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Uruguay adopted a new DNA database law in December 2011. DNA can only be collected with consent or when required by a court. There are restrictions on uses and access, but no provisions for the deletion of DNA profiles from innocent persons or the destruction of samples. However, it is unclear to what extent, if any, a DNA database has been implemented.


Detailed analysis

Draft Bill Creating a National Register of DNA Fingerprints

In October 2001, pursuant to Carpeta No. 1671 of 2001, the Uruguayan legislature created a national DNA profile archive (“Archivo de Identificación Genética Criminal”). Administered by the Ministry of Interior through the National Technical Police, the archive was created to contains genetic profiles derived three three sources (1) unidentified DNA collected at crime scenes, (2) DNA collected from individuals charged as perpetrators, accomplices or accessories with rape, murder, looting, mayhem, and (3) DNA collected from any individually twice convicted for any crime. Use of the contents of the archive was restricted to specific criminal investigations, even in which cases prior judicial authorization was required before the archive could be accessed. In addition to maintaining the database, the National Technical Police are also responsible for the care and preservation of genetic samples for further study and, if applicable, archiving.

In 2006, the database the government of Uruguay renewed the DNA archive legislation and later in 2007 partnered with the U.S. to deploy a version of the FBI-developed CODIS DNA database software. In September of 2009, Uruguay enacted legislation creating an additional national DNA repository, the National Register of Genetic Profiles (“Registro Nacional de Huellas Genéticas”). The purpose of this new Register was to expand the range of potential applications of DNA profiles presently residing in the National Archive. Also the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior and the National Directorate of Technical Police, this new database employs the CODIS software to actively attempt to match unidentified genetic samples collected at crime scenes with unrelated individuals whose profile is stored in the archive.