The notification arrived in Brazil five days ago. Through an office, the Office of the Prosecutor of Ecuador asked the expert in Criminalistics Roberto Meza to deliver the contracts for the 10 jobs he carried out in the country. For sending the documents, the entity gave it a period of five days. In addition, he informed him that there is an ongoing investigation and that the hiring is necessary for this tax file.
The notification took Meza by surprise, who on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, spoke with EL COMERCIO via telephone. The expert does not understand why the Prosecutor’s Office is investigating their contracts, as it says that they were all legal and have already ended. It is also striking that the Prosecutor’s request is made after the Assembly Committee, which investigates the murder of former FAE commander Jorge Gabela, had requested that he be hired again to reconstruct the final report on the crime of the former military chief.
For this document, which is currently missing, the expert appeared before the Office of the Prosecutor and the National Assembly. In both entities he said he does not have a copy of the document and that all the information was delivered to the Ministry of Justice, the entity with which he signed the award.
But, what are the contracts that are investigated?
It is about the expertise he made between 2010 and 2013 (see infographic). Most of his work has to do with the elucidation of homicides. For these reports, the expert received remunerations ranging from USD 4 000 to USD 30 000. The first case that Meza investigated in the country was the death of Bosco Wisuma, a Shuar professor who died in the midst of the protests of 30 September 2009, in Morona Santiago.
At first, the indigenous leaders said that the master was killed by a shot by the police, but Meza’s report concluded that the projectile was a handgun. That investigation was awarded to Meza through the Truth Commission.
This entity was created by the previous government and investigated cases of human rights violations. Meza recalls that the Commission contacted him directly and after sending his resume and his work in other countries, the agency proceeded to hire him for the case. That was not the only work he did for the Commission.
In three years, Meza investigated two other homicides. In this list are the cases of Damián Peña, a 16-year-old boy who died in 2002 in Cuenca, and Fernando Barros, a university student who died in the middle of a police operation. In both, Meza concluded that they had died due to bullets that corresponded to members of the Police. Meza’s fourth job for the Truth Commission was a training that gave the Office of the Prosecutor on crimes against humanity.
According to archives of the Commission, this work was done together with a university. Later, the expert participated in public tenders to adjudicate the investigations for the case of the Restrepo brothers, the assassination of former commander Gabela, a 30-S oversight and the case of César Coronel. The latter corresponds to the death of a second lieutenant of the Police, who was found dead in his bedroom in Sucumbíos, in July of 2012.
The police reports indicated that the officer committed suicide with his weapon of endowment, which was found in his right hand. But Meza’s expertise revealed that it was a murder, since the officer was left-handed. The officer’s father says that the expert revealed even the names of those involved, but the authorities never gave him the investigation of the Argentine expert. For that reason, the case is in International Courts, because in the country it is still not resolved.
Meza confirms that the second lieutenant’s family did not have access to his work. He denounces that the same happened in the Gabela case. The difference, according to the expert, is that in the case of Coronel, he keeps a copy of the report that was delivered to the Ministry of the Interior, the entity that awarded the contract.
In fact, of the 10 works that the Prosecutor’s Office investigates, Meza says that he has the backing of all, but that he can only deliver nine of them. This happens because one is private. This is the research he did on the death of Martín Garzón, a 16-year-old boy who died after being hit by a dump truck in Quito.
His parents paid for the services of Meza, who revealed that the driver of the dump truck was responsible. The rest of the contracts will be delivered to the Prosecutor’s Office. Although he points out that part of them are in the file of the same Prosecutor’s Office. While the inquiries on the contracts advance, the following week it is foreseen that the legislative Commission on the Gabela case will define if the new contracting of the foreigner takes shape.
The Comptroller’s Office also recommended that the report be reconstructed. Another investigation in which his services are requested is about the disappearance of young Quito native David Romo. Alexandra Cordova, mother, has asked the State to organize an independent expertise of his case. (I)