Letter to Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira (Apr. 19, 2012) & Plehn Abogados (Dec. 25, 2012) - Madrid, Spain
April 26, 2012
Dear Señor Perez Crespo,
On April 19, I sent you an email regarding a divorce/domestic abuse case that Señor Jorge Capell, of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, Madrid office, handled in July - October 2008. In order to confirm receipt of said correspondence, I am sending you a copy by traditional post as well.
Enclosed please find a synopsis of the facts of my case, with all supporting documentation and my complaint posted on http://worldpulse.com/user/2759/journal (in English and Spanish).
I will be presenting my case to the Spanish authorities and regulatory agencies under human, civil and constitution rights violations, as well as criminal negligence, requesting not only an investigation into the matter, but reparation for damages incurred by responsible parties.
However, before filing my complaint with appropriate authorities or eventually international tribunals should these authorities fail to take appropriate action, I wished to give Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira the opportunity to respond to the issues at hand.
In the past 4 years, due to my own personal experience, my extensive research, and on-going work with women/human rights organizations in the USA, France and Spain, I have become very familiar with the various aspect of the crisis occurring within family courts around the world, and their failure to protect victims of domestic abuse.
It is my greatest desire to move beyond my own case, avoiding future litigation, and in conjunction with my organization, Global Expats/www.global-expats.com, work towards positive solutions in preventing my story from repeating itself, as well as promote its initial objectives; assisting expatriated families and homemakers around the world. However, as long as all access to my assets in Spain remain blocked by Spanish courts, and until an acceptable financial settlement is accorded to me, I have no option but to exhaust all official channels at my disposition.
Founder – Global Expats
Dec. 25, 2012
Dear Mr. Plehn,
In October 2007 I found your name on the American Embassy website, and contacted you as I was looking for a lawyer in Madrid who might represent me in a divorce in Spain. You recommended Ms. Belen Garcia Martin.
Unfortunately, since that time, and due to the negligence of Ms. Garcia Martin, and negligence of other implicated legal counsel (as well as the refusal of Spanish regulatory agencies to investigate said negligence) I find myself in a position where I am propelled to file suit in the international courts against the Spanish government for human rights violation, under the principle of due diligence.
As to any action against, and/or liability of the American Embassy in Madrid (in their refusal to act under art. 5 of the Convention on Consular Affairs, inter alia) is still under advisement with lawyers in the USA. (Said action is also pending against the French Embassy in Madrid, as my children, I, and my ex-husband all possess (double) French nationalities; with their refusal to act falling under French law as well as international law).
Please find attached a time-line of the past 6 years, as well as my complaint to the United Nation’s Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – Commission on the Status of Women (with supporting documentation posted on http://worldpulse.com/user/2759/journal) which demonstrates that the problems and issues that I have encountered with judicial systems are common place.
Domestic abuse as a human rights violation, as well as a State’s obligation to protect victims under the principle of due diligence (A vs. UK (European Courts of Human Rights), Velasquez vs. Honduras, and Gonzales vs. USA (Inter-American Courts on Human Rights), is relatively new in human rights law, but is emerging due to rampant constitutional and civil rights violations within family courts and the failure of governments and their agencies to sanction (or even investigate) these violations.
Unfortunately, as stated, my case is not isolated, but rather representative of what is occurring on a daily basis in courts around the world. What is unusual about my case, however, is that it involves my ex-husband’s efforts to prevent me from creating a company (Global Expats/ www.global-expats.com ), and producing financial independence for me and my children; further proof as to his long-standing abuse. While personal financial damages caused by the negligence of my legal counsel are substantial, the loss of income to my company is estimated at $220 million usd.
As you may note in the attached information on Global Expats, online career and social networking, online advertising, and local search website models (all upon which www.global-xpats.com is based) have experienced explosive growth in the past 10 years. Additionally, this project received enormous interest and praise from many actors in the global mobility/expat industry upon its inception in 2007, and now again in 2012 with the launching of my new website. My inability to develop this project to its full potential is due to my legal counsel’s consistent refusal to reclaim my rightful assets and funds in Spain during judicial proceedings in the past 6 years.
My ex-husband’s desperation to destroy this project was motivated by his knowledge that I am always successful in any endeavor that I undertake, and his long-standing obsessive necessity for power and control over me and our children (aggravated by the destruction of his own career in Bogota and Madrid, 2003-2009) . Any belief or contention by implicated parties that I, as a woman and/or homemaker, would be unable to create a successful, extremely profitable company is solely based on gender-bias and discriminatory pre-conceptions , not the reality of the situation.
While it is my sincere desire to avoid future litigation, I feel it is my duty to assure that my legal counsels are held accountable for their actions (including omissions of actions – art. 10 & 11 of the Spanish Penal Code); serving as an example and deterrent to others in the future.
