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October 18, 1995

Forensic Scientists Helping Haiti Heal

JAMA. 1995;274(15):1181-1182. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530150007002

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ON A BEACH under the blistering Haitian sun, an international team of forensic anthropologists began to scrape away the sand and debris they hoped was hiding the remains of one of the dozen or so people who were killed there by the country's armed forces in April 1994.

They were led to this spot by a resident of Roboteau, a seaside shantytown in Gonaives, a 4-hour drive north of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

The man described how the police made members of the community swim out into the bay and tie ropes around three corpses that were not washed out to sea, tow them to the beach, and bury them in two shallow graves.

The investigators, Mercedes (Mimi) Doretti, and Luis Fonderbrider, PhD, two of the founding members of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, and Federico Reyes and Mariana Valdizon, of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Team, are veterans of similar

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