Letter to US Embassy in Madrid, Ambassador Solomont 2/26/13

The rhetoric of Under Secretary Kennedy of the US Department of State belies the reality of the failure of Consulates to utilize the Convention of Consular Relations to protect the rights and interests of Americans living abroad  





See more videos of Maria Jose… Remembering that her case is not ‘isolated’, but representative of what happens to the wives of abusers who take advantage of negligence and corruption in the courts to continue harassing their victims




February 26, 2013

RE: Domestic abuse as a human rights violation, and a State’s obligation to protect

Dear Ambassador Solomont,

I am once again contacting you regarding Americans living abroad in cases of divorce, custodial hearings and domestic abuse. In the past 6 years the American Embassy/Consulate in Madrid, as well as the US State Department, Consular Affairs Division in Washington, DC have contended that cases of domestic abuse/divorce of American women and children living abroad are “private matters” and “civil disputes,” and that they are under no obligation to assure that the rights and interests of Americans are respected in foreign courts and foreign jurisdictions.

This position is contradicted by the promises, speeches and rhetoric of US government officials (President Obama, Vice-President Biden, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, postings on the US State Department website, and publications of the US State Department[i] [ii]). It is also contradicted by legal precedents in human rights law (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Gonzales vs. USA and Velasquez vs. Honduras, and the European Courts of Human Rights in A vs. UK, www.aclu.org/human-rights-womens-rights/jessica-gonzales-v-usa,) which establishes a State’s obligation to protect under the principle of due diligence. And, it is further contradicted by the guidelines set down in FAM, for Americans living abroad, victims of crime/domestic abuse.

The American Consulate in Madrid’s policy of non-compliance with art. 5, 36, 37 & 38 of the Convention of Consular Affairs, FAM[1], and human rights law, inter alia in conjunction with the lack of due diligence by government regulatory agencies in Spain[2] sends a clear message of impunity to judicial actors in Spain, who are thereby in a position to abuse their powers and violate the rights of American residents.

The lack of due diligence by State and non-State actors, in the protection of victims of domestic abuse in Spain, is well documented in reports by Amnesty International and my complaint to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – Commission on the Status of Women against the Spanish government for their systematic failure to protect (posted on http://worldpulse.com/node/55730.)

At present and before presenting my case[iii] to the international courts, I am exhausting my last option within the Spanish judicial system; an official complaint to the Colegio de Abogados against my legal counsel (3 of which came from the American Embassy website; Gonzalo Martinez de Haro of Vinader, Carlos y Associados; Belen Garcia Martin, Plehn Abogado; Jorge Capell of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira.)

As an act of good faith, and in my efforts to avoid future litigation, I am once again soliciting the assistance of the American Consulate in Madrid under the Convention of Consular Relations and other applicable international treaties,[3] to assure that the Colegio de Abogados, Defensor del Pueblo, and Consejo General del Poder Judicial examine and investigate my allegations and the facts of my case with the highest standard of diligence; holding all responsible parties accountable to the letter of the law. Please see enclosed my letter to Consul General Peggy Gennatiempo requesting assistance.

As the American Consulate is aware (as they have diligently been informed of the facts of my case from the onset) my ex-husband’s violence and threats upon my life (and blocking of access to all assets and funds) were caused by his efforts to prevent me from providing financial independence for me and my children[4], and the creation of Global Expats. Legal counsel and court officials who have been complicit in these efforts, are accessories to his crimes and responsible for all and any financial damages incurred by me and my company.

Global Expats is modeled after the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO), but is a revenue-generating entity which remunerates its trailing spouse managers and employees, as well as assistants them in career maintenance and entrepreneurial efforts.  Revenues are generated from a networking/local search, city-guide global website with present estimated lost opportunity costs at $200 million.

For your convenience, please find attached a presentation on Global Expats, which includes the financial performance of comparable websites in the past 5 years, and my correspondence with the American Embassy in March 2007 in its regard. The present explosive success of local search and Networking websites (Web 2.0,) as well as advertising on the Internet was anticipated in report after report in 2005-06. Global Expats and www.global-xpats.com, was based on extensive market research at the time, and was designed to take advantage of Web 2.0 as well as fulfill the needs of expats families and the global mobility industry. As you can see in my Business Plan (http://worldpulse.com/node/44543) even though the development of Global Expats has been prevented for the past 6 years, its concept is still innovative and revolutionary, and ready to take the lead in the ever-evolving Internet (Web 3.0.)

