ANNUAL REPORT: 2001
Based on our experience working for Truth Commissions, Special Commissions of Inquiry, and National and International Tribunals, EAAF would like to put forward for the first time, a number of suggestions related to investigating violations in the context of institutional bodies that are set up for fixed time periods.
In 2001 EAAF identified the remains of two Argentine citizens and ten Uruguayans; continued work with government documents, including fingerprints; and provided services to the families of disappeared persons.
At the request of a local Prosecutor and an organization of victims' families, EAAF members made two separate missions to different provinces of Brazil, to investigate cases of political militants disappeared in the late sixties and early seventies.
In 2001, for the first time, the Inter American Court on Human Rights of the Organization of American States ordered the exhumation and analysis of human remains as part of a trial proceeding. The Inter American Court named EAAF as expert witness on the Las Palmeras Case in Colombia.
In 2001, EAAF participated in forensic investigations into human rights abuses in East Timor under the auspices of the United Nations Serious Crimes Investigation Unit.
In 2001, EAAF members undertook a mission to El Salvador at the request of Tutela Legal, as part of the ongoing investigation into the 1982 massacre at El Mozote. At the same time, EAAF worked with and trained professionals at the Institute of Legal Medicine of Santa Tecla.
From April 30-May 4, 2001, one EAAF member and an Argentinean forensic pathologist conducted a workshop for 52 judges and staff from the Guatemalan Public Ministry, presenting new developments in forensic science and their potential applications in cases coming before the Guatemalan courts in the post-Peace Accords era.
In early 2001, one EAAF member traveled to Ivory Coast to join the United Nations Commission of Inquiry for C™te dÕIvoire, investigating violent episodes surrounding two elections that left more than 250 dead.
At the request of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in 2001 EAAF joined an advisory mission to the government of Mexico. Together with a Portuguese Legal-Medical expert, we elaborated a set of protocols for forensic investigations, and gave seminars for members of the Mexican Judiciary, NGOs, and medical professionals.
In February 2001, as a result of the discovery of a mass grave in 1999, the Panamanian Executive formed a Truth Commission to investigate human rights violations under the Torrijos administration and beyond. The Commission asked EAAF for technical forensic assistance in these investigations.
A new forensic team, the Equipo Peruano de Antropologia Forense (EPAF) was formed in 2001. Two EAAF members participated in workshops on forensic anthropology organized by EPAF for judges, prosecutors, and NGOs.
At the request of FIND, EAAF traveled to the Philippines in the Fall of 2001 to collaborate on the investigation of cases of disappearance and to continue the training of local forensic anthropologists who had worked with EAAF in 2000.
In 2001, EAAFÕs collaboration with the Presidential Peace Commission in Uruguay led to the identification of ten Uruguayan nationals disappeared in Argentina during the 1970Õs, and to the location of remains of Argentine citizens in Uruguayan cemeteries. Procedures for exhuming the latter are underway in 2002.
EAAF continued joint work on forensic investigations in Zimbabwe with AMANI Trust, a non-governmental organization providing services to victims of human rights abuses throughout the country. In addition to forensic investigation, EAAF is participating in the training of a local forensic anthropology team.
This year, EAAF initiates a section providing updates on judicial processes involving human rights cases in which forensic evidence is used. We primarily refer here to cases for which EAAF has provided forensic evidence.