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DNA, the living memory of the victims of the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner

"Who would believe that if donás a drop of blood go to find your dad gone 40 years ago?", he wondered Silvia Beatriz Potenza, daughter of the librarian of Con

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DNA, the living memory of the victims of the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner

"Who would believe that if donás a drop of blood go to find your dad gone 40 years ago?", he wondered Silvia Beatriz Potenza, daughter of the librarian of Congress argentine José Agustín Potenza, to whom the Police paraguayan and uruguayan kidnapped her along to the militant italoargentina Rafaela Filipazzi in the hotel Hermitage of Montevideo, in June of 1977. Their remains were found in a police station in Asunción, where both were tortured before they die. Silvia remained silent when they called in 2017 to tell him that his father had been identified in Paraguay. This story, as well as three other identifications made in Paraguay would not have been possible without the work that, since 2006, carried out from the direction of the Historical Memory of the ministry of Justice of paraguay, next to the Argentinean Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF). An effort that resulted Wednesday in the presentation in the Assumption of the first genetic profile of the paraguayan population.

"it Is a historic breakthrough and wide-ranging scientist. It is momentous to have this profile of the population," says the director of Redress and Historical Memory Rogelio Goiburu, son of the militant opposition to the regime of Alfredo Stroessner (1954-1989) Agustin Goiburu, disappeared in 1977. In search of the whereabouts of his father, Rogelio coordinated a team of search and identification of persons detained, disappeared and extrajudicially executed that has already located and recovered 37 skeletal remains of at least 425 cases that occurred during the dictatorship, the longest in South America, documented by the Commission of Truth and Justice.

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The identification of the skeletal remains exhumed is performed by comparing the genetic profile of bone with the base of genetic profiles of the population. The new map now opens the possibility to perform calculations of probability, statistics, something very useful to investigate crimes complex, sexual crimes, and judgments of filiation. "With this, we demonstrate that, in spite of the meagre resources given to us by the State, we can accomplish these important things for the country. We believe that this will encourage many people to support the cause of recover memory", highlights Goiburu, medical training.

The genetic profile obtained will serve also for the follow-up of organ transplantation, especially bone marrow, and for research on the ethnic origins of the paraguayan population.

The hidden history underground

"Look bones, and give it identity. Give the history that is hidden under the earth, as the bones. It is looking to the future knowing what happened in Paraguay, and that democracy is strengthened", expressed Goiburu. Filipazzi, Potenza, Miguel Angel Soler and Cástulo Vera Baez were the first four identified and returned to their relatives, thanks to the taking of blood samples. They make up the list of at least 50,000 people murdered, 30,000 of missing and an estimated 400,000 prisoners during the term of the Plan Condor, designed by Latin american dictatorships in the seventies to kill those who fought against them and were hiding in other countries, as is documented in the archives of Terror, a summary of the documents that the police of paraguay had in Asunción.

A gene map allows you to, by definition, know the genetic makeup and ancestry of a population. In the case of Paraguay, the results found that has a 86% maternal DNA origin american indian, the highest proportion compared with other countries in the region such as Argentina (between 40 and 65%) or Uruguay (22%), although lower than in Bolivia, where it reaches 99%. So he told the director of the Laboratory of Forensic Genetics of EEAF, Carlos Vullo, during the presentation of the results of the profile made of 550 blood samples from men of mother paraguay from different regions of the country. The work also shows that in Paraguay the DNA inherited from the men, through the y chromosome, is in a 66.3% of european origin, 14.7% eurasian, 13.8% black, and 5.2% american.

Vullo noted that the results have served for the preparation of four scientific articles, one of them already posted, and said that others are to come. The scientific argentine made the presentation accompanied by the minister of Justice of Paraguay, Julio Javier Rios, the president of the EAAF, Luis Fonderbrider, of Goiburu and attorney's Santiago Gonzalez Bibolini.

Fonderbrider called on people whose relatives are still missing to come close to the Direction of Historical Memory to continue the search. "It has been a long time and we don't know where the people live, we need the other part, which the family closer together," said Fonderbrider.

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