International organizations such as the IMF[5], World Bank[6] and United Nations[7] are increasingly examining the link between corruption and the present economic crisis. My case provides a perfect case-study on how and why widespread corruption in the courts impedes economic growth and entrepreneurial development; and the role negligent governance by regulatory agencies is playing in promoting widespread corruption in the courts.[8]

Traditions and customs, which silent victims of domestic abuse are omni-present in Spanish society, and justified under the belief that protection of the “family honor” is for the “greater good.”  In most cases victims have little understanding of legal codes and principles, and are easily duped by unscrupulous judicial actors who abuse their power with total impunity. In my case, not only have I understood the dynamics involved, but have documented all irregularities and infractions of the law.

My legal battles are no longer only about the particulars of my own case, and recuperation of financial damages, but are about establishing proper protocol and “good practices” that will prevent the violation of the rights of other women and children in the future. Preventing the violation of the rights of American women and children in foreign courts is not as difficult as many US State Department employees pretend, but will necessitate a commitment from American Embassies and Consulates to utilize their power and authority under the Convention of Consular Relations and other applicable international treaties.

It is to this end that I hope the American Embassy and Consulate in Madrid will assure, through appropriate channels and as provided for under international law, that the Colegio de Abogados, Defensor del Pueblos and Consejo General del Poder Judicial will thoroughly investigate the facts of my case, holding all judicial actors responsible for their professional and criminal negligence.

For your convenience, I am including a copy of my correspondence to other US State Department officials which provide additional information about the issues involved and the enormity and gravity of the situation.

I thank you in advance for your time and consideration.  Please feel free to contact me at Quenby@global-xpats.com or (202) 213-4911 with any questions or requests for additional information.


Quenby Wilcox

Founder – Global Expats




cc[9]:  President Barak Obama, White House

US Secretary of State John Kerry, US State Department

Assistant Secretary, Consular Affairs Janice L. Jacobs, US State Department

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Jim D. Pettit, Overseas Citizens Services, US State Department

Assistant Secretary, Michael H. Posner, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, US State Department

Ambassador-at-Large Stephen J. Rapp, Office of Global Criminal Justice, US State Department

Deputy, Beth Van Schaack, Office of Global Criminal Justice, US State Department

Joyce Namde, European Division Director, Office of American Citizen Services and Crisis Management

Joanne Hunter, Office of American Citizen Services and Crisis Management

General Consul Peggy Gennatiempo, Embassy of the United States Spain


[1] U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 7 – Consular Affairs (Victims of Crime / Domestic Abuse)

[2] Complaint to the Defensor del Pueblo and Consejo General del Poder Judicial http://worldpulse.com/node/55730 and Instituto de Mujer http://worldpulse.com/node/50602 in Gonzalez de Alcala vs. Wilcox

[3] Convention on Human Rights, Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Convention of Civil and Political Rights

[4] The manipulations and efforts of my ex-husband are text-book examples of the oppression of women, and how and why financial dependence of a woman is of utmost importance in the domination of women. The widely held belief that putting women in positions of power will bring “equality to the sexes” is naïve, and fails to understand the anthropological/sociological/psychological role that women have historically played in maintaining male-dominated societies. The actions of lawyers and judges in my case (Ms. Guerrero Guerrero, Ms. García Martin, Ms. Pilar Saldaña Cuesta, Ms. Rosario Hernández Hernández, etc.) are perfect examples of women’s role in society’s oppression of women (Man’s Domination and Woman’s Oppression by Richard Lee and Richard Daly (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=domination%20and%20suppression%20of%20women%20&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CEkQFjAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Ftspace.library.utoronto.ca%2Fbitstream%2F1807%2F18010%2F1%2FTSpace0108.pdf&ei=XWsrUd6tIcLC0QGfn4HICA&usg=AFQjCNEO2_WpKkBRBTz667rvf_yuy85wFg&bvm=bv.42768644,d.dmQ.)

