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MEXICO: Donovan Tavera, Mexico's only forensic cleaner

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Donovan using one of the 370 customized formulas which he has devised to carry out a forensic cleaning in Iztacalco, Mexico on October 16, 2015. The decomposed body of a man in his 60s was found in his bedroom a number of days after he died of a heart attack – although the deceased's own family members were unsure exactly how long he had been there. The victim's family remarked that the police had made unfounded insinuations against them, and had sought bribes. As a result they found Donovan's discretion and professionalism to be a welcome contrast. Donovan Tavera, 43, is the director of “Limpieza Forense México”, the country’s first and so far the only government-accredited forensic cleaning company. Since 2000, Tavera, a self-taught forensic technician, and his family have offered services to clean up homicides, unattended death, suicides, the homes of compulsive hoarders and houses destroyed by fire or flooding. Despite rising violence that has left 70,000 people dead and 23,000 disappeared since 2006, Mexico has only one certified forensic cleaner. As a consequence, the biological hazards associated with crime scenes are going unchecked all around the country. Photo by Bénédicte Desrus