Annual Report: 1993
EAAF began gathering information on burials in cemeteries in the southern part of Greater Buenos Aires, in addition to its work at the Avellaneda cemetery, where it began working in 1988.
Finally, EAAF worked in the following cases involving disappeared persons:
- The Zanocco Case
- The Molinete-Olivier Case
- The Cañuelas Case
- The Adjiman- Shajer- El Ganame Case
- The Cubas Case
EAAF traveled twice to Paraguay during 1993. On the first mission, we provided technical advice on the finding of remains thought to correspond to disappeared people from the General Stroessner regime and on the repression file both found at the Police Central headquarters in Asunción, the capital of the country. Stroessner ruled Paraguay from 1954 until 1989.
The remains were non-human. The files contained information about Argentinean citizens that disappeared in Paraguay and vice versa; as part of the so-called "Operation Condor," a covert operation involving the secret exchange of prisoners among South American countries.
The team worked on the investigation of case of disappeared persons during the regime of Andrés Rodríguez at the invitation of the Committee of Churches (Comité de Iglesias), by conducting interviews with family members, consulting with the Judiciary on exhumations that were taking place. The team also conducted seminars on the investigation of human rights violations for judges and forensic doctors.
On its second mission, EAAF members gave a seminar in forensic and human rights investigations to judges and forensic doctors.
EAAF was invited to Brazil by the non-governmental group Tortura Nunca Mais (Torture Never Again) in Rio de Janeiro to supervise the work done by local anthropologists who were exhuming a mass grave at the Ricard Albuquerque cemetery outside of Rio, in which the remains of 14 disappeared persons were buried mixed with several hundred skeletal remains. EAAF also conducted preliminary interviews on other potential cases.
The team also collaborated in the analysis of files in the Department of Political and Social Order, in which were hundreds of records on disappeared and executed persons in Brazil and other countries.
Also, EAAF gave lectures and seminars in several institutions.
While in Rio de Janeiro, EAAF received the Chico Mendez Medal for Resistance in recognition of its application of scientific methods in the cause of justice, truth and memory.
The team was invited by the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights and the Committee of Relatives of Victims of the Events of February-March 1989 to participated in a seminar on forensic science and human rights. The team also to followed up the forensic work from the victims of the "Caracazo" case, in which an uncertain number of bodies were buried in mass graves. The killings took place during a crackdown by security forces on riots in February and March 1989.
EAAF conducted training with members of the newly created Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Team, formed to carry out exhumations and analysis of the remains of disappeared persons. The team also worked with other local committees of relatives of the disappeared and non-governmental organizations on issues related to ongoing exhumation projects.
EAAF was invited by Amnesty International to investigate the so called "La Cantuta" case, involving nine disappeared students and a professor from the National University Enrique Guzman y Valle. The team was prohibited from visiting the grave site or see the remains, but was able to prepare a report about inadequacies of the government investigation of the case.
In Colombia, the team participated in an international seminar of Forensic Sciences and Human Rights, organized by the Department of Anthropology of the School of Humanities of the University of Colombia. The team also gave a lecture on forensic science and human rights violations to representatives from the Prosecutor's Office and the School of Criminology and Criminal Studies.
In Panama, the Center for Social Training requested that the team participate in a National Program for Instructors in Human Rights. EAAF also assisted with the planning of the exhumations of civilian victims of the United States invasion of Panama in 1989.
In Costa Rica, the team participated in the Regional Meeting on Latin America and the Caribbean. The conference was in preparation for the global convention on human rights that took place in Vienna. The team presented information on the use of forensic anthropology in human rights.
The team participated in a mission organized and funded by Physicians for Human Rights to conduct an exhumation at Ovcara, near Vukovar, Croatia, Sector East where more than 200 bodies were reportedly buried in a mass grave,. The team also continued its investigation in Sector West, where other graves were alleged to be related with war crimes. The mission was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Commission of Experts.
Members of the team were invited by the Carter Presidential Center and the Special Prosecutor's Office (SPO) of Addis Ababa to explore the possibility of including forensic investigations in cases of human rights violations being addressed by the SPO, to plan a mission for such investigations, and to connect with local organizations and professionals who could assist with forensic work on a local team.
The team received recognition from several human rights organizations for its contributions. The team also was featured in documentaries and in articles on their national and international work. Academic presentations were also given by the team in many of the countries within which the team was working.
Several articles highlighted the work of the team (in Spanish, French, and English).