Her mother is Magdalena Ruiz Guinazu, a radio journalist.
She was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and earned an advanced degree in Anthropological Sciences, in 1987, from the National University of Buenos Aires. She helped found the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team. In 1992, she opened the team's New York office and expanded her work globally.
She has worked in the Philippines, Chile, Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, Iraq, Brazil, Croatia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Panama, French Polynesia, South Africa, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bosnia, Herzegovina, East Timor, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Indonesia, and Mexico.
She has lectured at University of California, Berkeley, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, State University of New York at Purchase, New School for Social Research, Rutgers University, Amnesty International, The Carter Center, and the World Archaeological Congress.
Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations regularly use her investigations in reporting on human rights. She is known for finding evidence of crimes against humanity.
In 2016, Doretti was named to the BBC's annual list of 100 Women.2007 MacArthur Fellows Program
Mercedes Doretti, Jennifer Burrell (2007). "Gray Spaces and Endless Negotiations". In Les W. Field, Richard Gabriel Fox. Anthropology put to work. Berg Publishers. ISBN 978-1-84520-601-7. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
Bradley J. Adams, John E. Byrd, eds. (2008). "Commingled Remains and Human Rights Investigations". Recovery, Analysis, and Identification of Commingled Human Remains. Springer. ISBN 978-1-58829-769-3. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
Following Antigone: Forensic Anthropology and Human Rights Investigations (EAAF Witness production 2002). Co-producer