Wednesday, August 4

Arrest warrant against Andrés Roemer, accused of two violations

Andrés Roemer, at the Ciudad de las Ideas Festival, in Puebla, in 2017.
Andrés Roemer, at the Ciudad de las Ideas Festival, in Puebla, in 2017.Hilda Ríos / CUARTOSCURO

A judge has ordered the police to look for Andrés Roemer to appear before him for the crime of rape. This was requested by the Mexico City Prosecutor’s Office, which is also investigating him for various accusations of sexual abuse and harassment. Bringing him before the judge may not be such an easy task, because the latest news from the communicator places him in Israel, a country with which he maintains ties and where a new victim has also confessed improper conduct against her. The man, who has come to be called the “Mexican Weinstein”, extends, according to this latest confession, his predatory behavior wherever he goes, an attitude by which the police are now following in his footsteps. Mexico does not have an extradition treaty with Israel, which is why some persecuted by justice take refuge there. In parallel, the Fiscal Investigation Unit (UIF) has frozen its accounts after detecting a possible crime in the management of its economic resources.

Roemer is accused of twice raping a woman, but many others accuse him of sexual crimes to varying degrees. The Office of the Prosecutor, in close contact with the attacked, has opened eight investigation folders that would add to this process that it wants to carry out “with a gender perspective, a differential and specialized approach, as well as guaranteeing a new way to investigate crimes, with special emphasis on justice towards women ”, they say in a statement. The case is handled by the prosecutor María Isabel González Chávez, from the Sexual Crimes unit, but the attorney general, Ernestina Godoy, is very aware of the process.

Andrés Roemer enjoyed fame, money and reputation until the dancer Itzel Schnaas published a video on social networks in which he detailed that night in the basement of the Mexican Weinstein. Immediately and in a cascade, other women then dared to give their versions, adding up dozens of unpleasant experiences that always occurred under a similar pattern: the man contacted them and invited them to his home to talk about possible well-paid jobs with a future. Since the disseminator and formerly diplomat had public prestige, they saw his help as feasible. But what they found in that basement with a movie screen had little to do with job opportunities, but rather with all kinds of abuses behind closed doors, some of which came out better than others.

The news whirlwind hit him between the end of February and the beginning of March. Almost daily, the United Journalists association received new confessions from assaulted women and was compiling them to add more than 60. The communicator continued to host a program on ADN 40, a TV Azteca station, belonging to the business group of Ricardo Salinas Pliego, his partner. at the Ciudad de las Ideas festival, a hotbed of youth talent where Roemer contacted several of his victims. He left the program in silence, without the chain issuing a single statement, but probably under pressure from other institutions that broke the ties that bound them to Roemer.

Unesco reported on February 23 that the diplomat was no longer a Goodwill Ambassador in that body and, also in a cascade, prestigious scientists who had been part of the Board of Trustees of the City of Ideas as well as universities were dissociated from him. with which he collaborated. Nobody wanted to taint themselves with that case anymore. Roemer spoke to this newspaper in which he pleaded not guilty to the rapes and justified his behavior towards women in a patriarchy that had miseducated generations of men like him. He said he was a victim of accusations in which he did not recognize himself (“now they lynch you the same if you give a compliment as if you dismember a person”) and that he was part of a business plot. He did not speak again. On March 8, the police had to protect her house where feminists went to paint and demonstrate.

The arrest warrant comes 70 days after the first complaint against him was registered with the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office and when he already has a robust folder that demonstrates a modus operandi in the crimes for which he has been denounced. Fernanda Lascurain was the first to come forward to report and today she says “be calm after this first step to do justice” and recognizes so many women who managed to escape their silence. “Without the courage of all this would not have been achieved. And there has also been a great openness on the part of the authorities who have listened to us ”, he affirms in a telephone conversation. The lawyer who has handled the case is called Diana Murrieta, she chairs the NGO Nosotras para mujeres and works side by side with Ernestina Godoy. “These complaints should stop being an act of courage,” says Murrieta.

The crime of rape is serious and as such requires that the process be followed in preventive detention, although now Roemer is still an innocent citizen until legally proven otherwise. In addition, there is a “justified preventive detention for those cases in which it is suspected that the accused has the means and perhaps the will to leave the country,” says Murrieta. Romer meets both elements. The arrest warrant has already been issued and transmitted. “It is a sufficiently public case for the judge to understand that Roemer is aware of it, in such a way that if he does not report within a period to be determined, he will be considered a fugitive,” says the lawyer.

When the prosecution opened the investigation folder, the communicator could have appeared there to hear about the case and make himself available for the investigation, but he did not do so. Now the police are looking for him. The international alert will arrive soon.

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