Inter-institutional meeting seeks to strengthen the process of search for missing in Colombia

Article posted on September 2, 2010

According to the National Network of the Missing, there are 45,248 registered cases of disappearance in Colombia; therefore it is a priority to support the state strategy to strengthen the search and identification process of missing persons in Colombia. For that reason, the National Institute for Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (INMLCF) and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) with support provided by ProFis Project: Support to the peace process in Colombia within the context of the Law on Justice and Peace - an example of transitional justice, executed by GTZ at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, will organize on the 6th, 7th and 8th of September, Advancements in the process of human genetic identification with emphasis on mtDNA.

International experts from Spain, the USA and Austria will participate in this event, sharing their experiences in order to facilitate the search for new tools and methodologies on advancements in genetic identification worldwide, including mtDNA based identification, and to apply these advancements in the process of identification of missing persons in Colombia. “The Inter-institutional meeting will be very important to strengthen the work done by the genetic laboratories in order to facilitate the identification of those missing”, noted Dr. Juan Ángel Isaac Llanos, Director-General of INMLCF.

For her part, Ms. Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of ICMP commented regarding the event: “Using DNA to obtain precise identifications is crucial to provide closure to the relatives of the missing, but it is also a powerful contribution to justice, truth and reparation in post-conflict or transitional societies. The meeting shares with Colombian experts advancements attained in several parts of the world regarding this issue. We hope that it strengthens the identification process in Colombia and provides answers to relatives of the missing”.

The meeting is designed for genetic experts of INMLCF, the Technical Investigation Body of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the State and the National Police genetic laboratories. The international experts will provide them with the experiences in their countries and with recommendations on how to strengthen the process of identification of missing persons in the country.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the INMLCF Press Office by phone on (571) 406 99 44/77, extension 1505-1509 or by e-mail cdivulgacion@medicinalegal.gov.co, ICMP Press Office by e-mail at press@ic-mp.org or ProFis project at alejandro.potes@gtz.de