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Dedicated Mexican Medical Examiners Enhance Their Abilities to Deal With Synthetic Drugs-related Overdoses and Deaths Through U.S. State Department Collaboration 

17 international medical examiners from across Mexico to visit CMU’s Forensic Investigation Research Station

On February 13, Colorado Mesa University (CMU) students interning at CMU’s Forensic Investigation Research Station (FIRS) will welcome 17 international medical examiners from across Mexico in a visit facilitated through the U.S. State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) office based out of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. 

The group of international medical examiners will travel to Grand Junction, Colorado, to observe the university’s work on forensic anthropology and decomposition studies. The facility focuses on research, teaching and training using decomposing human remains, and is one of only eight such facilities in the world.

The visit to the United States is part of an effort to provide Mexican medical examiners with insights into using insects for toxicology screenings, particularly focusing on synthetic drugs like fentanyl. Also included on the day’s agenda are discussions on maceration techniques, cadaver dogs and post-mortem interval. 

CMU students also benefit from the visit of international medical examiners as it offers networking opportunities. An added bonus of the collaboration is to expand the professional vocabulary of Spanish-speaking students in the program. 

“This trip a great opportunity for the CMU students to meet with professional forensic scientists from other countries and see how the work they are doing at the FIRS is appreciated worldwide,” said CMU Professor of Forensic Anthropology Melissa Connor, PhD. 

State-level medical examiners and forensic chemists will be accompanied by two translators and three State Department representatives. 

The visit will contribute to ongoing efforts in drug demand reduction and strengthens ongoing U.S. and Mexico collaboration to address challenges related to synthetic drugs.


Written by Kelsey Coleman