[5] Factsheet – The IMF and Good Governance (www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/gov.htm), Improving Governance and Fighting Corruption (www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/issues/issues21/index.htm), Corruption and Development (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/1998/03/pdf/gray.pdf), Roads to Nowhere: How Corruption in Public Investment Hurts Growth (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/issues12/index.htm), Economic Issues No. 6 — Why Worry About Corruption? – IMF (www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/issues6/index.htm)

[6] Corruption and Economic Development (http://www1.worldbank.org/publicsector/anticorrupt/corruptn/cor02.htm),  World Bank Institute (http://wbi.worldbank.org/wbi/topic/governance), Measuring and reducing the impact of corruption in infrastructure (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2006/12/7269830/measuring-reducing-impact-corruption-infrastructure), Anti-corruption policies and programs : a framework for evaluation (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2000/12/748708/anti-corruption-policies-programs-framework-evaluation), The silence of corruption : identifying underreporting of business corruption through randomized response techniques (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2011/06/14420546/silence-corruption-identifying-underreporting-business-corruption-through-randomized-response-techniques),  A trio of perspectives on corruption : bias, speed money and “grand theft infrastructure” (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2011/11/15505870/trio-perspectives-corruption-bias-speed-money-grand-theft-infrastructure), Social marketing strategies to fight corruption  (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/1998/01/440233/social-marketing-strategies-fight-corruption), Corruption and development (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/1998/05/438765/corruption-development), Enrichment with growth (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2011/10/15348701/enrichment-growth), Building public support for anti-corruption efforts : why anti-corruption agencies need to communicate and how (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2010/01/12204776/building-public-support-anti-corruption-efforts-anti-corruption-agencies-need-communicate), An analysis of the causes of corruption in the judiciary (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/1999/08/437874/analysis-causes-corruption-judiciary), Corruption in economic development – beneficial grease, minor annoyance, or major obstacle? (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/1999/02/438609/corruption-economic-development-beneficial-grease-minor-annoyance-or-major-obstacle ), Experiments in culture and corruption : a review (http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2012/05/16259932/experiments-culture-corruption-review )

[7] Corruption and the Global Economy (http://mirror.undp.org/magnet/Docs/efa/corruption/Chapter02.pdf), The Cost of Corruption (www.un.org/events/10thcongress/2088b.htm), Organized Crime – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (www.unodc.org/unodc/en/organizedcrime/index.html), United Nations Convention against Corruption (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/), Struggle against Organized Crime, Corruption, Drug Trafficking (www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/gashc3975.doc.htm), Fighting Transnational Organized Crime – the United Nations (www.un.org/events/10thcongress/2088f.htm),  The study to examine the links between organised Crime and Corruption (http://ec.europa.eu/)

[8] The importance of the role that government agencies play in assuring transparency, integrity and accountability of the industry it regulates is clearly demonstrated in Governance of Financial Supervisors and its Effects – A Stocktaking Exercise by Marc Quintyn  http://ideas.repec.org/b/erf/erfstu/47.html.

[9] Posted on http://worldpulse.com/node/64031


[i] US State Department »Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights »

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor » Human Right


The protection of fundamental human rights was a foundation stone in the establishment of the United States over 200 years ago. Since then, a central goal of U.S. foreign policy has been the promotion of respect for human rights, as embodied in theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights.The United States understands that the existence of human rights helps secure the peace, deter aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and prevent humanitarian crises.

Because the promotion of human rights is an important national interest, the United States seeks to:

Hold governments accountable to their obligations under universal human rights norms and international human rights instruments;


Promote greater respect for human rights, including freedom from torture, freedom of expression, press freedom, women’s rights, children’s rights, and the protection of minorities;

Promote the rule of law, seek accountability, and change cultures of impunity;

Assist efforts to reform and strengthen the institutional capacity of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Commission on Human Rights; and

Coordinate human rights activities with important allies, including the EU, and regional organizations.


The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) applies three key principles to its work on human rights:

  • DRL strives to learn the truth and state the facts in all of its human rights investigations, reports on country conditions, speeches and votes in the UN, and asylum profiles
  • DRL takes consistent positions concerning past, present, and future abuses. With regard to past abuses, it actively promotes accountability.
  • DRL forges and maintains partnerships with organizations, governments, and multilateral institutions committed to human right. [i]

U.S. Human Rights Commitments and Pledges

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Washington, DC – April 16, 2009


We are dedicated to combating both overt and subtle forms of racism and discrimination internationally. The United States is party to the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and is committed to seeing the goals of this covenant fully realized. Particular emphasis should be placed not only on eliminating any remaining legal barriers to equality, but also on confronting the reality of continuing discrimination and inequality within institutions and societies.

