Forensic Anthropology, Clyde Snow and Liliana Pereyra.

From 1974 to 1983 the military government in Argentina along with rightists decided to get rid of leftist intellectuals, politicians and anyone whom they thought was socialist. Thousands of people were tortured and killed. Their relatives could not trace them. They just disappeared (called Desaparecidos). The period is called as “Dirty War”.

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Liliana Pereyra was a 21 years old law student,  who disappeared sometime in October 1977. Her mother Coqui Pereyra was unable to trace her. Later she came to know that her daughter died in police shoot out and buried in a cemetery called El Praque.

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In 1985, American forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow was called by Argentinian Government to identify bodies of victims of dirty war, which were buried in various places.

Coqui Pereyra asked Snow to examine skeleton which she believed was of her daughter Liliana Pereyra. Snow went through Liliana’s dental and medical records and proved that skeleton was of Liliana.

Snow also proved that she was killed by shot gun from a very close range, the weapon was similar to one used by Argentine army personnel and she was pregnant during the time she was killed. Examination of pelvis showed that she had given birth to a child, because remains of child were not found along with her remains.

During trial of military junta, it was found that Liliana was not killed in police shootout. She was kidnapped by military and tortured by them at Naval Mechanics School; it was during torture she gave birth to a child. The child was later adopted by some army personnel. Post child birth she was shot dead and buried in cemetery.

Coqui hopes that one day she will be able to find that child.

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