Mariel Sanchez

Mariel is a graduate student at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, focusing on human security and international development. She is originally from Mexico and has spent time studying in France and doing volunteer work in Costa Rica. Prior to her graduate studies, she was a case manager and legal representative at the YMCA International Services, a refugee resettlement agency in Houston, Texas. Her cases involved immigration relief for victims of crime, asylum seekers, and family reunification for refugees and other low-income immigrants. Before starting in immigration law, she worked for a disaster relief program, where she provided case management and direct assistance to hurricane survivors. She also has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. This summer, she continued her work in the human rights field with EPAF, further exploring issues of transitional justice and post-conflict development. After the fellowship, she wrote: "The fellowship kept me very busy and I enjoyed having variety in the work. I liked being able to contribute practical skills in preparing a grant proposal and a marketing plan, while also having the opportunity to be creative in designing a website, writing AP blogs and making videos. For me, the best part about the fellowship was that I wasn’t just doing a job, but that everything I did had the greater benefit of supporting human rights. Also, working with the people of EPAF and learning the stories of the conflict directly from the victims were the most rewarding aspects." Contact: msanchez@advocacynet.org



Preparations and Expectations

31 May

In two days I will be boarding a flight to Lima, Peru to begin my work with the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF). EPAF is a non-profit organization that investigates human rights violations from the internal armed conflict that occurred in Peru in the years between 1980 and 2000. Using forensic science, EPAF aims to promote truth and justice for the victims of the conflict and their families, and prevent future instances of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, among other human rights abuses emerging in conflict situations.

The main focus of my work with EPAF this summer will be to help the organization develop a profile of its Field School. Each year, EPAF leads a group of students from around the world to the Peruvian Andes and provides them training in forensic science and its application to human rights. The field school examines themes of justice, reconciliation, memory, gender, discrimination, and social and economic development.

Although my knowledge of the field school is limited at this time, I am looking forward to attending the school, documenting its activities, profiling its participants, and supporting EPAF in the long-term planning and management of this program. At the same time, I anticipate challenges in building support behind events that grow forgotten as new conflicts and humanitarian crises demand funding and media attention. Yet I admire the work of the students and staff taking part in the school and I’m excited to learn about the practice of forensic anthropology while documenting their experiences and sharing their work.

My arrival in Lima will coincide with the visit of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. A delegation of the working group will be on an official mission in Peru from June 1-10 to collect information on cases of enforced disappearances and study the measures adopted by the Peruvian government and civil society in response to this issue. The working group experts will be meeting with EPAF staff and the families of the disappeared. I hope to report on these meetings during my first two weeks in the field.

Over the last five days I have been training with The Advocacy Project team and a variety of guest speakers in Washington, D.C. I was also able to learn from the experiences, insights and questions of the other Peace Fellows. The training covered practical skills in filming and editing video, creating websites, fundraising, writing grant proposals, and using marketing and social media strategies, as well as broader discussions on the meanings of social change, the role of advocacy in community-based organizations, and the ethics and sensitivities involved when working with survivors of violent conflict and people with disabilities.

Equipped with these tools, I expect a productive summer where I hope to contribute to EPAF’s efforts in training future anthropology experts and to facilitate the organization’s goals in helping communities recover after violent conflict.

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In two days I will be boarding a flight to Lima, Peru to begin my work with the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF)<\/a>. EPAF is a non-profit organization that investigates human rights violations from the internal armed conflict that occurred in Peru in the years between 1980 and 2000. Using forensic science, EPAF aims to promote truth and justice for the victims of the conflict and their families, and prevent future instances of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, among other human rights abuses emerging in conflict situations.<\/span><\/p>

The main focus of my work with EPAF this summer will be to help the organization develop a profile of its Field School. Each year, EPAF leads a group of students from around the world to the Peruvian Andes and provides them training in forensic science and its application to human rights. The field school examines themes of justice, reconciliation, memory, gender, discrimination, and social and economic development.<\/span><\/p>

Although my knowledge of the field school is limited at this time, I am looking forward to attending the school, documenting its activities, profiling its participants, and supporting EPAF in the long-term planning and management of this program. At the same time, I anticipate challenges in building support behind events that grow forgotten as new conflicts and humanitarian crises demand funding and media attention. Yet I admire the work of the students and staff taking part in the school and I\u2019m excited to learn about the practice of forensic anthropology while documenting their experiences and sharing their work.<\/span><\/p>

My arrival in Lima will coincide with the visit of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances<\/a>. A delegation of the working group will be on an official mission in Peru from June 1-10 to collect information on cases of enforced disappearances and study the measures adopted by the Peruvian government and civil society in response to this issue. The working group experts will be meeting with EPAF staff and the families of the disappeared. I hope to report on these meetings during my first two weeks in the field.<\/span><\/p>

Over the last five days I have been training with The Advocacy Project team and a variety of guest speakers in Washington, D.C. I was also able to learn from the experiences, insights and questions of the other Peace Fellows. The training covered practical skills in filming and editing video, creating websites, fundraising, writing grant proposals, and using marketing and social media strategies, as well as broader discussions on the meanings of social change, the role of advocacy in community-based organizations, and the ethics and sensitivities involved when working with survivors of violent conflict and people with disabilities.<\/span><\/p>

Equipped with these tools, I expect a productive summer where I hope to contribute to EPAF\u2019s efforts in training future anthropology experts and to facilitate the organization\u2019s goals in helping communities recover after violent conflict.<\/span><\/p>\n”,”class”:””}]}[/content-builder]

Posted By Mariel Sanchez

Posted May 31st, 2015

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