600 Bodies of Argentine Military Dictatorship Victims Still Waiting to be Identified

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There are still at least 600 unidentified remains who were all victims of the military dictatorship in Argentina several decades ago that still need to be identified by the authorities. The Argentine Forensic Anthropology team which was created in 1984, a year after the country gained independence from the military junta, has already found at least 1,400 people who disappeared during the time of the crisis. There are 795 remains that have already been identified by the team which was formed to develop their expertise in locating and identifying victims of the military junta that happened in 1976 – 1983.

However, there are still around 600 remains that remain to be unidentified as their genetic profiles do not match the sample of the database of the forensic team. In view of this, several non-government organizations have initiated a campaign appealing to the relatives of the victims to provide more blood samples for testing. This will help in identifying the unidentified bodies and eventually give a proper burial for their death.

Giving blood samples to the team to identify a loved one is a very difficult situation especially for the relatives as it brings bad memories of what had happened during the military dictatorship.

The process, as difficult as it is, will definitely have a positive effect on the family and relatives of the victims who have suffered for so many years because of the bad memory of the military junta. It will also allow the family to have closure and complete their grieving.

The forensic team is now working on a former Naval Mechanics School, a place which is considered as a detention and torture centre during the military dictatorship where an estimated 5000 prisoners were held and has since been converted into a memorial museum.

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