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The ICRIME project, financed by the European Union, will improve forensic laboratories in this Central American country
A team of specialists from the Spanish Ministries of Justice and the Interior has been deployed and is working side by side with the National Forensic Sciences Service (NFSS) in Belize.
The activity is part of the project “Cooperation in Criminal Investigation in Central America to Combat Crime and Drug Trafficking at the International Level” (ICRIME) project. This project receives European funding and is coordinated by the SICA’s General Secretariat (SG-SICA). In addition, two of its components are managed by the FIIAPP.
For one week, work was carried out along three different lines, analysing the baseline situation and including the interests of the NFSS once possibilities for improvement were detected.
In the area of legal medicine, as well as detecting areas that needed improvement in the forensic pathology section, the team assessed the possibility of setting up a histopathology laboratory, since the current National Forensic Sciences Service does not yet perform this type of analysis.
In terms of laboratories, the team has been working with the toxicology service, which currently only tests for alcohol and drugs. Collaboration in this area is aimed at increasing the scope of expertise so they can meet all the requests from forensic doctors. Specialists in this area have applied the quality approach used for ISO accreditation that the laboratory is currently working on.
The final part of the project involved the ballistics laboratory, where the situation of the service was evaluated in relation to the comparative analysis, and a new area, trajectory analysis, was introduced. In this area, programme staff collaborated with the sub-directorate of ocular inspections, delivering joint training to both services, initially focusing on the theoretical fundamentals followed by practical training to reconstruct ballistic events at the crime scene.