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Marco Aurelio Guimarães, Raffaela Arrabaça Francisco, Sergio Britto Garcia, Martin Evison, Maria Eliana Castro Pinheiro, Iara Xavier Pereira, Diva Santana and Julie Alvina Guss Patrício

Truth commissions are widely recognised tools used in negotiation following political repression. Their work may be underpinned by formal scientific investigation of human remains. This paper presents an analysis of the role of forensic investigations in the transition to democracy following the Brazilian military governments of 1964–85. It considers practices during the dictatorship and in the period following, making reference to analyses of truth commission work in jurisdictions other than Brazil, including those in which the investigation of clandestine burials has taken place. Attempts to conceal the fate of victims during the dictatorship, and the attempts of democratic governments to investigate them are described. Despite various initiatives since the end of the military government, many victims remain unidentified. In Brazil, as elsewhere, forensic investigations are susceptible to political and social influences, leading to a situation in which relatives struggle to obtain meaningful restitution and have little trust in the transitional justice process.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Melanie Klinkner

In the aftermath of conflict and gross human rights violations, victims have a right to know what happened to their loved ones. Such a right is compromised if mass graves are not adequately protected to preserve evidence, facilitate identification and repatriation of the dead and enable a full and effective investigation to be conducted. Despite guidelines for investigations of the missing, and legal obligations under international law, it is not expressly clear how these mass graves are best legally protected and by whom. This article asks why, to date, there are no unified mass-grave protection guidelines that could serve as a model for states, authorities or international bodies when faced with gross human rights violations or armed conflicts resulting in mass graves. The paper suggests a practical agenda for working towards a more comprehensive set of legal guidelines to protect mass graves.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Jose López Mazz

This article will describe the contemporary scientific techniques used to excavate and identify the dead bodies of disappeared detainees from the Uruguayan dictatorship. It will highlight the developments that have led to increased success by forensic anthropologists and archaeologists in uncovering human remains, as well as their effects, both social and political, on promoting the right to the truth and mechanisms of transitional justice.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Roxana Ferllini

This article presents an account of the involvement of forensic anthropology in the investigation of human rights abuses in the modern era, and the difficulties it faces with respect to lack of adequate funding, volatile settings, the presence of unexploded ordnance, corruption in governmental agencies and a lack of good will, absence of support for NGOs and the curtailment of formal judicial proceedings to effect transitional justice. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Spain, Mexico and the Northern Triangle are provided as regional examples of the problems encountered when attempting to conduct forensic anthropological investigations to locate mass graves, retrieve victims and obtain proper identifications. Interventions by various organisations are highlighted to illustrate their assistance to forensic and non-forensic individuals through technical support, training and mentoring in the areas of crime-scene management and identification techniques. Interventions in mass-grave processing when state agencies have failed, the importance of DNA banks and information from family members and witnesses are also presented.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Missing persons and colonial skeletons in South Africa
Nicky Rousseau

8 Identification, politics, disciplines: missing persons and colonial skeletons in South Africa1 Nicky Rousseau Locating, exhuming, and identifying human remains associated with mass violence and genocide has come to occupy an impor­tant place in the panoply of transitional justice measures. Although such work cuts across the core transitional justice issues of justice, reparation and truth-telling, it has received surprisingly little critical attention from within the transitional justice field.2 Existing studies, with some exception, can be characterized by

in Human remains and identification
Integrative concepts for a criminology of mass violence
Jon Shute

transitional justice is possible, corpses may be used in the service of re-moralizing post-conflict society, whether evidentially in forensic settings, or symbolically in commemorative rituals and sites. In societies that experience no or inadequate transitional justice, the absence or attentional neglect of the corpse may act as a focal point for continued and contested moral discourse, often many years after the original conflict. This brief sketch has been intended to make two points: first, that all serious crime entails significant moral–emotional ‘work’, both in the

in Human remains and mass violence
Contested narratives of the independence struggle in postconfl ict Timor-Leste
Henri Myrttinen

international transitional justice efforts.5 The independence struggle began after the Carnation Revolution in Portugal in 1974, when the territory which had been Portuguese Timor for around four centuries was thrust into a series of cataclysmic events. The brief period of rapid decolonisation led to a brief but bitter civil war in 1975, followed by the proclamation of independence. This proclamation was made under the shadow of a looming Indonesian invasion, and nine days later the morning calm over the capital city Dili was shattered by the growl of Indonesian air force

in Governing the dead
Open Access (free)
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

turned the exhumation of bodies into a political struggle, human rights campaigners who see it as an important tool of transitional justice,11 forensic scientists working for international organisations, national institutions –​such as the police or army –​or non-​governmental organisations, people living near sites of disinterments or reinterments, victims’ families and media representatives. The exhumation of the mass graves from the Franco era in Spain seems to provide the most highly developed example of these groupings,12 where a part of public space has been

in Human remains in society
Open Access (free)
The bodyand counter-revolutionary warfare inapartheid South Africa
Nicky Rousseau

’, History and Theory, 45:3 (2006), 337–48; Bruno Latour, ‘How to talk about the body: the normative dimensions of science study’, Body and Society, 10:2–3 (2004), 205–29; Ciraj Rassool, ‘Bone memory and the disciplines of the dead: human remains, transitional justice and heritage transformation’, available at www.worddocx.com (accessed 1 December 2012). 5/15/2014 12:51:27 PM 222  Nicky Rousseau 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 DHR.indb 222 ‘Jack’ Cronje, TRC Amnesty Hearing, Pretoria, 21 October 1999, testi

in Destruction and human remains
Open Access (free)
Corpses and mass violence: an inventory of the unthinkable
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

growing number of monographs13 have brought into focus the fact that while it has been possible to study some genocides soon after the event, other instances of mass violence have had to wait for a favourable political context to emerge, along with freer access to archives, before they could be documented. These studies draw on the approaches of such varied disciplines as law, history, political science and anthro­pol­ogy, and focus on questions as wide-ranging as the mechanisms of decision,14 the definition of victims,15 transitional justice16 and the memory of mass

in Human remains and mass violence