Isabel Beltrán-Gil1, María Alexandra Lopez-Cerquera2, Linda Guadalupe Reyes Muñoz3, Sandra Ivette Sedano Rios4, Nuvia Montserrat Maestro Martínez4, and Diana Newberry Franco5
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  • 1 Grupo de Investigaciones en Antropología Social y Forense
  • | 2 University of Tennessee
  • | 3 Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • | 4 Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia
  • | 5 Southwestern College
Forensic treatment and human identification in the age of COVID-19
Difficulties and challenges for the forensic medical system in Mexico
in Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal

As a result of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, in 2020 forensic institutions in Mexico began using extreme measures in the treatment of bodies of confirmed or suspected cases, due to possible infection. A series of national protocols on how to deal with the virus were announced, yet forensic personnel have struggled to apply these, demonstrating the country’s forensics crisis. This article aims to reflect on two points: (1) the impact that COVID-19 protocols have had on how bodies confirmed as or suspected of being infected with the virus are handled in the forensic medical system; and (2) the particular treatment in cases where the body of the victim is unidentified, and the different effects the pandemic has had in terms of the relationship between the institutional environment and the family members of those who have died as a result of infection, or suspected infection, from COVID-19.

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