The Salvadoran Legislative Assembly approved the making of a National DNA Data Bank. It was approved on the legislative plenary of Wednesday, January 20th.
“The regulations will allow creating a database with genetic profiles as a scientific tool to investigate and find the perpetrators of criminal acts. It will contain confidential information and be made up of data on convicted, accused, detained, evidence and background, victims disappeared, and their relatives.” Legislative Assembly.
The DNA bank will provide Salvadoran authorities a legal instrument to combat impunity by strengthening scientific research. Information obtained and generated following criminal cases will be systematized and stored.
According to the legislators, with the DNA bank, it will be possible to resolve cases where criminals are not convicted due to lack of evidence.
Deputy Patricia Valdivieso, promoter of the bank, expressed the following, “last week I learned that the Police receives 50 complaints of sexual violence against women per day. More than 90% of crimes for sexual violence go unpunished, and do you know the main reason for not solving a case with a conviction? The lack of a definitive test.” Valdivieso said.
Guillermo Gallegos from GANA expressed that this initiative will strengthen the Salvadoran justice system. “In our country, for the most part, the prerequisite of evidence is based on testimony, but in other countries that use scientific evidence such as DNA, it becomes irrefutable evidence.” Guillermo Gallegos.
According to the law approved this Wednesday, all collected data will be kept confidential and can only be accessed directly by the person or authority legally empowered to use the information.
The DNA bank will be directed by an Administrative Council composed of a delegate from the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR), a member of the Technical-Scientific Police Division of the National Civil Police (PNC), and a member of the Institute of Legal Medicine (IML). The council will establish the parameters and protocols for collecting, treatment, use, and conservation of genetic data.
The law also establishes penalties for disclosing or inappropriate use of genetic information, such as monetary fines and removal from office or employment.
All political parties represented in the Legislative branch endorsed the creation of the DNA bank.