DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION
IT IS NOT A “PRIVATE MATTER’ AS THE SPANISH AND AMERICAN GOVERNMENTS CONTEND!!!
Domestic Abuse as a Human Rights Violation and the Principle of Due Diligence:
An Intersectional Approach
Human, Civil & Constitutional Rights Violations,
Discrimination Against Women,
Lack of Due Diligence,
Corruption of Judicial Procedures,
Criminal Liability of Judicial Actors,
in Cases of Domestic Abuse
within Family Courts & Family Law
Denuncia Contra el Juzgado de Mostoles, Primera Instancia #2
González de Alcalá vs. Wilcox
In presenting my complaint against the juzgado of Mostoles primeria instancia #2, my legal counsel, and all State and non-State actors implicated, for their lack of due diligence in violations of my (Quenby Wilcox) and my children’s human, civil and constitutional rights, and for discrimination against me as a woman and foreigner, I hope that the Spanish authorities will accord it the importance it merits.
While my complaint is against the juzgado de Mostoles, my grievance is against all tribunals and judicial systems in Europe, North America, Oceania, inter alia, that are violating the rights of their citizens, encouraging and participating in discrimination against women, and failing to protect victims of gender violence and domestic abuse. And, in presenting my case to the Spanish authorities, international tribunals, inter alia, as well as all forms of media communication at my disposal, I am exercising my right to freedom of expression and thought.
It should be noted that the lack of due process and violation of rights can, and does, happen to all citizens in judicial systems, but women, foreigners, the poor, minorities and children are more exposed to these abuses of powers due to discriminatory customs, traditions and beliefs of judicial actors, as well as within the general population. While these problems are inter-related, discrimination and violations of rights should not be seen as problems that are contingent or causal, but rather problems that co-exist within a much greater arena; the failure of the democratic process.
It is for this reason that in efforts to prevent the violations of rights and discrimination, and as we shall see corruption and negligence, as well as assure successful legislative reform, and accountability and transparency within the judiciary; the real challenge comes in defying and changing the antiquated norms, beliefs and customs which permeate and guide judicial procedures and decisions.
While the issues presented in my case happened within a divorce court, and for many nothing more than a “private affair”, the following should be noted.
Divorce, whether it involves gender violence or not, happens within a judicial system, under laws and judicial procedures, and as such reflects upon the integrity and honor of the fundamentals upon which democracies are based. I cite art. 1.1 and 1.2 of the Spain’s Constitucion – English. “Spain is hereby established as a social and democratic State, subject to the rule of law, which advocates freedom, justice, equality and political pluralism as highest values of its legal system. National sovereignty belongs to the Spanish people, from whom all state powers emanate; as well art. 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 24, 27, 33, 35, 38, 40, 41, 45, 47 and 51. Any acts, opinions, or decisions by State or non-State actors that infringe upon the rights and liberties of any citizen (of Spanish or foreign nationality, and feminine or masculine sex), are participating in the corruption of said democracy, and principles upon which they are founded.
A true democracy is not founded upon a simple piece of paper where these articles and principles are written, but in the dignity and honor that every person possesses, and in their responsibility and obligation to respect, as well as defend the dignity and honor all other persons living within his or her community or country. As guardians of the Constitution and its principles, judicial actors, be they State or non-State actors, possess an even higher responsibility and obligation to defend these principles.
These are not principles that human beings have or understand at birth, but are based upon beliefs, customs, traditions and behavior that are learned, and determined by those people who care for, educate and relate with them during their entire life, especially the first 20 years.
It is for this reason, and in light of the fact that 3 out of 4, or 75% of marriages/civil partnerships in Spain end in separation and/or divorce, that the decisions by tribunals regarding custody or financial considerations, are not, nor cannot be considered a “private affair” or “civil dispute”, particularly within the political arena.
The education and well-being of our young, of today as well as future generations, should be, and must be, the NUMBER ONE preoccupation, of governments around the world, as well as the defense of their rights and liberties at all levels of society, above all in our judicial systems.
