The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), a non-governmental scientific organization, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 for its work in the investigation of human rights violations in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. This recognition was promoted by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) and the National University of Quilmes (UNQ).
CLACSO and @UNQoficial The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
– CLACSO (@_CLACSO) February 13, 2020
The EAAF was created in 1984 at the initiative of the American anthropologist Clyde Snow with the purpose of supporting the NGO Abuelas of the Plaza de Mayo in the investigation of cases of disappeared during the last military dictatorship of Argentina (1976-1983). As of 1986, their activity expanded beyond the country's borders and, so far, they have participated in missions in more than sixty countries in the world. The EAAF was one of the pioneer groups in applying forensic sciences, especially archeology and forensic anthropology, in the documentation of human rights violations.
One of the most important international investigations in which the EAAF got involved as an expert was on the forced disappearance of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Normal School, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, in September 2014, for which they were summoned expressly for the relatives of the victims. The investigation became very controversial because it contradicted the official version given by the government of then President Enrique Peña Nieto. The search for students is still ongoing.
Also in Mexico, they conducted the forensic investigation to bring justice to hundreds of women killed during the 1990s in Juarez, Mexico, in support of the civil organization Justice for our daughters. And in South Africa, since 2007, they collaborate with the search and identification of apartheid victims and in El Salvador they dug thousands of bones of victims of the Mozote massacre, perpetrated by the Salvadoran Army in 1981, and testified in court against the accused military .
In Argentina, in addition to the search for missing persons from the dictatorship, they permanently participate in the identification of buried Argentine soldiers as NN (unidentified) in the cemetery of Darwin, Malvinas, and in numerous cases of femicides, trafficking in persons, crimes political and ethnic, and more complex cases, such as the attack on the Mutual Association Israelita Argentina (AMIA). Additionally, they teach forensic anthropology courses in Argentina and in other countries where they are invited.
In addition to the scientific rigor for which they have gained great international prestige throughout their 35 years, the most prominent value of the EAAF is its fundamental principle of respecting, above all, the wishes of the families of the victims and their communities They are characterized by great sensitivity to accompany them at every step of the process, from the complaint and investigation to the exhumation and identification of the remains, and the subsequent resolution of the case.
Karina Batthyány, executive secretary of CLACSO, declared for a La Nación article:
Each recovered bone, each identified remainder, is a triumph of truth and justice that feeds the memory so necessary in the future of the peoples. The Nobel Peace Prize would be a recognition not only to the faultless trajectory of its members but also to each of the cases in which they intervene, to each family member who has placed all his trust in them and received his helping hand.