Established during the Guatemalan Peace Process, the Oslo Accord contemplates the
question of compensating the victims of internal armed conflict. Not only was this accord
founded on the principles of victims rights, but it also intends to contribute to the
democratic reconstruction of Guatemalan society through a process of recognition of
victims status and memory – intended to have a reconciling function. The article focuses
on the work of two organisations implementing the Oslo Accord and aims to analyse the
discourses and practices of the local actors and their perception of the application of
victims rights. Civil society actors and members of the National Compensation Programme
demonstrate different approaches both in practical work and in representations of what is
right. However, revendication of local cultural values is present in all actors discourse,
revealing their ambiguous position in regard to state government.
T.K. Ralebitso-Senior, T.J.U. Thompson, and H.E. Carney
In the mid-1990s, the crime scene toolkit was revolutionised by the introduction of
DNA-based analyses such as the polymerase chain reaction, low copy number DNA analysis,
short-tandem repeat typing, pulse-field gel electrophoresis and variable number tandem
repeat. Since then, methodological advances in other disciplines, especially molecular
microbial ecology, can now be adapted for cutting-edge applications in forensic contexts.
Despite several studies and discussions, there is, however, currently very little evidence
of these techniques adoption at the contemporary crime scene. Consequently, this article
discusses some of the popular omics and their current and potential exploitations in the
forensic ecogenomics of body decomposition in a crime scene. Thus, together with published
supportive findings and discourse, knowledge gaps are identified. These then justify the
need for more comprehensive, directed, concerted and global research towards
state-of-the-art microecophysiology method application and/or adaptation for subsequent
successful exploitations in this additional context of microbial forensics.
Since the early 1990s, armed actors have invaded territories in the Chocó and Antioquia
departments of Colombia, inhabited by Afro-Colombians and Indians whose collective rights
in these territories had recently been legally recognised. Based on long-term fieldwork
among the Emberá Katío, this article examines social, cosmological and ritual alterations
and re-organisation around violent death. Following a national policy of post-conflict
reparations, public exhumations and identifications of human remains reveal new local
modes of understanding and administration. In particular, suicide, hitherto completely
unknown to the Emberá, broke out in a multitude of cases, mostly among the youth. Local
discourse attributes this phenomenon to the number of stray corpses resulting from the
violence, who are transformed into murderous spirits which shamans can no longer control.
The analysis focusses on the unprecedented articulation of a renewed eschatology, the
intricate effects of an internal political reorganisation and the simultaneous inroad into
their space of new forms of armed insurrectional violence. Thus the article will shed
light on the emergence of a new transitional moral economy of death among the Emberá.