As demonstrated in the report Domestic Abuse – A Human Rights Violations & Principle of Due Diligence – an Intersectional Approach, the economic and social well-being of a country depends directly upon the health and well-being of its people. The problems associates with the psychological and physical well-being of a nation; be they economic, educative, social, health-related, criminality etc., etc., problems which all of our countries are facing, are the direct result of the antiquated socialization of our young, which is based upon abuses of power, excessive discipline or excessive permissiveness. Socialization techniques of “civilizations” have been developed over thousands of years and have taught domination of the strong over the weak, tyranny, hate, discrimination, but all too rarely the principles of conviviality, dignity, respect or equality.
If we wish to create a world where we can all live in peace and prosperity, we must radically change the way that we relate to each other. In order to achieve this goal we must start with the way in which we nurture and education our children, as well as the morals and values that we transmit and teach them.
In considering my case and complaint, particular attention should be afforded the damages which are caused by the lack of integrity and wide-spread corruption within judicial system and the negative impact on an economy, particularly in light of the present global economic crisis.
It is well demonstrated that corruption has a negative impact on the development of new businesses, the development of free commerce, the development of infra-structures, the confidence of foreign investors, and promotes political corruption at all levels. I cite The Relationship between Human Rights and Corruption: the Impact of Corruption on the Rights to Equal Access to Justice and Effective Remedy by Victoria Jennett 
“Corruption in the judicial system undermines democracy and human rights as well as diminishing economic growth and human development. The judicial system is the cornerstone of democracy: the enforcer and interpreter of the law passed by the legislature and implemented by the executive. It is also the final arbiter of disputes between parties. If a justice system is corrupt public officials and special interest groups can act in the knowledge that, if exposed, their corrupt and illegal acts will go unpunished. Public confidence in governance and the institutions of state is eroded as judicial corruption facilitates corruption across all sectors of government and society. Human rights are debased as citizens are not afforded their rights of equal access to the courts, nor are they treated equally by the courts. The international business community is reluctant to invest in countries – often developing countries that most need investment – where there is no certainty in the rule of law and no guarantee that contracts will be respected because the judicial system is in the service of those in power or with the deepest pockets rather than in service to the rule of law.”
My own case exposes not only how corruption acts within the judicial process, its consequences from a human, civil and constitutional rights perspective, and the criminal liabilities produced by actors of said corruption, but also the consequences that it has on the development of a commercial entity within a country.
My company, Global Expats/www.global-xpats.com, would have generated €100+ millions in revenues in the past 4 years, as well as thousands of jobs, and at present would be headquartered in Spain, (paying substantial taxes) if it had not been for the misappropriation of all of my assets by the Spanish judicial system.
In considering my case, and complaint, the Spanish authorities should look at the problems presented as representative of what is occurring in family courts, particularly in cases of gender violence and domestic abuse. The traditions that cover-up abuses of power, whether within the family, community, or tribunals, all utilize the same tactics and have the same objectives (intimidate and dominate the victim), but are so ingrained in our customs and minds that the majority of people do not even recognize their existence.
Therefore, while customs, traditions and laws that I am challenging and defying might be considered “normal”, for the simple reason that they have always existed, they cannot be defended or maintained under this principle. It is in this spirit and under art. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,art. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of the Spain’s Equality Act 3-2007 – English and the principle of “positive action” in the elimination of discrimination against women, I am asking the Spanish authorities, to accord partners in marriage (my ex-husband and I, Señora Quenby Wilcox), and the State and non-State actors implicated, the same rights and liabilities, and with the same rigor, as any other contractual situation under the Spanish civil and penal code, as well as Spanish and international law.
The democratic structure offered under the Spanish Constitution, its civil and criminal code, and its organic laws, designed to promote the rights of women (particularly the Spain’s Equality Act 3-2007 – English and Organic_Act_of_Protection_Measures_against_Gender_Violence_(Ley_contra_la_Violencia_de_Género)), and signatures to international conventions and pacts (particularly the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women), is admirable and offers the entire world an exemplary democratic model. However, as long as the rights of citizens that pass through its judicial systems are infringed upon with such facility and so overtly, the survival of the principles of democracy within its borders are in serious danger.
If the Spanish State, and all societies, have any hope of transforming the ideas and political promises of the last 200 years into reality, we must pass from rhetoric to reality and action. And, in this there is no secret; it will be day-by-day, person-by-person, and case-by-case, holding all persons that violate the rights of others responsible for his or her actions, without regard for his or her station in life or power within the society.