Rampant negligence and violation of rights within family courts around the world is responsible for women losing billions (if not trillions) of dollars/euros/etc. of their asset during divorce proceedings, untold suffering, and thousands of deaths each year in cases of gender violence. It is also why 70% of sexually and physically abused children in cases of divorce are being handed over to their abusers, translating into State sanctioned rape and torture of tens of millions of children globally . This is not a “private” or “civil” matter, as government representatives have continually contended, but very serious and horrific human rights violations.
In the past years, my legal counsels have continually defended their actions under the contention that “asi se suele hacer en Espana,” “siempre hacemos asi”, “¿asi se hace, a quien vas a contar?”… Unfortunately, this attitude, couple with long-standing discriminatory customs in the courts which deny women access to matrimonial properties and assets; fails to recognize the contribution of homemakers to their family and husband’s careers; and suppress evidence of abuse and violence, encourage and perpetuate violence and corruption within the home, community, and our societies.
The contention and rationalization of legal counsel that actions which violate constitutional, civil and human rights are justifiable due to long-standing customs, even though illegal under national and international law, is totally unacceptable. Ignorance of the law is no defense (art. 6 of the Spanish civil code).
It is commonly acknowledge that domestic abuse is about power and control; that the violence, threats, degradation, and retention of financial resources are only tactical means to this end. The same tactics used by abusers within the home are being used by the courts and communities to silence victims, as demonstrated and documented in my own case, and as has been the case for centuries.
Until, and unless, these traditions and customs are challenged and denounced by aggrieved citizens, as well as sanctioned by the government agencies entrusted with the power and duty to discipline judicial actors who abuse their authority and privilege, the zero tolerance will continue to be for women and children who have the courage to speak out against the violence and abuse within their homes, with absolution for the abusers.
In my final efforts to exhaust all remedies at my disposal within the Spanish judicial system before presenting my case to international courts, I will be filing a complaint with the colegio de abogados and colegio de procuradores against my legal counsel, as well as requesting reparations from injurious parties for ALL financial damages caused by said negligence ($223 million usd to date). (Ms. Garcia Martin’s contention that legal counsel in Spain does not possess a legal obligation to defend, protect and promote the interests of their clients is erroneous under art. 512 & 10 of the Spanish penal code, and art. 1088 & 1089 of the Spanish civil code, inter alia ).
The past 5 years of my children’s childhood which have been lost forever, have been extremely difficult and painful, as has my concern for their safety under the custody of their emotionally unstable father. My greatest desire at this point is to return to Madrid as soon as possible, move forward in the creation of my company, and get on with my life.
As the only person involved in this case with no liability for financial damages incurred, I hope that you might encourage your colleagues and their firms (Gonzalo Martinez de Haro of Vanander, Carlos y Associados; Belen Garcia Martin; Jose Manuel Hernandez Jiménez (abogado de oficio); Jorge Capell of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira; Alberto Fontes Garcia Calamarte; Miguel Martinez Lopez de Asiain & Ignacio Gonzalez Martinez; and procuradores Juan Bosco Hornedo Muguiro; Maria Pilar Lantero; Pilar Poveda Guerra; and Rafael Gamarra Megias) to arrive at an equitable settlement, thereby avoiding the necessity for further legal action on my part.
In my efforts to arrive at an agreement, I wish to call attention to the fact that my company, Global Expats, not only serves business communities and multinationals around the world, but provides a comprehensive solution to the biggest challenge multinational, expat employers face; the adaptation of the relocating, expat family. Public attention within global business communities and multinationals as to the elevated level of corruption and negligence within the Spanish judicial system, and the role that said corruption plays in the current economic crisis , would be in the best interest of nobody . A swift and equitable settlement would be in the interest of all implicated parties.
At present, I am proposing a settlement of €30 million for damages incurred (personal, professional and financial), to be divided amongst all responsible parties and their firms. For your convenience I am attaching a copy of my complaint to the Defensor del Pueblo and Consejo General del Poder Judicial filed in April 2012, which enumerates all of the constitutional, civil and human rights violations as well as infractions of judicial actors under the Spanish penal and civil code from 2007-2011 with supporting documents posted on http://worldpulse.com/user/2759/journal.
I thank you in advance for your time, and hope that you might assist me in preventing the necessity for future legal action. Events of the past 6 years, while painful and stressful, have provided me with the opportunity to appreciate why and how judicial systems are systematically failing to assume their fiduciary responsibility and duty. My time and energy would be much better spent in utilizing my acquired knowledge to address these issues, and develop solutions, rather than pursuing legal venues against injurious parties.
If you have any questions, or wish to discuss the issues at hand, I can be reached on my cel. 00.1.(202) 213-4911 and skype: quenby.wilcox2.