Friday, September 22, 2006

MacArthur recognizes a genius helping Guatemala

James Fruchterman of Palo Alto CA was one of the MacArthur Foundation Fellows (i.e., "geniuses") awarded a nice cash prize this week. According to the MacArthur Foundation:
In 2000, Fruchterman founded a non-profit, Benetech, as an incubator for socially-oriented technology applications...Initiatives include Martus, a secure, computer-based reporting system to assist the human rights sector in collecting, safeguarding, and disseminating information about human rights violations...
Martus has been used in Guatemala and over 15 countries around the globe. A case study about Martus in Guatemala explains that the human rights abuses from the time of the Guatemalan civil war are echoed in ongoing violence against activists working for human rights NGOs, of which there are more than 100 in Guatemala City. Martus helps these workers keep their case reports and the identities of witnesses secure.

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