In this complaint I introduce Good Practices in Combating and Eliminating Violence Against Women – UN Division for the Advancement of Women by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women 2005, as well as Broken Bodies Shattered Minds – Amnesty International ENG, in recalling the principle of due diligence and the obligation of the State to protect victims from all forms of violence and torture, whether they be physical or emotional; and/or all forms of de jure and de facto discrimination; and/or violation of human, civil, and constitutional rights under the Spanish Constitution, Spanish civil and penal code and national laws, as well as international conventions, at the hands of State or non-State actors.
by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women 2005
“The failure of justice systems across the globe to effectively charge, investigate and prosecute human rights violations against women and girls has resulted in a system of global impunity for perpetrators, which must be urgently addressed…. Law and legal systems reflect wider cultural values, and in this respect they have been implicated as structures that have not only reflected, but also re-created, gender-based power relations. As a consequence, legal reform has been a core strategy in efforts to create gender equality. Legal strategies with respect to violence against women need to take account of the explicit and implicit ways law and its implementation has failed women, leaving them unprotected and with no route to redress and justice….
Discrimination is a cause of, and makes women more vulnerable to, violence. A form of protection, therefore, is the repeal of all types of discriminatory laws including those relating to inheritance rights, divorce, citizenship, sexual and reproductive rights, division of matrimonial property and employment….
Once laws have been enacted there is a need for ongoing independent institutional mechanisms for oversight. These can take the form of an ombudsperson, a national rapporteur or gender equality machinery. The fact that violence against women occurs in cross-border contexts also invites the development of cross-border cooperation….
Too often inter-agency work at local levels is little more than “window-dressing”meetings, roundtables and even entire projects which result in reports, workshops or conferences, but create minimal change in the support, safety and services provided for victims/survivors, the sanctions applied to perpetrators or the efforts aimed at prevention.
A clear leadership role for women’s specialist services should be built into all inter-agency projects alongside a linked reference group of survivors, or another feedback mechanism, to ensure accountability and monitoring…
Human rights standards are the bare minimum of what every human being should expect to enjoy in their daily lives. They provide internationally recognized and legally enforceable benchmarks…. Adherence to international human rights instruments, without reservations, strengthens women’s enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including protection from gender-based violence. Such instruments include:
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;
- Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
- Convention on the Rights of the Child;
- The gender provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Code
- International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families;
- Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the protocol relating to the Status of Refugees;
- United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especial and Women and Children;
- Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security;
- Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women:
Broken Bodies, Shattered Minds Torture and Abuse of Women
by Amnesty International 2001
Torture by private individuals
International human rights treaties not only regulate the conduct of states and set limits on the exercise of state power, they also require states to take action to prevent abuses of human rights. States have a duty under international law to take positive measures to prohibit and prevent torture and to respond to instances of torture, regardless of where the torture takes place and whether the perpetrator is an agent of the state or a private individual.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights requires states to “ensure” freedom from torture or ill-treatment. The UN Human Rights Committee, the expert body that monitors implementation of the Covenant, has stated: “It is the duty of the State party to afford everyone protection through legislative and other measures as may be necessary against the acts prohibited by article 7 [torture and ill-treatment], whether inflicted by people acting in their official capacity, outside their official capacity or in a private capacity”.4
UN Convention against Torture
Article 1: “For the purposes of this Convention, the term ‘torture’ means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”
The UN Convention against Torture establishes the responsibility of the state for acts of torture inflicted “at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official”. The European Court of Human Rights has affirmed that states are required to take measures to ensure that individuals are not subjected to torture or ill-treatment, including by private individuals.
In 1998, the Court found that the United Kingdom had violated Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibiting torture and ill-treatment, because its domestic law did not provide adequate protection to a nine-year-old boy beaten with a cane by his stepfather.5 Human rights treaties are “living instruments”, which evolve and develop over time. Decisions by the inter-governmental bodies which monitor states’ compliance with international treaties, as well as by national courts, continually refine and develop the interpretation of what constitutes torture.6 Largely thanks to the efforts of the worldwide women’s movement, there is wider understanding that torture includes acts of violence by private individuals in certain circumstances.
Acts of violence against women constitute torture for which the state is accountable when they are of the nature and severity envisaged by the concept of torture in international standards and the state has failed to fulfil its obligation to provide effective protection.
