Memory cultures

Episode 12: The Search for the Disappeared in Guatemala


What is the role of forensic anthropology in the post-conflict context? In this episode, we are talking about the search for the disappeared and victims of the internal armed conflict in Guatemala. The uneven civil war fought by state forces against leftist guerillas from 1960 to 1996 resulted in around 200,000 deaths, of which 40,000 enforced disappearances. The indigenous Maya communities were particularly targeted by the military forces.

The Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG) has worked to provide forensic science to families of missing persons since the end of the conflict. So far, they have identified 4,000 disappeared and victims of conflict. Our guests are FAFG Executive Director of the FAFG Fredy Peccerelli and Mishel Stephenson, the Chief of Forensic Genetics.