The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense, EAAF) made a breakthrough this week by identifying 42 corpses pertaining to Argentine citizens who had disappeared during the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1976 to 1983. The findings were made possible by matching the DNA of 598 different remains with 5,000 blood samples.
The identification of the 42 bodies is part of the Iniciativa Latinoamericana para la Identificación de Personas Desaparecidas (The Latin American Initiative for the Identification of Missing People) project launched in 2007, which has the financial support of the Argentine government and the collaboration of other Latin American forensic organizations and the Bode Technology Group.
For over 20 years the EAAF has devoted itself to finding people that went missing during the dictatorship (estimated at more than 30,000 people), and has identified over 300 victims.
*** Read more expansive coverage of this topic in a forthcoming article on forensic anthropology by Matthew Aho, to be featured in the Summer 2009 edition of Americas Quarterly. Check with your local newsstand for availability.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
San Salvador, El Salvador
Julio Rank Wright
Christian Gómez, Jr.
Johanna Mendelson Forman