Severity of the harm
The severity of the harm inflicted upon women by private individuals can be as damaging as that inflicted on women who are tortured by agents of the state. The long-term effects of repeated battering in the home are physically and psychologically devastating. Women are traumatized and injured by rape, wherever the crime takes place. The medical consequences include psychological trauma, wounds, unwanted pregnancies, infertility and life-threatening diseases.
Many abuses in the family or community are intentionally inflicted. In addition, such abuses are often inflicted for similar reasons to torture in custody. Torture in custody is often used not only to extract confessions but also to instil profound dread into victims, to break their will, to punish them and to demonstrate the power of the perpetrators. Similar purposes characterize acts of torture in the family or the community. The perpetrators may seek to intimidate women into obedience or to punish women for allegedly bringing shame on relatives by their disobedience.
The perpetrators of violence against women in the home and community are private individuals, but this does not necessarily mean that the state escapes responsibility for their actions. Under international law, the state has clear responsibility for human rights abuses committed by non-state actors — people and organizations acting outside the state and its organs.
Internationally, the state is accountable in a number of specific ways. It can be deemed responsible for carrying out the human rights violation because of a connection with the non-state actors, or it can be responsible for its failures to take reasonable steps to prevent or respond to an abuse. The way in which the state is responsible is categorized in different ways. These include complicity, consent or acquiescence, and failure to exercise due diligence and to provide equal protection in preventing and punishing such abuses by private individuals. In all these circumstances, the state is allowing violence against women to continue, and in this report the term “failure of state protection” is used to cover complicity, consent, acquiescence and lack of due diligence.
The concept of due diligence describes the threshold of effort which a state must undertake to fulfill its responsibility to protect individuals from abuses of their rights. The Special Rapporteur on violence against women has held that “…a State can be held complicit where it fails systematically to provide protection from private actors who deprive any person of his/her human rights.”7 Due diligence includes taking effective steps to prevent abuses, to investigate them when they occur, to prosecute the alleged perpetrator and bring them to justice in fair proceedings, and to ensure adequate reparation, including compensation and redress. It also means ensuring that justice is dispensed without discrimination of any kind.
The standard of due diligence was articulated and applied by a regional human rights court, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The Court stated: “An illegal act which violates human rights and which is initially not directly imputable to a State (for example, because it is the act of a private person or because the person responsible has not been identified) can lead to international responsibility of the State, not because of the act itself, but because of the lack of due diligence to prevent the violation or to respond to it as required by the Convention [American Convention on Human Rights].”8 The Court stated: “The State has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent human rights violations and to use the means at its disposal to carry out a serious investigation of violations committed within its jurisdiction, to identify those responsible, to impose the appropriate punishment and to ensure the victim adequate compensation.”9
…State inaction can be seen in a range of different areas. These include inadequate preventive measures; police indifference to abuses; failure to define abuses as criminal offences; gender bias in the court system; and legal procedures which hamper fair criminal prosecution. Many women victims of violence find access to legal redress and reparations difficult, if not impossible. Impunity and indifference habitually surround many acts of violence against women. Focusing on when the state fails to protect people from harm by others, and how it can be held to share responsibility for the harm, does not ignore the original abuser’s responsibility.
In every case, the direct perpetrators must be fairly tried and punished for their crimes. AI considers that acts of violence against women in the home or the community constitute torture for which the state is accountablewhen they are of the nature and severity envisaged by the concept of torture in international standards and the state has failed to fulfil its obligation to provide effective protection.
Also, in considering my case it should be noted that an important issue within is my “right to work, to the free choice of profession or trade, to advancement through work, and to a sufficient remuneration for the satisfaction of (my) needs and those of (my) family. Under no circumstances may they be discriminated on account of their sex.” (art. 35.1 of the Spanish Constitution).
However, in my case, this article of the Constitution covers different but related issues. The first is my right to work out-side the home and/or develop entrepreneurial efforts, the second is my right as a homemaker to have my work and contribution to society recognized as such.
In the first case in point, the manipulations and maneuvers of Señor González de Alcalá have been with the expressed object of preventing me from working, developing a business and becoming financially independent. His obsessive actions and demented manipulations to impede me from working and/or “making a living” have transgressed our entire marriage, and is the reason that Señor González de Alcalá always looked for expatriated posts within BBVA.
