Andrés Roemer at an event in the city of Puebla, in November 2017.Hilda Ríos (CUARTOSCURO)
“Welcome to Mexico, Andrés,” says on her social network one of the victims who has reported rape by Roemer, hoping for a possible and prompt extradition of the former diplomat, who is detained in Israel. But that extradition is not going to be immediate. Andrés Roemer was arrested on Sunday in the Mediterranean country, where he had fled from Mexican justice, which is looking for him to prosecute him for five rapes. And so he will remain until next October 15, sources from the international department of the State Prosecutor’s Office of Israel have indicated. That day, the Jerusalem District Court will hold an arrest hearing, but there is no date yet for the hearing on the extradition, which needs a judicial green light. The Israeli police arrested Roemer in Tel Aviv following instructions issued by Interpol two years ago, at the request of the Mexico City Prosecutor’s Office. Israeli agents say they have identified his location through technological means.
Roemer’s time in Israel has not been hidden. He tweeted almost daily and was received with pomp, to the point that a street in a town was named after him, which was later removed. It is now, two years later, that the matter takes an unexpected diplomatic turn. Mexico does not have an extradition treaty with Israel, which is why some criminals harassed by justice take refuge there, but their surrender can be agreed upon with good will between both countries. It is those bilateral mechanisms that seem to be operating now. The statement issued by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalls these extremes. That Roemer has been detained “for extradition purposes at the request of the Mexican Government” because the capital’s Prosecutor’s Office requires it. To achieve this, the statement continues, they have operated “on the principle of reciprocity and international cooperation, based on the good bilateral relationship that exists in all areas between both countries.”
The statement seems to harbor hopes that the process undertaken with the former diplomat and writer is not the only one and after it cases such as that of Tomás Zerón, who also fled to Israel and who is wanted for his participation in the Ayotzinapa case, could be resolved. the one in which 43 normal school students disappeared nine years ago. “The Government of Mexico appreciates the reciprocity received by the State of Israel and reiterates that it will continue to promptly follow up on the other pending cases with that nation,” the Foreign Ministry states.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador already assumed in his conference this Monday that Roemer would be extradited. Later, diplomacy has cooled the times and the euphoria, but nothing can stop the expectations that the victims harbor. “The news hit me suddenly, without prior knowledge of the Mexican authorities, who had promised to notify us as soon as it happened,” says one of Roemer’s complainants. And she adds: “This will not end until Andrés pays for the wounds that, in addition to hurting us, made us stronger.” And she closes: “Welcome to Mexico, Andrés.”
Although she is not the only one who accuses him of rape, he has four other cases for this reason and up to 61 women accused him of abuse and harassment in his day, this victim has suffered the greatest harassment by Roemer’s lawyers, who opened against She filed a civil procedure for damages, with the understanding that her account on the Internet of what happened, being a journalist, had an infinitely greater echo than the rest of the confessions, and sought to harm the image of the writer and disseminator. A judge rejected the lawsuit on the grounds that she was not acting as a journalist, but rather as an assaulted woman, and Roemer’s image was already tarnished by a multitude of confessions from other victims. This journalist is the beneficiary of a protection mechanism, but not as a sexual victim, but as a reporter in danger. “For me, these years have been one of anguish, anxiety and, above all, fear of reprisals for having exposed a truth. I know that, even detained, he has the power and means to hurt me.”
Perhaps this will not be mitigated over time, but justice is now felt closer to all these women. The Israeli embassy in Mexico has indicated that the Israeli government has always taken these cases seriously: Israel is not a “haven for criminals.”
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