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Forensic training sessions for disappeared persons cases and violent deaths in El Salvador

San Salvador, November 3, 2022. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) conducted workshops on the Minnesota Protocol and violent deaths from October 24 to 28, 2022, for 40 forensic experts of the Institute of Forensic Medicine of El Salvador, to strengthen forensic capacities and the implementation of good practices in addressing cases of disappeared persons. 

The workshops were delivered by Dr. Carlos Murillo, Deputy Director of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of Colombia, in coordination with the Institute of Legal Medicine of El Salvador.

Dr. Murillo shared with the participants specialized knowledge on the autopsy process in accordance with the Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death.

As part of the trainings, case analysis was enhanced to strengthen good practices in forensic documentation. "Sharing knowledge with experts helps us to have better details to use the Minnesota protocol," said Dr. Gustavo Ibarra, course participant.

For her part, Dr. Carolina Eugenia Paz Barahona, commented, "Training processes of this nature help us as experts to carry out our work with updated tools and knowledge that strengthen the scientific evidence we offer to the courts."

According to Dr. Jennifer Stephanie Rodríguez Ochoa, the workshops "have been a valuable exchange of enriching information with Colombia, to take advantage of the application of the Minnesota protocol."

Dissemination of good practices for judges and judicial collaborators

As part of the activity, UNODC facilitated a specialized training session for 30 judges and judicial collaborators on international forensic best practices for the investigation of potentially unlawful deaths, in coordination with the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice.

The session was chaired by Magistrate Sandra Luz Chicas de Fuentes, president of the Criminal Chamber and of the Directive Council of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, and Magistrate Miguel Angel Flores Durel.

The activities took place in 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", which is being implemented from 2020 to 2023 with the financial support of the Government of Canada.