With 8 international relocations in 20 years, it was completely impossible for me to develop or maintain a professional career, pursue educational opportunities, or develop entrepreneurial opportunities that arose during our stance abroad. Paradoxically, it is our nomadic life that prevented me from working outside of the home that also gave me the idea to start a business for expatriated homemakers. This project provides me with the opportunity to utilize my expert experience and knowledge in the necessities and challenges of the expatriate family, my innate aptitude in helping other people, as well as create a profession/business that I could develop from my home and “transport” with me anywhere in the world.
State and non-State actors that have knowingly or unknowingly, assisted Señor González de Alcalá in preventing me from accessing my funds and/or assets in Spain, and whose intention from the beginning has been to impede me from creating and developing Global Expats (violation of art. 1390 and 1391 of the civil code and art. 22, 252, 250.7 and 172 of the penal code), are responsible for all violations of my right to work, inter alia, and are liable for all monetary and moral damages [i]that have been produced by said violations.
Another important consideration in examining my “right to work, to the free choice of profession or trade, to advancement through work, and to a sufficient remuneration for the satisfaction of (my) needs and those of (my) family. Under no circumstances may they be discriminated on account of their sex.” (art. 35.1 of the Spanish Constitution), is the homemakers right to have her work and the important contribution she (or he) makes to her family, community and society recognized by governments, in the case in hand, by the juzgado de Mostoles and implicated judges.
My own experience as a homemaker and trailing spouse, as well as my participation in the communities in which I have lived, has shown me the important role homemakers play in a society. This vital role is further documented in extensive research within the global mobility industry, which clearly demonstrates that the successful development of the family unit, as well as a productive and industrious employee, is determined by the homemaker/spouse. Their importance is also documented in studies and research within the micro-finance industry showing to what extent empowered women are a positive, driving force within their family, community and the economic development of a country.
The work executed by homemakers, if remunerated at comparable labor market wages would amount to a salary of €30.000/month. These women work tirelessly, are on call 24/7 with no vacations, receiving no financial remuneration or social benefits or recognition for their work. Societies are increasingly acknowledging the valuable contribution of homemakers, even becoming a political issue in the present American presidential campaigns. As President Obama stated “There’s no tougher job than being a Mom…That’s work, so anyone who would argue otherwise needs to rethink their statement.”
The failure of judicial actors, and as we shall see my legal representation, to recognize the work of homemakers, particularly during divorce proceedings, relegated my position as homemakers to one of servitude and/or slave.
While women customarily obtain custody of child in cases of divorce, this is due to agreements between the partners and not traditions within the courts. Fathers, who seek custody of children in divorce courts, are awarded said custody at a rate of 94%, and in cases of documented sexual and physical abuse at a rate of 70%, even in cases where the mothers have been primary care givers.
In Spain only 11% of women are awarded alimony (often at €500/year, 67% of the minimum salary), with no legal recourse in reclaiming said alimony. The average age of woman who divorce in Spain is 42 years old, after 15.6 years of matrimony, leaving divorced homemakers condemned to a life of extreme poverty. Due to age and gender discrimination in the work-force it is impossible for a woman over the age of 40-45 years old to develop a career, leaving her with no option than to accept menial or low-level administrative jobs, at lower than competitive wages. It should also be noted that upon divorce homemakers have no rights to unemployment benefits, social security coverage, or right to pensions, etc. further contributing to their perpetual state of poverty.
Even though under common property law, women are entitled to half of all assets and income as well as equal rights in its management, antiquated ideas and customs regarding patriarchal prerogative and the idea that homemakers “do not work” and “live off the sweat of their husbands brow”, are so prevalent amongst judicial actors, women are divested of all of their assets during divorce proceedings. This is accomplished, as we shall see during my entire case, through illegal manipulations by legal counsel, judicial decisions that violate women’s rights, and through antiquated, discriminatory laws and legal precedents, instead of application of progressive laws designed to promote the rights of women, and protection of rights and interests. This is why progressive laws, without accountability and transparency of judicial procedures, are totally ineffective in defending victims of domestic abuse and gender violence.
