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Media Advisory

DNA update on El Salvador war orphans

20 December 2006

ATTENTION: Higher education, Latino affairs, international, national and local news reporters and editors

Contact: Yasmin Anwar, Media Relations
(510) 643-7944 yanwar@berkeley.edu

A press conference announcing DNA results that confirm the parentage of Angela Fillingim, a young woman adopted by a Berkeley family during El Salvador's bloody 1980-1992 civil war. Fillingim is one of hundreds of young Salvadoran-born adults who have provided DNA samples to a database developed by the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and the California Department of Justice in hopes of tracking down their biological families.

Untold numbers of babies and youngsters were snatched by Salvadoran soldiers or otherwise separated from their families during military sweeps to wipe out leftist guerilla sympathizers during the armed conflict. Fillingim, who has just returned from El Salvador, will talk about meeting her biological family for the first time and share photographs of her extraordinary visit.

Tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 21, 10 a.m.

Human Rights Center, 460 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley. See a campus map at: http://www.berkeley.edu/map/

In addition to Angela Fillingim, speakers will include Eric Stover, director of the Human Rights Center, who also has just returned from El Salvador and will give an update on the DNA Reunification Project; and forensic mathematician Charles Brenner, who has worked on the database for the state Department of Justice.