Search models for disappeared persons in Latin America: lessons learned and challenges

05 Dec 2018

The Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), the Transitional Justice Observatory at Diego Portales University, Chile, and the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University, Northern Ireland, with the support of the Heinrich Boll Foundation and Open Society Foundations


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

12:00 – 2:00 pm

DPLF, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW Suite 710

Washington, D.C. 20036


Cath Collins

Coordinator of the Transitional Justice Observatory, Diego Portales University

Professor of Transitional Justice, Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University, Northern Ireland


Oscar Loyola

Peruvian Team of Forensic Anthropology (EPAF)


Arcinio Suira

Executive Director, National Search Commission for Missing Persons in the context of the armed conflict in El Salvador (CNB and CONABUSQUEDA)


María Clara Galvis

Professor, Externado University of Colombia and member of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, United Nations



Leonor Arteaga

Senior Program Officer, Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF) and Commissioner in CONABUSQUEDA


Please confirm your attendance here.

Throughout the last few decades and to the present day, forced disappearance has been a widespread practice in Latin America in the context of political violence or criminal violence linked to the State. At the same time, the continent has also been a pioneer in state and non-state responses to these crimes, including Truth Commissions, trials on forced disappearances, not-for-profit forensic anthropology teams, specialized techniques in locating disappeared children and reuniting them with their families, and the families and human rights organizations that have provided solutions and have sustained long fights.

These reflections and practices, in addition to the demands of the victims, have given rise to the emergence of state institutions and offices that conduct and/or support search and identification activities. This has occurred by law or presidential decrees, with different organizational and structure models, in at least four countries: Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, and Colombia, and is currently under study in other countries such as Chile. Join us to hear from our panelists about lessons learned and how to take advantage of progress in various countries.

The panelists will be in Washington DC, on the occasion of a hearing on this subject before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that will be held that same day at 9:00 a.m. EST, to be transmitted live via

The event will be held in Spanish, with simultaneous translation to English.