The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says that Colombia should use alternative, cheaper methods to identify bodies other than DNA testing, reports Terra.
“Colombian law is very clear in this sense, although there are other anthropological methods that can in a reliable manner ensure the identification of a body,” said Christophe Beney, the ICRC’s delegate in Colombia.
The official praised Colombia’s work to combat violence, with the ratification in October of a U.N. convention against forced disappearance, which allows families of the disappeared to seek justice through international courts.
Beney also highlighted the number of unidentified bodies that there are in the country, and recommended that Colombia improve its procedures for collecting and conserving data on these corpses. He argued that DNA testing should be a last resort, when conclusive results cannot be found
In November a survey to determine the number of unidentified corpses found by authorities in Colombia returned a count of 10,084, with more than half of the country’s municipalities yet to report their figures
According to an annual report issued by Colombia’s forensics agency, Medicina Legal, over 18,200 Colombians went missing in 2009. In October 2010, a government official announced there are over 50,000 missing people in Colombia.