Patrick F. Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management, US State Department,

Statement to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Advantages to the USA in complying with the

Convention of Consular Affairs in their assistance to American’s living abroad

The protection of U.S. citizens abroad ranks among the Secretary’s and the Department’s absolute highest priorities

 Without guaranteed consular assistance, Americans cannot travel the world freely, safely, and with peace of mind

When a U.S. citizen finds him or herself in a foreign government’s custody, a consular officer is often the best, and sometimes only, resource that citizen has as he or she navigates a foreign legal system.

We find these services especially critical in countries that do not respect due process of law and fundamental rights

Ensuring compliance with our legal obligations is essential to our foreign relations and close bilateral relationships

Our treaties are critical to protecting U.S. sovereign interests… facilitate our businesses’ international economic relationships. 

Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion for the Court recognized that judgment as a binding international legal obligation, and agreed that the United States’ interests in observance of the Vienna Convention, in protecting relations with foreign governments, and in demonstrating commitment to the international rule of law through compliance with that judgment were ―plainly compelling

United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally

  1. state.gov/documents/organization/196468.pdf

“We also know that countries are more likely to prosper when they tap the talents of all their people. And that’s why we’re investing in the health, education and rights of women, and working to empower the next generation of women entrepreneurs and leaders. Because when mothers and daughters have access to opportunity, that’s when economies grow, that’s when governance improves.” – President Barack Obama, Remarks at the Millennium Development Goals Summit, United Nations Headquarters, New York, New York, September 22, 2010

“Around the globe, violence against women is an epidemic. Violence robs women and girls of their full potential and causes untold human suffering. Violence against women impedes economic development, threatens peace and prosperity, and inhibits full participation in civic life. For every woman who has been beaten in her own home, for the millions of women who have been raped as a weapon of war, for every girl who has been attacked on her way to school, for all of the children–girls and boys–who have witnessed this brutality, we must do better.” – Vice President Joe Biden, Statement on the Anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, November 24, 2010

“It is time for all of us to assume our responsibility to go beyond condemning this behavior, to taking concrete steps to end it, to make it sociably unacceptable, to recognize it is not cultural; it is criminal.” – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Remarks on the Adoption of a United Nations Security Council Resolution to Combat Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, United Nations Headquarters, New York, New York, September 30, 2009

[ii] Mechanisms to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence


The Department of State will employ various mechanisms to ensure a coordinated process for enhanced intra- and inter-agency coordination on addressing gender-based violence. The mechanisms outlined below mirror the framework detailed in the Secretary’s Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality, and will be integrated across existing coordinating bodies on gender issues, both in Washington and within embassies and missions. 

Strategic and Budget Planning

Under the Secretary’s Policy Guidance, relevant Department of State bureaus and embassies will develop strategies to promote gender equality and advance the status of women and girls across geographic regions and functional bureaus.  Bureau and country strategies to address gender issues will be developed as part of the Department of State’s ongoing strategic planning and budgeting process.  Strategies will be grounded in analysis of existing inequalities and focused on action items that the Department and embassies can advance in both near-term and longer-term timeframes. To implement the strategy on gender-based violence, the Department of State will:

Review relevant functional bureau strategic plans to ensure that gender-based violence is adequately addressed; and

Request that relevant regional bureaus and embassies include specific gender-based violence issues within their strategic plans, as applicable to specific country or regional contexts.

Guided by newly-revised definitions and guidance to bureaus and embassies, current budget processes have been strengthened to more accurately represent budget levels for the following Key Issue areas: gender equality/women’s empowerment (both primary and secondary attribution), gender-based violence, and women, peace, and security. The process informs the annual Congressional Budget Justification in these critical areas and serves to advance gender equality through both direct and integrated approaches.  United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally 31

Policy and Programming

Embassies and bureaus will strive to ensure that the full range of U.S. policy and assistance programming identifies and addresses existing gender disparities, capitalizes on the unique skills and contributions of women and girls, and is accessible and responsive to ongoing challenges confronted by women and girls.  In order to further this agenda on issues specific to gender-based violence, the Department of  State will: Establish an intra-agency working group, consisting of representatives from a wide range of bureaus and offices across the Department, to assist in internal coordination and integration of gender-based violence prevention and response in Department programming and policies.

