The federal government will create a laboratory for human identification at the National Institute of Genomic Medicine

National Institute of Genomic Medicine
National Institute of Genomic Medicine

The Mexican government will develop the creation of the laboratory for human identification in it National Institute of Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN) to face the forensic crisis that exists in the country and power “promote the application of scientific capabilities for the identification of complex samples”.

This according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health and the Undersecretary of Human Rights, Population and Migration where it is detailed that the main objective of said space is:

“Having the technological equipment, human capacities, protocols and the necessary certifications to be able to analyze deteriorated bone remains that are difficult to identify.”

At the same time, the authorities expressed that with this scientific independence and international credibility are sought so that it is not necessary to send the complex identification samples abroad.

It should be noted that recently (early this year) an agreement was reached that researchers from one of the most prestigious institutions in the field (the Institute of Legal Medicine of the Medical University of Innsbruck, based in Austria) provide forensic identification training to INMEGEN specialists.

With that, two training stays were given in Innsbruck, as well as thetechnical support at INMEGEN to adapt the processes and the necessary infrastructure to carry out the analysis of human remains.


Thus, two Mexican researchers attached to INMEGEN were at the Institute of Legal Medicine of the Medical University of Innsbruck between May 1 and 16, where they were trained by Walther Parson (molecular biologist) and his team.

It should be noted that the laboratory of said expert focuses both on the human identification in the context of legal proceedingsas well as the study of ancient human remains of anthropological interest.

In recent years, the situation that the country is going through in terms of missing persons and not located in Mexico has been unearthed, like the bodies of clandestine graves.

(Photo: EFE/ Daniel Sánchez)
(Photo: EFE/ Daniel Sánchez)

Today, Mexico accumulates more than 100 thousand people whose whereabouts are unknown. Added to this is the forensic crisis: it is estimated that in the country there are more than 52 thousand unidentified peopleand according to a report published by the UN Committee on Enforced DisappearancesIt is not because the remains of these people are not wanted, but because government institutions have not been able to address the situation.

In fact, according to several experts interviewed by the Committee against Enforced Disappearances of the United Nations (UN), under current conditions it would take 120 years to identify the human remains, without counting the new bodies that are added every day.

Given this, an urgent request was made to the Mexican government to speed up care measures.

And it is that, as has been pointed out by groups searching for missing persons spread throughout the country, this figure could be much higher than that presented by the authorities.

These same groups, which in most cases are formed independently, have denounced that they have had to return samples of genetic material up to five times, after improper registration or loss in the hands of the authorities.

Within the report, the deficiencies of the registration system were also exhibited: information incomplete, outdated and lacking in relevant data (such as the date of entry of the deceased persons, their origin, place of discovery, bodies identified and delivered or not to the families and their location).


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