Press Advisory WOLA WASHINGTON OFFICE ON LATIN AMERICA

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Press Advisory
WOLA
W AS HI NGT ON
O FFI C E
ON
LAT I N
AM ERI C A
For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2006
Guatemalan and Argentine Forensic Anthropology Teams Will Receive
Recognition for Human Rights Work
Washington, DC On June 8th, The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) will be hosting its first
Human Rights Award ceremony and honoring Fredy Peccerelli of the Guatemalan Forensic
Anthropology Foundation and Mercedes Doretti of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team for
their invaluable contributions and dedication to the promotion of human rights in Latin America .
Since their inception, the Guatemalan and Argentine forensic teams, in collaboration with human rights
organizations and associations of families of the disappeared, have worked to recover and identify
thousands of individuals who died as a result of human rights violations and civil wars in the region.
Their courageous and outstanding efforts have provided answers and solace to thousands of families of
the disappeared in Guatemala and Argentina, and enabled the collection of forensic evidence to hold
perpetrators of human rights violations accountable. Through their work, they have greatly contributed to
the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law in the region.
Date:
Place:
Time:
Thursday, June 8, 2006
Embassy of the Republic of Argentina
1600 New Hampshire Ave, NW
Washington , DC 20009
5:00 7:00 pm (Reception)
In recognition of their inexhaustible efforts, members of the Bicameral Congressional Human
Rights Caucus will also be honoring Fredy Peccerelli and Mercedes Doretti at a reception on
Friday, June 9.
For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Adriana Beltrán
at (202) 797-2171 or by email at: [email protected]
Fredy Peccerelli is the Executive Director and founding member of the Guatemalan Forensic
Anthropology Team (Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala, FAFG). Since 1992, combining
elements of archeology, pathology, and anthropology, the Foundation has worked to recover and identify
the thousands of people killed or disappeared during Guatemalas 36-year internal armed conflict.
According to the Historical Clarification Commission, an estimated 200,000 people were forcibly
disappeared or extra-judicially executed during the war, the majority at the hands of the military or its
allies. To date, the Foundation has conducted over 500 investigations and recovered the remains of more
than 3,000 persons located in clandestine graves. Regrettably, due to their work, Fredy Peccerelli, his
family, and members of his team have been the targets of numerous death threats since 2002. Those
responsible for the threats have yet to be brought to justice.
Fredy Peccerelli has headed forensic investigations in Bosnia, Herzegovina for the International Criminal
Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. In 1996, he earned his degree in anthropology from Brooklyn
College, and he then obtained a Masters of Science degree in Forensic Anthropology from Bournemouth
University in Great Britain.
Mercedes Doretti, is the co-founder, researcher and investigator of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology
Team (Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense EAAF). Through their investigations and identification
of the remains of thousands of Argentines disappeared during the military regime, the EAAF has
contributed greatly to the search for truth and justice. As a member of the EAAF, she has worked as an
expert witness and consultant for local and international tribunals, truth commissions, and local and
international human rights organizations worldwide. In 2003, she co-founded the Latin America Forensic
Anthropology Association. Mercedes Doretti and her colleagues are currently working to identify more
than 60 women and girls brutally murdered in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua, México.
Doretti graduated from the National University of Buenos Aires with a degree in anthropology, and
completed courses in human osteology and biomechanics at the masters program in anthropology at
Hunter College, City University of New York. In 1991 and 1998 she was awarded the Human Rights
Watch Monitor Award and in 1989, the Reebok Human Rights Award.
The Washington Office on Latin America is a non-governmental organization that promotes human rights,
democracy,
and social and economic justice in U.S. policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean .
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