The head of an Argentine forensic team investigating the grisly West Coast Berbice teen murders has denied ever receiving an offer to view autopsy videos. The refutation comes even as the Home Affairs Ministry maintains that an offer was extended prior to the investigator’s departure.
In a letter purportedly written by the Director of the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology (EAAF), Dr. Luis Fondebrider, the investigator said: “For the benefit of your readers, I wish to clarify that at no time did I receive such an offer. During my visit to Guyana a formal meeting with the Minister constituted my only contact with officials since my efforts to meet the pathologist who performed the autopsy and to the Crime Chief were not successful.”
Dr. Fondebrider said that since returning to Buenos Aires, he wrote to the Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn; communicating to him the need to have the videos made available. The forensic investigator said that a list of reports required to make a professional assessment of the murders was also submitted to the Minister.
“I have not received any replies to these communications from any official. In these circumstances I am at a loss to understand when and how the offer to view the video was made,” Dr Fondebrider wrote.
The Home Affairs Ministry is however maintaining that an offer was made to Dr. Fondebrider.
The statement is as follows:
The Ministry of Home Affairs wishes to clarify that the Hon. Robeson Benn, Minister of Home Affairs, held a meeting on December 15, 2020, at the Minister’s Secretariat with the Argentine Forensic Expert, Director of EAAF, Dr. Luis Fondebrider, and the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to Guyana, His Excellency Felipe Alejandro Gardella. Present at the meeting were, Co-President of the Guyana Human Rights Association, Mike McCormack, Commissioner of Police (ag), Nigel Hoppie, and Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum.
At this meeting, Dr. Luis Fondebrider was advised that he would be provided with the video of the autopsies conducted in relations to Berbice incidents, and the forensic reports of those autopsies. The offer was also made for him to have a meeting with Dr. Nehaul Singh, the Government Pathologist, who at the time was on his way to duty in Lethem.
However, the meeting with Dr. Nehaul Singh and Dr. Luis Fondebrider did not materialize because it was understood, that Dr. Fondebrider was departing Guyana the very next day, December 16, 2020. Dr. Fondebrider was also advised that should the need arise for assistance from his agency beyond the normal resorts which are employed, contact will be made with him.