Adaptation of the Weldon Spring protocol as a proposal for the search for cadavers and evidence in protected natural areas and areas of ecological conservation in Mexico City

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Lorena Caballero Valencia
Erica Itzel Landa Juárez


The institutions responsible for administrating and providing justice in Mexico City lack the methodology, techniques, protocols, and highly trained personnel to carry out the search for disappeared persons. Neither a structure nor organization exist to carry out this work. To avoid continuing to act solely empirically, we decided to propose a model for searching for human remains and surface evidence. We took as a guide the knowledge and experience of the Weldon Spring protocol, which was created, adopted and applied in the United States for cases of mass disasters. The adaptation of this protocol to Mexico City is focused on the protected natural areas and areas of ecological conservation, since they are the zones where human bodies are most likely deposited, a product of crimes carried out by urban organized crime groups. Those areas are located in the higher and more remote parts of the city, and in addition they lack illumination, modes of transportation, public services and security; and they constitute 23.7% of the land under conservation. With this model we stress the importance of developing solid work team; knowledge of natural areas and how urban organized crime is constituted; and the need to carry out prospecting remotely and on foot. It is also important to create a route organized in transect lines and to consider the social and economic impact of using current technological tools to geo-reference the site and the implementation of index cards to register events.

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