Andrés Roemer at an event in the city of Puebla, in November 2017.Hilda Ríos (CUARTOSCURO)
"Welcome to Mexico, Andres," says in his social network one of the victims who has denounced 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. Andres Roemer was arrested on Sunday in the Hebrew country, where he had fled from Mexican justice, which seeks him to prosecute him for five rapes. And so it will remain until October 15, sources from the international department of the State Prosecutor's Office of Israel have pointed out. On that day, the Jerusalem District Court will hold an arrest hearing, but there is no date yet for the hearing on extradition, which needs a judicial green light. Israeli police arrested Roemer in Tel Aviv on instructions from Interpol two years ago at the request of the Mexico City prosecutor's office. Israeli agents say they have identified his location by technological means.
Roemer's time in Israel has not been hidden. He tweeted almost daily and was greeted with pomp, to the point that a street in a village was named after him, which was later removed. It is now, two years later, when the matter takes an unexpected diplomatic turn. Mexico has no extradition treaty with Israel, which is why some criminals harassed by justice take refuge there, but the delivery of these can be agreed in 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 arrested "for extradition purposes at the request of the Mexican Government" because it is required by the Prosecutor's Office of the capital. They have operated for this, the statement continues, "principle of reciprocity and international cooperation, based on the good bilateral relationship that exists in all areas between both countries."
The statement seems to hope that the process undertaken with the former diplomat and writer is not the only one and after it could solve cases such as that of Tomás Zerón, also fled to Israel and who is wanted for his participation in the Ayotzinapa case, in which 43 normalista 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 follow up promptly on the other pending cases with that nation," they say in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador already took it for granted in his conference on Monday that Roemer would be extradited. Afterwards, diplomacy has cooled the times and the euphoria, but nothing can stop the expectations harbored by the victims. "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 accusers. He adds: "This will not end until Andrés pays for the wounds that, in addition to hurting us, made us stronger." And he closes: "Welcome to Mexico, Andrew."
Although she is not the only one who accuses him of rape, she has four other causes for this reason and up to 61 women pointed it out in her day for abuse and harassment, this victim has suffered the greatest harassment by Roemer's lawyers, who opened a civil procedure against her for damages, with the understanding that her account on the Internet of what happened, Being a journalist, she had an infinitely greater echo than the rest of the confessions, and sought to hurt the image of the writer and disseminator. A judge rejected the lawsuit on the grounds that she was not acting as a journalist, but as a woman assaulted, and Roemer's image was already tainted by a multitude of confessions from other victims. This journalist is a beneficiary of a protection mechanism, but not as a sexual victim, but as a reporter in danger. "For me these years have been of anguish, anxiety and above all fear of reprisals for having exposed a truth. I know that, even in detention, he has the power and means to hurt me."
That may not be mitigated over time, but justice is now felt closer to all these women. The Israeli embassy in Mexico has pointed out that the Israeli government has always taken these cases seriously: Israel is not a "haven for criminals."
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