the archive and the buildings near it were referred to by the Guatemalan police as el basurero—the garbage dump—so it is no surprise that the place became a repository for everything the police no longer wanted but couldn’t entirely part with.