The working group will share information and establish priorities, as well as coordinate existing policies and programs to eliminate gaps and effectively maximize existing resources.

Through existing policy and diplomatic mechanisms and programming, including the Secretary’s International Fund for Women and Girls and S/GWI, the Department of State will: Advocate for development and implementation of laws and policies in other countries to monitor, prevent, and respond to gender-based violence. This includes work to strengthen institutions and support partner governments’ efforts to develop appropriate legislation, harmonize laws and other provisions in the legal code,  develop action plans for implementation, and help train oversight of and advocacy for implementation of the laws; Support capacity-building of and outreach to civil society, including the media, criminal justice sector, and health providers; Support civil society and community-level approaches to change behaviors and attitudes concerning violence and to facilitate discussion among families, community organizations, and religious, traditional, and other community leaders around human rights and gender-based violence, and effective ways to address these issues. Through these community level approaches, the Department will aim to target and engage:

• Men and boys;

• Female leaders and women’s groups;

• Religious, faith-based, and community leaders; and

• Youth

Build off existing platforms (GHI, PEPFAR, etc.) and scale up programs that have been found effective, contingent on resources. This could include programs that integrate screening of and response to gender-based violence into health service delivery programs, as well as psychosocial support where feasible; or programs that require health and life skills programming for adolescent and pre-adolescent girls and boys, for example to address sexual coercion and abuse and promote elements of healthy relationships; Establish multi-sector linkages regarding violence prevention and response programs, with particular attention to the legal/judicial system and the education and economic sectors; and Address the causes, including root causes, of gender-based violence, especially violence against women and girls. This includes reducing barriers between women and men and girls and boys in economic, political, and civic arenas and implementing initiatives that protect human rights and raise societies’ respect and value for all women and girls, including inclusive education and economic empowerment opportunities.

[iii] Details of my own personal case and my efforts to protect and defend my rights, and the rights of others (as well as develop “good practices” and appropriate protocol in challenging and denouncing abusive and discriminatory traditions and customs in family courts) are as follows:

  • United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – Commission on the Status of Women against the Spanish government, for the following violations: their failure to protect victims of gender violence; failure to assure due process: failure to prevent discrimination against women within judicial proceeding pertaining to divorce, custodial decisions, and liquidation of common assets;  application of discriminatory norms against and stereotypes of women during judicial proceedings and decisions;  the failure of government regulatory agencies to duly investigate complaints of lack of due process, discrimination, and negligence/corruption of State and non-State judicial actors (www.worldpulse.com/node/55730)
  • Official complaint to the Spanish Defensor del Pueblo and Consejo General del Poder Judicial for constitutional, civil and human rights violations in Gonzalez de Alcala vs. Wilcox (www.worldpulse.com/node/52011)
  • Official complaint to the Spanish Instituto de Mujer for discrimination against women in Gonzalez de Alcala vs. Wilcox (www.worldpulse.com/node/50602)
  • Letter to Quatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira (April 2012) requesting their assistance under their obligation to perform the previous unfulfilled contractual obligation of Jorge Cappell, art. 1089, 1098, 1102, 1104, of the Spanish civil code, & art. 11, 29, 31, 109, 511 and  512 of the Spanish penal code, inter alia (www.worldpulse.com/node/62773)
  • Letter to Plehn Abogados (December2012) requesting his assistance in arriving at a financial settlement with all previous legal counsel (Gonzalo Martinez de Haro of Vanander, Carlos y Associados (American Embassy website listing); Belen Garcia Martin (Plehn Abogado – American Embassy website listing); Jose Manuel Hernandez Jiménez (abogado de oficio); Jorge Capell of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira (American Embassy website listing); Alberto Fontes Garcia Calamarte; Miguel Martinez Lopez de Asiain & Ignacio Gonzalez Martinez; and procuradores[iii] Juan Bosco Hornedo Muguiro; Maria Pilar Lantero; Pilar Poveda Guerra; and Rafael Gamarra Megias) for their professional and criminal negligence in Wilcox vs. Gonzalez de Alcala (2007) and Gonzalez de Alcala vs. Wilcox (2007-2012); as an act of good faith and in order to avoid future litigation against them.

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