Argentine Forensic rep. here to assist in murder probe of Berbice boys

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Director of the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology (EAAF), Dr Luis Fondebrider will be in Guyana from Saturday until December 16, to assess whether the agency can assist the police with their investigations into the deaths of Joel and Isaiah Henry and Haresh Singh.

According to a release from the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA), this visit is being facilitated in accordance with the wishes of the affected families. The association related Dr Fondebrider will meet with all the families, visit the crime scene, meet with the investigators and police personnel and brief appropriate government and diplomatic representatives.

Subsequently, the EAAF will determine whether, and to what degree, they may be able to support the Guyana Police Force in its investigations.

“If that conclusion is positive, the modalities of how it may be implemented will be addressed,” the GHRA said.

Director of the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology (EAAF), Dr. Luis Fondebrider

Attorney-at-law, Nigel Hughes recommended this Argentine team after local and regional authorities failed to solve the murders. Hughes is representing the interest of the Henry families in the murders of teen cousins Joel and Isaiah Henry.

The GHRA also said that Dr Fondebrider will meet with representatives of official and civic organisations engaged with the problem of violent deaths of women, since the EAAF will be to explore the possibility of capacity-building in investigations of femicide in the future.

He will also give a public presentation on the work of the EAAF at the Brickdam Cathedral on Tuesday, from 17:30h.

Dr. Fondebrider was one of the speakers at the Conference on Truth and Justice, In Search of Reconciliation in Suriname held in Paramaribo in 1998 by the Justice & Peace Organization and the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights.  At the time he was a staff member of the EAAF.

The mutilated bodies of Isaiah, 16, and Joel, 18, were found in the Cotton Tree backlands, West Coast Berbice on September 6. The killers carved out a huge ‘X’ on Isaiah’s head while they cut open Joel’s chest.

The cousins had left their Number 3 Village, West Coast Berbice home to go into the backdam to pick coconuts the day before their bodies were found.

A Post Mortem Examination (PME) found that they both died from haemorrhage and shock due to multiple incised injuries including severed spines. Approximately 27 persons were arrested during the course of the investigation but all were released due to lack of evidence.

On September 14, the police determined that the boys were murdered somewhere else and then dumped in the backlands of Cotton Tree.

Mass protests erupted following the killings. It was during those protests that 17-year-old Haresh Singh was killed.

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