Saturday, June 17, 2006

DNA bank to assist search for El Salvador's missing children

An article in the Contra Costa Times describes how DNA technology is being employed to assist in the reunification of families with their children who disappeared during the Salvadoran civil war:

With help from UC Berkeley's Human Rights Center and the California Department of Justice DNA lab in Richmond, Perez Navarrete and his group in El Salvador hope to identify more children who were taken from their families by force during the civil war that engulfed the country in the 1980s and '90s.

"It's like a rule in this country to forget," said Perez Navarrete, a psychologist with the Asociación Pro-Búsqueda de Niñas y Niños Desaparecidos, a group that seeks to reunite kidnapped children with their families.

"We're trying to do it for 12 years, especially because the government is always trying to erase all the memories in this country, especially of the war."

Pro-Búsqueda has identified more than 700 families who want to locate the "disappeared" children who were lost or taken during the war. Last summer Liz Barnert, a student at the UC Berkeley-San Francisco Joint Medical Program, helped collect DNA samples from the families, many in El Salvador's northern regions.

She brought them back to the Richmond crime lab, and DNA technicians, working off hours as volunteers, are assembling a database of the genetic material.(more)

1 comment:

inner self said...

Tim said...
To inner self:

Vigilante justice can never be the answer. El Salvador needs the rule of law, not every person with arms being a law unto himself.

Oh, and Tim, on your response to my comment from a previous post...
I understand this, and obviously it's the most reasonable approach to it...unfortunately, however, we have to be realistic and acknowledge that el salvador's government is weak and incompetent.
If you spoke personally to a victim of rape, robbery or someone whose had a family member killed by thugz and wrong doers, or if you happened to be a victim would be easier to see how lax the law enforcement and juidicial system of el salvador is. Criminals do get away almost six to eight times out of every ten crimes. I know the govt. should implement the law and enforce it, but the government is simply very close to useless...
not because it is an arena govt., it would be the same if it was an fmln or any other party govt. but it's because of the people and the life style under which they are raised. So yeah...analizing it, the problem really is way deeper than it appears...and I still acknowledge that yes, taking the law by our own hands will simply bring more turmoil and insecurity...but if us, the civillians and the govt. can't do anything, then who can? and most importantly how will peace and order be brought to a reasonable level?