A Review of Forensic Anthropology in Mexico
Thursday, June 1, 2017 5:00:00 PM UTC - 6:00:00 PM UTC
Duration: 1 hour(s)
This webinar will provide an overview of the development of forensic anthropology worldwide, but above all in Mexico and how our team has adapted by means of feedback and dialogue with people and groups seeking missing persons information.
In recent years, the development of forensic anthropology has taken an important turn in its scope, initially the main objective was based on the identification of human remains (sexing, estimated age, recognizing skeletal trauma and possibly, knowing the biological ancestry). However, in the last two decades, forensic anthropologists around the world have been heavily involved in trials of serious human rights violations in Europe, Africa, South America and recently in Mexico. Circumstances and contexts of violence in each region are different, in some cases as Europe or South America dictatorial processes practically have "concluded" and has achieved a transitional phase of justice, which has many critical edges about what comprising the transition of justice in a country. In contrast, African countries and the case of Mexico are surrounded by waves of multi-causal violence. On the one hand, there is "dictatorial" democracy and low-intensity terrorism, and on the other hand, drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, feminicide, migration and enforced disappearance. This allows us to debate the role of the forensic anthropologist in current contexts of violence, where the process of identification is complicated. Since the ways in which the body is treated or disappeared have also evolved, it is no longer just a decaying body, but bodies are cremated, dismembered, pulverized and even submerged in acid; All in the same country. The Mexican Forensic Anthropology Team is a non-profit civil association that in 2013 began its work in support of the families of persons who have been forcibly or involuntarily disappeared. Initially, the objective of our team was the identification of human remains, however, the Mexican context is extremely complex. Our perspective of work goes beyond forensic medical services and involves directly with families and government institutions to strengthen both, the knowledge of cases of disappearance and promote the strengthening of areas of identification to assist in the search and identification of missing persons, and that the government meets basic scientific requirements to identify human remains. The Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) promotes the application of contemporary forensic science and forensic medicine principles to global humanitarian and/or human rights projects requiring special forensic assistance. The projects in this Webinars Series with the FTCoE are those selected for support by the International Advisory Council of the HHRRC.