Thomas Bradley (Peru)

Thomas (T.J.) Bradley (EPAF, Peru): TJ developed a deep interest in Latin America while studying as an undergraduate at Heidelberg University. Prior to his fellowship, he. worked in Lima with the Paul Lammermeier Foundation. TJ has also interned with USAID and United States Department of State. TJ was studying at the School of International Service at American University when he undertook his AP fellowship. At American, he volunteered with the American Red Cross and served on the editorial staff of the Journal of International Service. After his fellowship, TJ wrote: “It has been an incredible learning experience for me and has left me with many friends. I feel like we have accomplished much and I look forward to seeing all that they will do in the future.” tbradley@advocacynet.org



Origins

03 Nov

Today, I wanted to share an interview done with Jose Pablo (J.P.) Baraybar, EPAF’s Executive Director, by an online publication that was posted this month. I have translated the highlights here into English. The original can be found here: http://revistamito.com/antropologia-forense-en-primera-persona-roxana-ferllini-y-jose-pablo-raraybar/

On the origins of EPAF…

JP: “EPAF was first constituted as the technical group of the National Coordinator for Human Rights in 1997, and then in 2001 it was constituted as a civil association non-profit under the name the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF). The people of the technical group were entirely archaeologists with diverse experiences, in my case, work with human remains, another person had worked with animal remains and had a strong militancy in the movement of human rights; others were archaeologists specializing in the Andean Area.”

On how he came to forensics…

JP: “As I said, I’m archaeologist, although early in my career I started working with human remains in archaeological contexts; shortly thereafter I became a volunteer for Amnesty International and somehow everything fell into place. I became someone interested in working with human remains within a forensic context, and especially in cases of violations of human rights. Years since, these interests materialized into work for the UN as a forensic anthropologist for the international criminal tribunals in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia and then as Director of the Office of Missing Persons and Forensic Sciences in Kosovo, also for the UN. Certainly for many years this type of work became my day to day.”

On human rights in Peru and the continent…

JP: In Peru, “the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) recommendations were not implemented at all…I should rather say that few of them were implemented. Peru, faces a serious problem with over 15,000 people disappeared during the conflict that have not yet been found, for the absence of a search policy, i.e. a public, state policy, allowing for the return of identity to Peruvians missing and found buried in more than 6000 registered clandestine graves. The situation in Latin America is equally complex, perhaps for the fact that the disappearance of persons (to be forced, involuntary or voluntary) is complex, it is a non-linear phenomenon, i.e. people not going from point A to B, but through a circuit that is not easy to track. This is complicated even more when the disappeared has a criminal background, certainly people “disappear “ to not be found, so it is not enough to know the version of the family looking for a victim, but also to reconstruct in hindsight what occurred from the moment in which the person was seen for the last time.”

On cooperation with other forensic teams internationally…

JP: “We work in many parts of the world outside Peru. Our approach is always aimed at sustainable interventions and within the framework of South-South cooperation. We believe that the Global South has more in common by experiences and common causes; therefore we believe that we can contribute a lot. We have thus far worked in Africa, Southeast Asia and different parts of America. On certain occasions we have crossed paths with other teams and others not. Let us also remember that in the end all NGOs live on the resources they can get for projects and the donors are always the same, therefore the needs of survival limit, in many cases, the integration in the work that one would like to see.”

On forensic anthropology as a career in Peru…

JP: “In Peru there is no formal career in forensic anthropology and this causes great confusion at the judicial level because they expect that the people who work in this specialty are “anthropologists.” The problem is that anthropologists in Peru are social anthropologists and that does not have any link with the objective of study, i.e., skeletonized or semi skeletonized remains, in legal contexts. The Catholic University (PUCP) had a master’s degree in bio-archaeology and forensic anthropology, but not everyone works in forensics, most work in bio-archaeology.”

