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Closing ceremony of the specialized course on investigation of forced disappearances in El Salvador

San Salvador, October 29, 2021. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held the closing ceremony of the specialized diploma course on investigation of forced disappearances, organized with the Prosecutors Training School of El Salvador, within the framework of the project “Strengthening the implementation of case management tools for disappearances and torture of women, men and youth related to organized crime”, financed by the Government of Canada.
The diploma course was held from May to October 2021 and was successfully completed by 51 professionals, including prosecutors of the specialized unit for cases of disappeared persons and from regional units of the Attorney General´s Office, police officers from the National Civil Police, the Investigation Group of disappeared persons cases and the National Academy of Public Security.
The closing ceremony had the participation of Karolina Guay, Ambassador of Canada in El Salvador; Nayelly Loya, Deputy for the UNODC Programme Office in El Salvador and Alvin Serrano, head of the Specialized Unit for disappeared persons cases of the Attorney General's Office of the Republic of El Salvador.
"The problem of disappearance of persons must be addressed with a gender perspective and analyzing the differential approach on victims, therefore, the diploma included the gender and human rights approach as cross-cutting aspects", highlighted Karolina Guay.
This training program was carried out through 5 main modules delivered by 10 national and international experts with expertise in law, gender studies, human rights, information analysis, geography, anthropology, and forensic medicine. Likewise, it had the participation of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences and the Office of the Attorney General´s Office of Colombia, to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences between officials that lead investigations of forced disappearances.

• Module 1: International standards and legal framework on disappearance of persons and enforced disappearances (May 5-28)

• Module 2: Operational procedures and tools for disappearance of persons cases (June 2- July 2).

• Module 3: Forensic sciences and disappearance of persons (July 7-30).

• Module 4: Rights of victims and psychosocial approach for disappearance of persons cases (August 11-September 8).

• Module 5: Trainer of trainers (September 28- October 7).

“I extend my congratulations to you for having successfully concluded 4 months of intense training, which have put in your hands scientific and technical knowledge that will contribute to each of the investigations carried out in your offices, in addition to personally achieving one more step in your professional qualifications, the true winner of this type of trainings is the Salvadoran society that receives a new group of professionals with the vision, courage, awareness and knowledge to deal with the problematic of the disappearance of persons”, indicated Mr. Alvin Serrano, head of the specialized unit for cases of disappeared persons.

Special trainer of trainer’s module

UNODC delivered a final trainer of trainer’s module, aimed at enhancing pedagogical skills and abilities, which allow to expand the network of experts in this area within the justice sector.
The network of trainers will be of great importance in the coming months in which UNODC will work in the 4 regions of the country, to strengthen the methodology of task forces for disappeared persons cases and the attention of victims with a human rights approach in the following areas: San Salvador, Soyapango, La Libertad, San Miguel, La Paz, Santa Ana and Sonsonate.
"You are a central part of this initiative that promotes positive results for society in ensuring safe environments and the need to guarantee the rights of direct and indirect victims of this crime," said Nayelly Loya, Deputy of UNODC El Salvador, during the closing ceremony.
“This experience consists in implementing good practices for the management of cases of disappeared persons, the unified identification of criteria for receiving complaints in all public institutions at the national level, efficient and immediate actions with fast results and commitment that can contribute to the search and recovery of the victims. For all this, we express our deep gratitude to the Ambassador of Canada, the members of UNODC, the Prosecutors Training School, the trainers and all the persons who dedicated time and tools, methodologies, and key strategies in this specialized course on cases of disappeared persons, that helped us to change our way of thinking, analyzing and focusing our urgent search actions”, expressed Rosa Elena Marquez de Guzmán, Participant of the Specialized Diploma on behalf of all participants.
This activity was carried out with the financial support of the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) of the Government of Canada.