In my own case, it still remains unclear to what extent my legal counsel is responsible for my failure to access financial information, records, and assets under common property law and to what extent discriminatory procedural laws in Spain is responsible. However, what is clear is that failure to access this information and property directly and/or indirectly have violated my rights under art. 1, 9, 10, 14 and 33.3 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 42, 44 and 45 of the Equality Act 3/2007; art. 11, 22, 28, 29 195, 250.7 and 450 of the penal code; art. 1088, 1089, 1090, 1093, 1094, 1100 1254, 1255 and 1262 of the civil code; art. 2, 3, 4, 5, 11 and 12 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; art. 1, 2 and 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; art.1, 2, 3, 10 and 11 of the International Covenant on Economical, Social and Cultural Rights.
Perhaps of greatest interest in examining the rights of homemakers, and violation of those rights by divorce courts, is the Equality Act 3/2007. Art. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 provide for equality of men and women, with protection of women against discrimination, with art. 14 providing additional obligations of public authorities and officials to promote equality and positive action in cases of de facto discrimination against women. Art. 9, 10, 11 and 12 (strengthen by art. 1101 of the civil code and art. 109, 11, 111, 112, 113, 116 and 118 of the penal code) provide legal redress and monetary reparations for women in cases of discrimination, with art. 13 providing that the burden of proof of non-discrimination against women fall upon the defendant(s); in this case my legal counsel as well as implicated judges and civil servants of the juzgado de Mostoles.
Of additional consideration is art. 14.5, which strengthens public authority’s responsibility to eradicate gender and domestic violence, placing a particularly high burden upon divorce courts, and all and any civil servants (under art. 24.2 of the penal code), who participate in said proceedings. Since court psico-social teams and their recommendations play a particularly elevated role, 85-88% reliance rates in custody determinations, discriminatory practices and opinions which promote patriarchal prerogative and/or gender and domestic violence by them, should be given particularly high consideration in examination of my case and complaint.
The contention of judicial actors that my accusation/complaints of violence and abuse at the hands of Senor Gonzalez de Alcala are manifestations of schizophrenic paranoia and/or substance abuse is guided by nothing more than antiquated customs used to justify abusive actions and deviate attention away from the abuse and abuser onto the victim. Studies in the past 20 years into domestic abuse and violence and its consequences, clearly demonstrate that attitudes of the past towards parental and patriarchal prerogative promote and sustain traditions of abuse, and that mental disorders and substance abuse are caused by said abuse, rather than a “weakness of character”.
And, finally in consideration of my case, and governments obligation and commitment to “positive action”, particular attention should be afforded the objectives and goals of Global Expats, which is designed to not only provide much needed support to the family unit (expatriates, specifically) by offering extensive information and emotional support to the trailing spouse, homemaker, but also provide her (or him) with the possibility to maintain her career and financial independence while abroad.
With the modernization of our societies women are increasingly moving into the remunerated labor-force outside the home; however this has created a situation where they are surcharged with a disproportionate amount of work. Not only are they expected to perform at par, or better, than their male counter-parts in the work-force, but are expected to execute all of the work and roles they have traditionally played within the home. Additionally, it has created a situation where in the case of both parents working outside the home, children are not afforded with the structure and direction they need in becoming responsible, productive members of our societies; a fact that governments are neither recognizing nor addressing in their public policies or legislation.
It is for these two reasons that many women, and increasingly men, are giving up their careers and financial independence to follow their partners abroad, but are then faced with the desire to utilize their professional knowledge and skills. This labor market is composed of an estimated 5-10 million women around the world, with a wealth of resources, just waiting to be utilized to their full potential. Global Expats is modeled after the “tried and true” trailing spouse, philanthropic associations, but turns the concept into a revenue-producing entity in order to assure its long-term survival and success.
The bulk of initial revenues will be generated from advertising to a present Internet audience of 20-25 million page views per month. Expatriates markets around the world are composed of 50 million people who collectively generate $14.8 trillion usd in spending per year. Advertising revenues of comparable websites, such as www.citysearch.com, www.yelp.com, www.about.com, are generating $100+ million/year, and as such, reasonable and justifiable revenue targets for www.global-expats.com The lost profits, and monetary damages of Global Expats from 2007- 2012, due to la negligence of the Spanish judicial system, are estimated at $15 million usd.
It should be noted that in addition to the responsibility and liability for monetary damages of lawyers implicated in my case, the Spanish government can also be held responsible for financial damages suffered under art. 10, 109, 111, 113, 116, 121, 122, 123 and 124 of the penal code for acts, or omissions of acts by civil servants (as defined by art. 24.2 of the penal code) under art. 413, 414, 428, 429, 451, 22, 27, 28 and 29 of the penal code.
