The Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation
( or FAFG) is an autonomous, non-profit, technical and scientific non-governmental organisation
.Its aim is to strengthen the administration of justice and respect for human rights
by investigating, documenting, and raising awareness about past instances of human rights violations
, particularly unresolved murders, that occurred during Guatemala
's 30-year-long Civil War
Its main tool in pursuing this goal is the application of forensic anthropology
techniques in exhumations of clandestine mass graves
. Its endeavours in this regard allow the relatives of the disappeared
to recuperate the remains of their missing family members and to proceed with burials in accordance with their beliefs, and enable criminal prosecutions to be brought against the perpetrators.
In 1990 and 1991, various groups of survivors began to report to the authorities the existence of clandestine graves in their communities, most of which contained the bodies of Maya campesinos
massacred during the "scorched earth
" policy pursued by the government in the early 1980s. The forensic services of the Guatemalan judiciary began to investigate some of these cases, but they failed to pursue them to their conclusion.
Consequently, in 1991, the survivors' groups contacted Dr. Clyde Snow
, a renowned U.S.
forensic anthropologist who had previously overseen exhumations in Argentina
in the wake of that country's Dirty War
and had... Read More