Latin America and the Caribbean

ICMP has long-term programs in Chile and El Salvador designed to help these countries improve their institutional and technical capacity as well as civil society involvement in addressing substantial missing persons issues. Immediately after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, ICMP dispatched personnel to the country to develop a long-term missing persons identification strategy, and following a plane crash in central Cuba in 2010, ICMP provided an assessment of victim identification procedures at the request of the Cuban government. ICMP is also working with civil society activists and judicial authorities in northern Mexico on an initiative to develop an online database of missing persons.

In this section


Human rights violations occurred under Brazil’s military dictatorship between April 1964 and March 1985. A 1979 amnesty law protected perpetrators of political crimes committed for and against the regime. In February 2018, the first identification was announced as part of a multidisciplinary effort to identify opponents of the regime who had been interred in a […]

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In February 1991, the Chilean National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation released a report detailing human rights abuses resulting in deaths and disappearances during the years of military rule. According to the report, 2,296 people were murdered during the 17-year period. Subsequent estimates have put the number of missing as high as 3,400. Addressing the […]

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For more than 50 years, Colombia has endured an armed conflict that has claimed the lives of around 220,000 persons. According to the National Center for Historical Memory more than 80% of these victims were civilians. Human Rights Watch estimates that abuses and violence by armed groups displace 150,000 people each year, while five million Colombians […]

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On November 4, 2010, Aero Caribbean 7L883 crashed near the city of Guasimal in the province of Sancti Spiritus in Cuba. All 68 passengers and crew were killed. Responding to a request from the Cuban authorities for Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) assistance, an INTERPOL-ICMP assessment team arrived in Havana on November 11, 2010. The Cuban […]

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El Salvador

The conflict in El Salvador emerged from a decade of political volatility during which the military establishment confronted a largely landless agrarian population. The murder, by a right-wing death squad, of Archbishop Oscar Romero in March 1980 reflected the brutality that characterized the following decade. Unofficial estimates put the number of those who went missing […]

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In January 2010 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti left more than 300,000 people dead. The epicentre was close to the most populous city, the capital Port-au-Prince. Although international aid was quickly provided, the suddenness of the catastrophe and lack of infrastructure in the country led to a fragmented effort to locate those missing immediately […]

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The abduction of 43 students in the state of Guerrero in southwestern Mexico on 26 September 2014 focused worldwide attention on Mexico’s missing persons crisis. The case of the kidnapped students, which revealed a culture of close cooperation between the local political establishment and criminal gangs, apparently with the connivance of police, has been viewed […]

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