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Participants of the specialized diploma on the investigations of forced disappearances share their experience

San Salvador. November 23, 2021. The course on the investigation of cases of disappeared persons was carried out in El Salvador from May to October 2021 as a specialized training activity and with the perspective of training of trainers within the framework of the project “Strengthening the implementation of case managemen tools for disappearances and torture of women, men and youth related to organized crime”, with the financial support of the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) of the Government of Canada.

“This is a cooperation project that aims at the creation of operational tools to be implemented at the national level, strengthen the tools that already exist, and above all apply them with a gender and human rights approach. On this occasion we have completed the specialized diploma on the investigation of disappeared persons cases, completed by 51 participants after 5 months of training, in which they have completed various modules, including legal, operational, forensic and victim’s assistance modules, all with the objective of seeking comprehensive responses for families, victims and society as a whole”, stated Vida Gómez Asturias, UNODC project coordinator.

Julio Adalberto Abarca del Cid, of the National Academy of Public Security consider that having received this course is of great importance because “it provides new knowledge and tools on the phenomenon of disappeared persons. The course is designed with a constructivist pedagogy where participants exchange knowledge, thus strengthening their skills. Likewise, it strengthens the inter-institutional work between the Attorney General's Office, the Judiciary, and police investigators. As National Academy of Public Security we will multiply this knowledge with the students of the different levels. Finally, I express my thanks to UNODC at the Prosecutors Training School for it´s excellent coordination”.

Dina Haydée Contreras de Ortega, officer of the National Academy of Public Security, said she was grateful to have been part of this course “that increased our awareness and empathy with the victims of the crime of disappearance of persons, important characteristics for all actors involved in the investigations to obtain good results, bringing confidence and the outcomes expected by families that have suffered this problematic”.
Rolando Zacarías Villalta, who works in the Attorney General´s Office expressed that "the learning acquired in the Specialized Diploma on the investigation of crimes of disappeared persons is very important, because it allows to develop the professional and technical capacity of all participants, which will ensure qualitative investigations related to the phenomenon of disappeared persons and due diligence in each case; and this importance also lies in the development of the modules of the diploma in which we learned about key issues in the disappearance of persons and enforced disappearance, among these: international standards, legal framework, operational tools to address the phenomenon of disappearances, the forensic sciences that are applied and the psychosocial attention of victims of forced disappearances”.
Marvin Esquivel, of the National Civil Police, said “it was an excellent course with highly specialized instructors in their respective areas who explained the methodologies used in real cases, the use of technological and legal tools. Also, the set of activities that are carried out in complex cases, including field work, investigations, exhumation, laboratory work and evidence analysis”.