Monthly Archives: February 2016

Daily World News Digest, 29 February 2016

Investigators exhume the nameless dead of Colombia’s half-century-long civil war

The Guardian reported on 26 February that as part of the peace process with Farc rebels, the search is under way, in places like La Macarena, for 45,000 who died without record during the conflict. As a deal to end Colombia’s half-century-long conflict nears, this lonely cemetery in a former rebel stronghold has become a hive of activity. The past two weeks, criminal investigators have been digging up the dead in hopes of identifying 464 people buried in unmarked paupers’ graves. Human rights groups applaud the effort but say the scope of Colombia’s bloodletting requires more resources. 

Madhya Pradesh: 60 women go missing daily, many abducted or pushed into trafficking

Hindustan Times carried a story on 28 February saying that the government of India’s central province Madhya Pradesh, admitted in the state assembly that as many as 26,997 cases…

Daily World News Digest, 26 February 2016

In Guatemala, military stands trial for sexual slavery

Al Jazeera America carried a story on 25 February saying that boxes containing the remains and personal effects of 48 people who were found in Tinajas were displayed in court on 8 February as part of the trial of soldiers accused of sex crimes during the country’s 36-year civil war. Forensic archaeologists cut open the boxes one by one and laid out their contents including bags with human bones found in the former military base at Finca Tinajas, in northeastern Guatemala. Acidic soil degraded the bones beyond possibility of identification. The trial marks Guatemala’s efforts to hold former military officials accountable for crimes committed during the war that left 45,000 missing persons.

Iraqi forces discover mass graves in Anbar province

Press TV, Iranian broadcasting service, reported today that Iraqi forces have uncovered a number of mass graves in Anbar province. The graves…

Daily World News Digest, 25 February 2016

Amnesty Report: Countries of the Balkans failed to protect victims of enforced disappearances

Balkan Insight carried a story on 24 February saying that the latest global report published by Amnesty International on Wednesday said that all the Balkan countries continued to struggle with human rights protection in 2015. Serbia was criticized for failing to recognize the right to compensation for victims of enforced disappearances. Bosnia and Herzegovina was criticized for lack of effective reparation system for war victims and their families. Croatia meanwhile failed to ratify the International Convention against Enforced Disappearances and to adopt a law on missing persons.

CMP delegation visits site at Afania where 100 missing persons are reportedly buried

Famagusta Gazette, a daily from Cyprus, reported on 24 February that a delegation of the Committee on Missing Persons visited a site at Afania village in the Turkish occupied areas where in the 1990s, the remains of…

Daily World News Digest, 24 February 2016

Cyprus to investigate Red Cross archives on missing

In-Cyprus news portal reported on 23 February that authorities aim to fully investigate information from the Red Cross archives as part of efforts to establish the fate of missing persons in Cyprus. Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues Photis Photiou said on Tuesday there is information in Red Cross archives relating in particular to the most terrible battles that took place and the collection of bodies from the battlefields, where most of the individuals still missing seem to have gone missing.” Red Cross archives are important and extensive since the organization was present during the Turkish invasion of 1974 when the battles were raging.

Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women no simple task

The Star, a news portal from Canada, reported on 23 February that the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will not be a timid affair, and nor…

Daily World News Digest, 23 February 2016

Colombia speeds up move to identify 28,000 bodies found dumped in unmarked graves

The Guardian carried a story today saying that Colombia is intensifying efforts to identify about 28,000 victims of the country’s civil war whose bodies were dumped in unmarked graves. In the coming weeks, judicial authorities will visit seven towns hit by decades of fighting and take testimony and blood samples from local residents to help forensic teams identify bodies. The chief prosecutor’s office said on Monday that over five years they have identified 897 of 1,017 bodies exhumed from unmarked graves in public cemeteries.

