President’s Message—June 2019

Sources: Zeno Geradts, PhD, AAFS President and Jeri-Ropero-Miller, PhD, AAFS President-Elect

AAFS President Zeno Geradts and President-Elect Jeri Ropero-Miller traveled to São Paulo and Brasilia, Brazil, May 19–30, as part of a 22-member delegation for the International Educational Outreach Program (IEOP) in Forensic Science. Accreditation & Outreach Coordinator Nancy Jackson organized the trip in collaboration with the AAFS association academy, Brazilian Academy of Forensic Science. 

With more than 1,500 participants at the interFORENSICS, many of our delegates made presentations. Past President Barry Logan spoke about the AAFS during the Plenary Session, and President Geradts addressed Artificial Intelligence in forensic science. Jeri Ropero-Miller made a presentation on Hair Drug Testing during a Special Session.

We addressed the House of Parliament and the Brazilian public during a Special Plenary Session called by First Secretary of the Chamber of Deputies (i.e., National Congress, similar to the House of Representatives), Soraya Santos, to discuss crimes against women and how our countries and scientific organizations can unite to confront punishment for corruption in government, violent crimes, and criminal organizations. We joined numerous members of Congress to discuss shared visions and ideas for a stronger collaboration in the field of DNA databases, as well as digital evidence.

We presented to Justice and Public Security Minister, Sergio Moro, shared topics of crime and forensic investigations for which the AAFS and Brazil have an ongoing collaboration, including in-country Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) DNA database implementation, a national firearms database, and digital evidence and big data analytics to solve crimes.

Additionally, we visited three branches of Brazil’s government: the Executive Branch (Palácio Do Planalto), the Legislative Branch (the National Congress), and the Judicial Power (Supreme Federal Court), and toured four legal medicine and crime laboratory facilities to share procedures and operational knowledge among multiple country representatives.

AAFS President Zeno Geradts, First Secretary of the Chamber of Deputies Soraya Santos, AAFS President-Elect Jeri Ropero-Miller, and President of the Brazilian Academy of Forensic Sciences and President of the interFORENSICS Conference João Ambrósio at the Special Congressional Plenary Session concerning AAFS Collaborations with Brazil and Crimes Against Women.

AAFS President-Elect Jeri Ropero-Miller, Minister Moro, President Zeno Geradts, and Joao Morrison.

2019 AAFS International Educational Outreach Program Delegation at the Brazil Supreme Federal Court (Brasilia, Brazil).

2019 AAFS International Educational Outreach Program Delegation at the Polícia Científica (São Paulo, Brazil).