“Using forensic science to identify the ‘Disappeared’ victims of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile”
Contact: Paula Olsen, email@example.com
Where and when: Morgan Room, Aiken Hall, 12:30 p.m.
About this discussion: During the 1973-1990 right-wing dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, many activists, students, and other suspected “subversives” were forcibly disappeared: arrested without charge, often tortured, killed, and buried in secret locations. In Chile as in many other countries, an important part of the transition back to democratic rule is the attempt to locate the graves of these victims of state violence, gather evidence of the crimes committed against them, and identify their bodies so that their loved ones can bury them with dignity. For decades, forensic scientists have used bones, teeth, clothing, and DNA samples to identify Chile’s Disappeared; in 2006, however, it was revealed that a high percentage of the remains returned to relatives had been misidentified. The resulting scandal not only caused tremendous suffering for families of the Disappeared; it also called into question the ability of Chile’s new democracy to manage a complex scientific process as well as its commitment to human rights. Professor Rosenblatt will discuss the results of recent interviews with scientists, families of victims, government ministers, and human rights activists in Chile, focusing on the crucial relationship between moral and scientific authority in the transition from dictatorship to democracy.
Wednesday, February 27 — Dr. Betsy Beaulieu — “Motherhood-Identity-Freedom: Harriet Jacobs’ Story.”
To volunteer for a brown bag talk, please contact Paula Olsen, firstname.lastname@example.org