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Unearthing Truth: Forensic Anthropology, Translocal Memory, and "Provention" in Guatemala

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Mazzucelli, Colette G.; Heyden, Dylan P.

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Abstract This article deliberately examines the search for truth after decades of conflict in Guatemala. Excavations of mass gravesites and the painstaking exhumation processes carried out by professional forensic anthropology teams continue to allow families to locate lost relatives - reclaiming truth and supporting calls for justice. For Guatemalans, the search for truth now transcends national borders, especially among migrant communities in the United States. The family remains the central unit through which the work of Guatemalan forensic anthropologists is undertaken. In an effort to engender deeper insights about these exhumation processes from a social science perspective, this analysis promotes the use of specific "tools" in Guatemalan forensic anthropology investigations. The first is an exhumations concept map, which yields important questions meant to stimulate meaningful analysis. The second, Story Maps, is a technology application with the potential to mediate digital access to the emerging Guatemalan translocal space. The research in this analysis suggests that these "tools" strengthen Burton's notion of "provention" in Guatemala. (author's abstract)
Keywords Guatemala; massacre; civil war; political conflict; genocide; ethnic conflict; history politics; collective memory; anthropology; conflict mediation; post-war society
Classification Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy; Criminal Sociology, Sociology of Law
Free Keywords Wahrheitskommission; Exhumierung
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 42-52
Journal Politics and Governance, 3 (2015) 3
Issue topic Mass Atrocity Prevention (Part I)
ISSN 2183-2463
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution