Recent innovations in science and technology have provided human rights advocates, journalists, and scientists with new tools to expose war crimes and other serious violations of human rights and to disseminate this information in real time throughout the world.
The Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley is pleased to showcase these recent developments and push new frontiers of applied research.
Luis Fondebrider is an Argentine forensic anthropologist, co-founder and current president of the the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), an international human rights organization founded in 1984 with headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina and a span of work across 40 countries.
Through the application of forensic anthropology and archaeology, genetics, and related sciences, and in collaboration with victims' relatives and investigative bodies, EAAF sheds light human rights violations, thus contributing to the search for truth, justice, reparation, and prevention of further violations. Team members serve as expert witnesses, technical consultants, and train forensic experts to continue work in their own countries.
Luis specializes in the historical investigation of cases of political violence, archaeological exhumation of individual and mass graves, and analysis of human remains in order to identify them and to help to establish the cause of death.
In addition, he also teaches forensic anthropology at the annual course of Legal Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires.
Lance Gima has been a practicing Criminalist for almost 34 years, working for the CA Department of Justice until his retirement in May of this year. He has been very active in drafting legislation, several of which have become law.
Lance and his colleague, Dr. Cristian Orrego founded a volunteer organization called the Alliance of Forensic Scientists for Human Rights and Humanitarian Investigations.
Lance is a member of the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center Advisory Board and has partnered with the Physicians for Human Rights on a project utilizing DNA technology to reunite families separated in El Salvador's civil war.
Lance has served on Chile's Presidential Commission on DNA established to assist Chile in identifying the human remains of the "disappeared." Currently Lance is working with Chile's Forensic Genetics Laboratory to prepare them for accreditation.
Ute Hofmeister is the Forensic Advisor at the Assistance Division of the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), based in Geneva. Since 1995 she has worked internationally as forensic specialist for international organizations and for local teams in a variety of contexts - mainly in Latin America and the Balkans - in the field of human rights and humanitarian applications of forensic anthropology, before joining the ICRC in 2005.
Ute Hofmeister has specialized in forensic archaeology, documentation and management of forensic data. She has developed data management applications for forensic anthropology and investigations into Missing Person for the EAAF (Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team) and ICMP (International Commission on Missing Persons).
Among other things, she is currently responsible for the ICRC's data management tool for forensic investigations and human identification especially for post conflict and developing country contexts.
Dr. Thomas Parsons is Director of Forensic Services at the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), a position he has held since. He has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the ICMP since 2000, and in 2005 was appointed Chairman of the ICMP Steering Committee on Forensic Sciences.
Before joining ICMP, Dr. Parsons was Chief Scientist at the U.S. Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), where he had worked since 1994, and where one of his primary roles was to direct the AFDIL Research Section. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Genetics and the Department of Forensic Sciences at the George Washington University.
Since September 2001, Dr. Parsons has served on a (U.S.) National Institute of Justice expert advisory panel for the World Trade Center DNA identification efforts, and is currently a member of the expert panel advising on DNA identification for the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
His undergraduate degree was in Physics from the University of Chicago, and he received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in 1989.
Eric Stover is Faculty Director of the Human Rights Center and Adjunct Professor of Law and Public Health at UC Berkeley. In the early 1990s, Stover took part in conducting the first research on the social and medical consequences of land mines in Cambodia and other post-war countries. During the wars in Croatia and Bosnia, he served on several medico-legal investigations as an "Expert on Mission" to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. He conducted a survey of mass graves throughout Rwanda for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1995.
His most recent books include A Village Destroyed, May 14, 1999: War Crimes in Kosovo. (with Fred Abrahams and Gilles Peress); My Neighbor, My Enemy: Justice and Community in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocity (edited, with Harvey Weinstein); and The Witnesses: War Crimes and the Promise of Justice in The Hague.