Discriminatory Actions in Juicio 607/2007
On September 4, 2007 I filed a complaint against my husband for his threats upon my life and person. These intimidations began in June 2007, with threats to take away my children, all of my money, and throw me out on the street if I did not stop working on my project/business, Global Expats – www.global-expats.com. But, on September 3, 2007 the violence lasted all day long at levels much higher than usual. I was convinced that the next time his violent rage occurred he would kill me.
Juicio Rapido 607-2007 – The presiding judge refused to accept my petition for a restraining order (stating that said order could not be petitioned after the initial complaint, contradicting what the guardia civil had told me the day before) and refused to accord a pension for me and my children, in violation of my rights under art. 1318, 1319, 1347, 1362, 1375, 1382, 1386, 1390, 1391, 142,143, 144 and 154 of the civil code. During the hearing Señor de Gonzalez de Alcalá’s lawyer was disrespectful to me, as was the judge. When I made a sigh, the judge said to me in a menacing way “If you do not keep quiet, I am going to throw you out of the court!” in violation of art. 9 of the Rights of the Citizen, inter alía.
In the hearing it was demonstrated that Señor González de Alcalá had total control of all money and assets, was not listening to me about their management, and was obsessive in his control; proof of his abuse, and in violation of my rights under art. 32 and 33 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 1316, 1347, 1322, 1362, 1375, 1376, 1377, 1383, 1390 and 1391 of the Spanish civil code, but everything was discounted by the judge.
During the proceedings he alleged that I was an alcoholic and drug-addict. An accusation rather ridiculous in light of the fact that during our marriage it was Señor González de Alcalá that was always going out to discotheques and restaurants, etc. with his friends, leaving me at home to take care of our children, cleaning, cooking and working in philanthropic efforts during my free time (or on www.global-expats.com ) (see documents #3, #4, and #11). It should be noted that during the hearing no one asked Señor González de Alcalá about his consumption of alcohol, or other substance, or his frequent evenings out and parties, in violation of art. 14 and 24 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 2(c), 2(d), 2(f), 5(a) and 15 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; art. 2, 14.1, the International Convention on the Civil and Political Rights; art. 2, 4 and 6 the Equality Act 3/2007, inter alía.
In this hearing, and in all judicial proceedings afterwards, judicial actors believed the fantastic accusations of Señor González de Alcalá, even in front of proof and evidence to the contrary. But, the proof and evidence of abuse, illegal manipulations and bad faith on the part of Senor Gonzalez de Alcala were not only discounted when brought up, but judicial actors, including my own legal representation, cover-up said abuse, as we shall see during the case presented herein.
The continual favoritism towards Señor González de Alcalá, and discrimination against me were in violation of art. 14 and 24 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the Ley de Igualdad 3/2007; art. 2(c), 2(d), 2(f), 5(a) and 15 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; art. 2, 5 and 6 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; and art. 2, and 14.1, the International Convention on the Civil and Political Rights, inter alía.
I denied his allegations, recognizing social consumption (in a country where wine consumption is part of the culinary patrimony) but I did not understand the relevance of the questions. My lawyer, Senor Gonzalo Martinez de Haro de Vinander, Carlos and Associados, who came recommended on the website of the American Embassy in Madrid, and with whom I consulted in July 2007 about initiating a divorce and litigation against my web designers in Florida (Arnima Web Design, www.arnima.com ) for breach of contract, did not protest against such questions, as irrelevant to the complaint and in violation of my rights under 24.2 of the Spanish Constitution, and his “omission of act” was in violation of art. 4 and 5 of the Deontological code 658/2001, june 22, and art. 512 of the penal code, inter alia.
Then, Senor de Haro, did not inform me about the judge’s decision, that in effect declared me a drug-addict and alcoholic, nor the necessity to appeal such decision or the process to do so; once again in violation of his obligations under art. 4, 5 and 13 of the CODIGO DEONTOLÓGICO, 658/2001, de 22 de junio and art. 467 and 512 of the código penal española, inter alía. It should be noted that I never received a bill from the procurador, Señor Juan Bosco Hornedo Muguiro, and that the civil servant/file clerk handling the case insisted and insisted that there had not been a procurador until I found a document signed by him within the documents (see document #13). I do not know why I never received a bill, nor why the civil servant did not want me to know the name of the procurador, or even if this is relevant to the failure of Senor de Haro to appeal the court decision, but it seems to be an irregularity worth noting. (I still do not fully understand the responsibilities and obligation of a procurador).
