Despite remarkable efforts to recover and identify human remains in Latin America, there are still thousands of cases where remains have not been identified and returned to their family. Crucially, families still struggle to understand and participate in the forensic process.
To address this issue, el Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense (EAAF) launched today a Forensic Guide which aims at providing practical and accessible information on the investigation, recovery, and analysis of human remains.
Currently, this publication is only available in Spanish but an English version will be provided in the forthcoming months.
The guide will be particularly useful for people who have no previous forensic knowledge and will contribute towards improving the understanding and participation of victims and civil society organizations in the search for disappeared persons.
The Guide was written by Luis Fondebrider, the executive director of the EAAF and takes into account international standards including the revised Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (2016).
The ICJ, the Equipo Peruano de Antropología Forense (EPAF) and the Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala (FAFG) provided input during the Guide’s development.
The Guide was launched during a Webinar. The key speakers were Luis Fondebrider from the EAAF; Claudia Rivera from the FAFG and Franco Mora from the EPAF. It was moderated by Carolina Villadiego from the ICJ.
At the launch, all the forensic experts emphasized the central role that the families of disappeared persons must play in the process of investigation, recovery, and analysis of human remains. In particular, it was acknowledged that they not only have key information to find the remains but also, they have driven the processes.
The Guide was produced as part of a regional project addressing justice for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru, which is coordinated by the ICJ.
The aim of the project is to promote the accountability of perpetrators and access to effective remedies and reparation for victims and their families in cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Colombia, Guatemala and Peru – and Latin America more broadly – through effective, accountable and inclusive laws, institutions and practices that also reduce the risk of future violations. The project is supported by the EU European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
The ICJ’s partners include the Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos de Guatemala (FAMDEGUA), Asociación Red de Defensores y Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (dhColombia), Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense (EAAF), Equipo Peruano de Antropología Forense (EPAF), Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala (FAFG), and the Instituto de Defensa Legal (IDL).
Kingsley Abbott, Coordinator of the Global Accountability Initiative, e: kingsley.abbott(a)icj.org
Carolina Villadiego, Legal and Policy Adviser, Latin America, and Regional Coordinator of the Project, e: carolina.villadiego(a)icj.orgNewsWeb stories