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CULTURE | 14-02-2020 15:36

Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

The group, known as the EAAF, has worked with victims in more than 60 countries of various catastrophes and conflicts.

The world-renowned Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) has been nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its achievements in the field of applied sciences and collaborative justice.

The nomination was presented by Karina Batthyány, executive secretary of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLASCO), and Alejandro Villar, Chancellor of the National University of Quilmes (UNQ).

The EAAF is a scientific, non-governmental organisation that was founded in 1984 to help the families of victims of State terrorism and to provide evidence to the Judiciary in the recovery, identification and restitution of missing persons recorded between 1974 and 1983. The EAAF, led by Executive Director Luis Fondebrider, is composed group of specialists who develop scientific techniques in the field of Social Anthropology, Archeology, Forensic Anthropology, Computer Science and Genetics.

The organization has already worked in more than 60 countries with victims of disappearances, ethnic, political, institutional, gender and religious violence, drug-trafficking, human trafficking, organized crime, immigration processes, wars and armed conflicts, accidents and catastrophes.

"We are pleasantly surprised by this nomination. In 2018, CLASCO and the UNQ had granted us the Juan Gelmán Latin American Prize, and told us that they were going to apply for the Nobel Peace Prize," Fondebrider told Pagina/12

"Now a stage of seeking support for this nomination begins. Institutional, personal and political support from all of Latin America," Villar, the head of the UNQ, told the local newspaper.

Last March, the EAAF initiated a campaign to locate relatives of missing persons during the 1976-1983 dictatorship, in an effort to identify more than 600 recovered bodies located at the ex-ESMA Navy Mechanics School, which functioned as a clandestine detention centre under the military Junta's leadership.

Since 2005, the anthropologists, archaeologists, doctors and geneticists that make up the EAAF have helped identify some 750 people who were disappeared during the last dictatorship.

In addition, in their 35 years of work, they managed to identify, for example, Azucena Villaflor, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, Luciano Arruga and 113 unidentified soldiers who fought in the South Atlantic conflict and were buried in Darwin Cemetery on the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands.

The group has always enjoyed private funding from agencies in the United States and Europe, but since 2005 the organisation has received funding from the Argentine national government, as well.

The deadline to apply for the Nobel Peace Prize was February 1. In October, the committee will elect the winners by majority vote.

—NA/TIMES

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