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Guatemalan researcher Fredy Peccerelli has been honoured with a human-rights award at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle this week.

A forensic anthropologist, Peccerelli has spent most of the past decade exhuming bodies from mass graves – the legacy of Guatemala's 35 years of conflict.

By determining the cause of death and matching the remains with details of those who have disappeared, Peccerelli's team helps to inform government officials charged with investigating human-rights violations. But his work has also brought him death threats, and members of his team have been threatened at gunpoint.

Link to full news story in Nature

Reference: Nature 427, 664 (2004)