Annual Report 2007-2009 (Covering the period January 2007 to December 2009)
EAAF continued its work in Argentina to identify people who disappeared during the last military regime, moving investigations forward in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Córdoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Formosa, Jujuy, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Santa Fe, and Tucumán. EAAF is providing evidence in new and reopened prosecutions.
EAAF conducted two missions to Bolivia, advising the Santa Cruz de la Sierra District Attorney’s Office on forensic aspects of the investigation of Bolivians who disappeared between 1964 and 1982. EAAF also assisted the Association of Families of the Disappeared and Martyrs for National Liberation in the José Luis Ibsen case.
EAAF formed part of a panel of experts established by Chile’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Human Rights to make recommendations on possible problems related to the identification of disappeared persons found in plot 29 of Santiago’s General Cemetery in 1991 and 1997.
EAAF traveled to Colombia in September 2007 to participate in activities of the International Forensic Commission (CFI). The Commission was organized by the Organization of American States (OAS) to assist Colombian forensic scientists in identifying and assessing cause and manner of death for eleven deputies from the Departmental Assembly of the Cauca Valley. The deputies, whose remains had only recently been recovered, were originally kidnapped by FARC in April 2002.
At the request of the United Nations Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, EAAF is leading a forensic project on the search for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots missing since the 1963-1964 and 1974 incidents.
In 2008, EAAF traveled to East Timor, together with the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) from Australia, to provide training to the local police and mortuary staff, as well as to investigate the Santa Cruz massacre of 1991 and other human rights cases from the period of Indonesian occupancy. VIFM and EAAF formed the International Forensic Team (IFT) for their joint activities in East Timor, which conducted forensic work and met with families of victims, human rights organizations, and government officials. Excavations related to this forensic work were initially suspended after no remains were found, but a new excavation site was located in 2009 and several victims have been recovered and identified so far.
EAAF conducted a mission to El Salvador at the request of Tutela Legal, the human rights office of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, to carry out a preliminary investigation into the 1932 massacre of Izalco.
In April 2007, EAAF was invited by the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG) for an exchange of experience about the challenges to investigating disappeared people in an urban context and the search for their remains.
EAAF was invited to the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa by the Honduran Special Prosecutor for Human Rights to consult about ongoing forensic work related to political disappearances in the 1980s and 1990s. EAAF reviewed judicial files related to the recovery of remains, met with forensic personnel, and provided recommendations for future work.
In October 2008, Iran, Iraq and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) signed a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding to investigate the fate of the hundreds of thousands of cases of disappeared and missing persons from the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s. In that context, EAAF was invited by the ICRC to provide a forensic training course in Tehran in November 2008 and in Baghdad in March 2009.
In July 2008, EAAF was invited to take part in the “What Is To Be Done? Lebanon’s War-Loaded Memory” project by the Documentation Center of the Lebanese Association for Cultural and Artistic Exchange (UMAM D&R). An EAAF member traveled to Beirut to conduct a workshop on forensic investigations and mass graves.
EAAF worked in Chihuahua State on the recovery and identification of over 60 female remains associated with the investigation of murdered and disappeared women in Ciudad Juarez and the city of Chihuahua.
At the request of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), EAAF traveled to Kathmandu in December 2009 to give a workshop on the use of forensic archaeology in searching for disappeared individuals.
EAAF conducted three missions to Paraguay to collaborate with the Commission for Truth and Justice on the search for persons who disappeared during the regime of General Alfredo Stroessner, carrying out forensic investigations and assisting on historical research and database management.
At the request of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), EAAF conducted a mission to South Africa to investigate apartheid-era crimes. Together with the Missing Persons Task Team, an agency of the NPA, EAAF carried out exhumations, performed anthropological analysis, and trained post-graduate students.
Contracted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an EAAF member traveled to Sri Lanka in 2007 to assess the forensic capacity in the cities of Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, and Galle, specifically in relation to the identification of victims from the country’s civil war. EAAF was also asked to make recommendations to improve the forensic system.
Right to Truth: EAAF’s work supports the fundamental rights to truth and justice of victims of human rights violations, their families, and societies at large. This section provides an update on prosecutions in Argentina for human rights abuses during the last military government.