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Central America Forensic Program

Strengthening Forensic Capacity in Central America

ABA ROLI’s Program to Strengthen Forensics Capacity in El Salvador and Guatemala, is promoting greater coordination between forensics laboratories and other law enforcement agencies through the establishment and support of a forensics working group in each country to encourage regional cooperation. The program is also developing a regional evidentiary benchbook to provide a reference guide on resolving legal issues related to forensic evidence, the use of forensic evidence in trial, and a legal and analytical framework for evaluating evidence. ABA ROLI is standardizing and integrating processes and procedures within forensic laboratories to increase efficient and effective use of resources between forensic laboratories, police and prosecutors, and U.S. and regional experts are also conducting trainings for justice administrators on forensics-related topics, including crime scene protection, chain of custody, selection of expert witnesses and basic evidence-collection techniques. Teaching proper investigation methods will help ensure a successful prosecution, as well as accountability, transparency and due process.