Vietnam to undertake DNA identification project for war victims

Enterprise Innovation, a business publication from Asia, carried a story today saying that the government of Vietnam has signed a contract with SMART Research BV for the provision of the Bonaparte DNA matching software system and associated support services. The procurement is part of…

Daily World News Digest, 22 February 2016

The woman trying to find all the world’s missing people

The daily digital magazine, Ozymandias, published an interview today with ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger. The interview describes the ICMP-led effort that made it possible to identify more than 70 percent of those who went missing as a result of the conflict in former Yugoslavia, an achievement characterized by Jeremy Sarkin, the former chair of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, as “particularly phenomenal”. Bomberger also discusses an initiative through which ICMP and the International Organization for Migration are seeking to address the issue of thousands of migrants who are going missing on the dangerous route across the Mediterranean to Europe.

Colombia’s search for the disappeared unearths 28,000 bodies

Telesur news portal reported on 21 February that after three years of searching, Colombian forensic scientists have found over 28,000 unidentified bodies buried across the country, and the search…

Daily World News Digest, 19 February 2016

ICTY to unveil Karadzic verdict on 24 March

Yahoo News reported on 18 February that after seven years behind bars, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will finally learn next month whether judges have found him guilty of some of Europe’s worst atrocities since World War II. The complex trial was beset by delays due to Karadzic’s ill-health and dragged on as it heard from more than 585 witnesses called for both sides. Karadzic, 70, is notably accused of genocide for his alleged role in the Srebrenica massacre. He also faces charges related to the sniping and shelling committed during the 44-month-long siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

At least 100 bodies found in sewer system under Colombian prison

CNN reported on 18 February that Colombian authorities are investigating the disappearance and dismemberment of at least 100 people whose bodies were allegedly thrown into a sewer system underneath a…

Daily World News Digest, 18 February 2016

DNA evidence helps secure criminal conviction

Eyewitness News from South Africa reported on 17 February that three men, Carrington Laughton and two policemen brothers, Carel and David Ranger, have been convicted of killing a mother-of-three almost 17 years ago. Judgment follows a four-year investigation and a two-year legal battle. Ketani had been stabbed and then kidnapped from a hospital by the three men. Judge Natvarlal Ranchod accepted DNA results sent from the International Commission on Missing Persons in Bosnia, as well as handwriting analysis, and evidence from three accomplice witnesses. The victim’s body was never been found and the motive for her murder remains unknown.

Egypt to shut prominent center that documents torture

The BBC reported today that Egypt has ordered the closure of the country’s last remaining center for the treatment and documentation of alleged torture victims. Officials have said the prominent El Nadeem center had breached unspecified…

Daily World News Digest, 17 February 2016

Number of murdered or missing indigenous women in Canada “may be as high as 4,000”

The Telegraph reported today that the number of missing or murdered native women in Canada may be as high as 4,000, with the government admitting the “tragedy is much wider” than previously thought. Canada’s minister of indigenous affairs on Tuesday accused police of failing to investigate possibly thousands of murders of indigenous women that their families say were wrongly classified as suicide, accidental death or by natural cause. Canada’s minister for the status of women, Patty Hajdu, said that the research from the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) indicated the toll was about 4,000.

Refugees are going missing at the Greece-Macedonia border

Newsweek, a weekly from the US, carried a story on 16 February saying that tighter restrictions on the Greece-Macedonia border are leading to refugees slipping off the authorities’ radar, according to experts…

Daily World News Digest, 16 February 2016

Counting the missing migrants

The Wall Street Journal reported on 15 February that last year the International Organization for Migration tallied a record number of 5,350 migrants reported missing or dead on the world’s many migratory routes. The real figure is probably much higher because many migrant deaths are never recorded. ICMP and IOM have joined forces to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the missing migrant and refugee situation in the Mediterranean region. IOM and ICMP propose to deploy ICMP’s Identification Database Management System to process missing persons data systematically. Dual objective is to reinforce the capacity of countries of arrival to meet their mandatory obligations to families of the missing, and to repatriate the remains of the missing to countries of origin.

Spain: Victim’s daughter case opens the past

The BBC carried a story on 15 February saying that Ascension Mendieta had to wait more than 76 years and travel…