On work outside of Peru…

JP: “Our presence has been fluctuating and moving on to issues that could be called intrinsic to the topic of forensic science in human rights: issues of memory, issues of the register of missing persons through ante-mortem data collection, technical interviews, databases, etc. Our involvement as forensics also had been in commissions of inquiry and in the planning of public policy in the search for missing persons. Recently, we have initiated expert opinions in cases that are related to the lack of access to justice by citizens of the Peru. Our current scope of action is in Mexico, El Salvador, Ecuador, Brazil, Algeria, Somaliland and the Philippines.”
[content-builder]{“id”:1,”version”:”1.0.4″,”nextId”:”1″,”block”:”root”,”layout”:”12″,”childs”:[{“id”:”2″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”Today, I wanted to share an interview done with Jose Pablo (J.P.) Baraybar, EPAF\u2019s Executive Director, by an online publication that was posted this month. I have translated the highlights here into English. The original can be found here: http:\/\/revistamito.com\/antropologia-forense-en-primera-persona-roxana-ferllini-y-jose-pablo-raraybar\/\r\n\r\nOn the origins of EPAF\u2026\r\n\r\nJP: \u201cEPAF was first constituted as the technical group of the National Coordinator for Human Rights in 1997, and then in 2001 it was constituted as a civil association non-profit under the name the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF). The people of the technical group were entirely archaeologists with diverse experiences, in my case, work with human remains, another person had worked with animal remains and had a strong militancy in the movement of human rights; others were archaeologists specializing in the Andean Area.\u201d \r\n\r\nOn how he came to forensics\u2026\r\n\r\nJP: \u201cAs I said, I’m archaeologist, although early in my career I started working with human remains in archaeological contexts; shortly thereafter I became a volunteer for Amnesty International and somehow everything fell into place. I became someone interested in working with human remains within a forensic context, and especially in cases of violations of human rights. Years since, these interests materialized into work for the UN as a forensic anthropologist for the international criminal tribunals in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia and then as Director of the Office of Missing Persons and Forensic Sciences in Kosovo, also for the UN. Certainly for many years this type of work became my day to day.\u201d \r\n\r\nOn human rights in Peru and the continent\u2026\r\n\r\nJP: In Peru, \u201cthe TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) recommendations were not implemented at all\u2026I should rather say that few of them were implemented. Peru, faces a serious problem with over 15,000 people disappeared during the conflict that have not yet been found, for the absence of a search policy, i.e. a public, state policy, allowing for the return of identity to Peruvians missing and found buried in more than 6000 registered clandestine graves. The situation in Latin America is equally complex, perhaps for the fact that the disappearance of persons (to be forced, involuntary or voluntary) is complex, it is a non-linear phenomenon, i.e. people not going from point A to B, but through a circuit that is not easy to track. This is complicated even more when the disappeared has a criminal background, certainly people \u201cdisappear \u201c to not be found, so it is not enough to know the version of the family looking for a victim, but also to reconstruct in hindsight what occurred from the moment in which the person was seen for the last time.\u201d\r\n\r\nOn cooperation with other forensic teams internationally\u2026\r\n\r\nJP: \u201cWe work in many parts of the world outside Peru. Our approach is always aimed at sustainable interventions and within the framework of South-South cooperation. We believe that the Global South has more in common by experiences and common causes; therefore we believe that we can contribute a lot. We have thus far worked in Africa, Southeast Asia and different parts of America. On certain occasions we have crossed paths with other teams and others not. Let us also remember that in the end all NGOs live on the resources they can get for projects and the donors are always the same, therefore the needs of survival limit, in many cases, the integration in the work that one would like to see.\u201d \r\n\r\nOn forensic anthropology as a career in Peru\u2026\r\n\r\nJP: \u201cIn Peru there is no formal career in forensic anthropology and this causes great confusion at the judicial level because they expect that the people who work in this specialty are \u201canthropologists.\u201d The problem is that anthropologists in Peru are social anthropologists and that does not have any link with the objective of study, i.e., skeletonized or semi skeletonized remains, in legal contexts. The Catholic University (PUCP) had a master’s degree in bio-archaeology and forensic anthropology, but not everyone works in forensics, most work in bio-archaeology.\u201d\r\n\r\nOn work outside of Peru\u2026\r\n\r\nJP: \u201cOur presence has been fluctuating and moving on to issues that could be called intrinsic to the topic of forensic science in human rights: issues of memory, issues of the register of missing persons through ante-mortem data collection, technical interviews, databases, etc. Our involvement as forensics also had been in commissions of inquiry and in the planning of public policy in the search for missing persons. Recently, we have initiated expert opinions in cases that are related to the lack of access to justice by citizens of the Peru. Our current scope of action is in Mexico, El Salvador, Ecuador, Brazil, Algeria, Somaliland and the Philippines.\u201d\r\n”}]}[/content-builder]

Posted By Thomas Bradley (Peru)

Posted Nov 3rd, 2014

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