News from CEXS-UPF
The civil war in El Salvador ended in 1992, with the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords. Despite great strides towards peace and democracy, the country still faces the challenge of solving the consequences of the war, in addition to the new challenges of daily crime and violence that threaten social and economic development.
"Genetics are a very powerful tool both to identify genetic remnants and to generate a network of affiliations between relatives and missing persons", says Celia Yanira Vanegas, who is professor and researcher at the University of El Salvador (UES). She adds that an average of eleven people die each day at the hands of crime acts in her country. Vanegas is currently in Barcelona making a stay at UPF to learn how to use genomic sequencing methods in the company of Tania Cuadra, a professor at the UES. The head of the UPF Genomics Core Facilities, Ferran Casals, and his team have accompanied both researchers to train them in the latest advances in genetic analysis. "We are very happy to collaborate in this work, which we hope will be a first step towards the creation of a bank of genetic profiles for the identification of missing persons in El Salvador," says Casals.
Vanegas and Cuadra knew about Casals's work on identifying the remains of the Spanish civil war and thanks to the collaboration of the UPF Solidària program, they have been able to make a ten-day stay in the city of Barcelona. This contributes to the collaborative work of the university with Pro-Búsqueda, a non-profit organization that investigates cases of disappearance (especially of minors) that occurred during the armed conflict in El Salvador. One of the initiatives of Pro-Búsqueda is the creation of a bank of genetic profiles of missing persons.