JOINT STATEMENT EPAF and EMAF have no links with Gobernanza Forense Ciudadana or the “Citizen-led Forensics” project
The Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF) and the Mexican Forensic Anthropology Team (EMAF), about the versions that are circulating in various international media regarding a link between both institutions and the organization Gobernanza Forense Ciudadana, or the project “Citizen-led Forensics” make the following statement:
1. Our relationship with the organization Gobernanza Forense Ciudadana, was just about forensic works in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, at the request of the Fundación por Nuestros Desaparecidos de Nuevo León, which was conducted jointly by EPAF and EMAF. Gobernanza Forense Ciudadana provided the resources for genetic analysis. Since then, there have been informal contacts on possible collaborations, but they never resulted in a proposal for joint work or an institutional agreement.
2. Speculation about the involvement of EPAF and EMAF in initiatives of search for missing persons is worrying, especially in a context of high sensitivity like Mexico. We understand that the coordinated work can lead to capacity building, but the spread of misinformation can create expectations that may be not realized, especially among relatives of victims of enforced or involuntary disappearances.
3. We understand that the situation of missing persons in Mexico is complex and requires the concerted participation of the State and civil society. Citizens’ initiatives which ignore -by act or omission- existing legal guidelines may hinder -or even prevent- the purpose which in principle are trying to achieve.
4. Both EPAF as EMAF have an institutional policy to respect the work of other scientific organizations. In fact, we maintain ties of friendship and cooperation with other forensic teams in Latin America and the world. For this reason, we expect the same from other institutions.
We ask the international press to talk with us directly, through appropriate institutional channels, to confirm our participation in initiatives about search for missing people, in Mexico, Peru and other parts of the world.