Every year, migrants crossing into the U.S. die in the desert borderlands. More often than not, when and if the bodies are recovered, their identity remains a mystery.
Meanwhile in the countries from which they came, families are also left with many unanswered questions. Did they make it? Are they okay? Are they alive? Encompassing forensic scientists, scholars, and human rights partner organizations, part of the Forensic Border Coalition's mission is to answer those questions.
The FBC will be heard by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder, Colorado to address problems identifying “missing” migrant remains found along the border.
The FBC is supported by 46 different human rights entities on and along both sides of the border. One of which is Colibrí Center for Human Rights, based here in Tucson, which uses forensic anthropology to try to make those matches and provide closure to the families of the deceased.
A large-scale comparison— comparing all available DNA information from relatives of missing migrants against all DNA data from unidentified remains found on U.S. soil, has not been done. The FBC will be arguing for the creation of a formalized process to allow such large-scale comparisons, which should yield a significant number of matches and identifications, allowing hundreds, if not thousands, of families to finally know the fate of their missing loved ones.