I was later told that it is “unseemly” in Spain for a woman to consume any alcohol, tobacco or other “substances” (minus pharmaceuticals) and that my testimony was considered “inadmissible” because of my “bad character”.
The antiquated notion that abstinence (alcohol, sex, etc.) is a sign of respectability, integrity or morality, and its prevalence in judicial considerations, is one of the most detrimental factors in defending the rights of victims of domestic abuse. True “morality” is not linked to antiquated Victorian and puritan norms, but in the respect of the rights and “privacy” of others, as well as the integrity in the execution of your work and profession and/or your relation with, and behavior towards, other people.
In addition, the use, and abuse of “drugs” (pharmaceutical, illegal, and legal) as well as emotional and/or psychotic disorders, are caused by the stress related to domestic abuse; a fact demonstrated in report after report and statistics around the world. Accusations and/or problems associated with “substance abuse” or “strange behavior” should be seen as “proof” of gender violence or domestic abuse, and not the contrary!
Art. 66-68  of the Spanish civil code clearly defines the responsibilities and obligations of partners within a marriage, and this should be the concentration of the courts in cases of divorce; and not defamation of character campaigns. The failure of courts and judicial actors to present and examine evidence and proof instead of participating in “witch-hunts” based on rumors and innuendos is the reason that abusers are being awarded custody of children at alarming rates.
For example, in my case there is quite a bit of evidence that Señor González de Alcalá had an intimate relationship with the Brasilian woman who rented a room in our home from the beginning of 2007 until September 4, 2007, the day after Señor González de Alcalá left our domicile. But, any sexual infidelity on his part during our marriage is without any importance in divorce proceedings. (THIS is a private affair between Senor Gonzalez de Alcala and me, and no one else). What is, and was, important, and that the judge completely discounted, was the “infidelity” of Senor Gonzalez de Alcala towards his family in risking their financial security; his defamation of character campaign against his spouse and mother of his children (started in 2004 and our arrival in Spain in his efforts to “cover-up” his emotional problems); his incredible efforts to prevent me from creating a business; his efforts to defraud me of all of my assets; and worst of all have been his efforts to prevent me from being with our children. Of all of his crimes, and the crimes of everyone implicated, that is the most heinous and wicked of all.
These things are not only immoral, but also illegal (art. 226, 208 and 252, inter alia of the penal code) and should be what is important in determining the custody of minor children; not some archaic ideas about what constitutes “una Senora” or “immoral” behavior under Puritan and Medieval ideas.
Social norms that accord importance about antiquated ideas of morality (sexual activities or sexual orientation; drug, alcohol or tobacco consumption; dress-codes; manners of speaking; socio-economic levels, etc.) should not only be irrelevant in divorce proceedings (and electoral campaigns, I might add) in today’s world, but are anti-constitutional under art. 14 of the Spanish Constitution in light of the double standards that have always existed regarding “acceptable” behavior” for women and “acceptable” behavior for men. Also, these considerations are anti-constitutional under art. 10, 15 and 18 del Spanish Constitution, inter alía, under the “right to privacy”.
The Machiavellian, illegal and immoral maneuvers of Señor González de Alcalá (and other members of his family) are unpardonable, but he could not have accomplished them, with such facility and so overtly, if it had not been for such an elevated lack of integrity and due diligence for all actors (State and non-State) implicated. As demonstrated during this case, new progressive laws in democratic countries cannot advance, nor assure, the rights of citizens without a total competence and integrity of State and non-State actors in their professional functions. This is where the real problems lays in protecting the rights of women, children and victims of all forms of abuse and violence, and where governments and tribunals should be concentrating their efforts.
As demonstrated in Domestic Abuse as a Human Rights Violations and the Principle of Due Diligence – An Intersectional Approach, as well as case studies such as María José Carrascosa in New Jersey, Dr. Lori Handrahan in Maine, and many other examined by organizations such as the Legal Clinic “DV Leap” of George Washington University, the Hague Convention Domestic Violence Project, the American Supreme Court case Abbott vs. Abbott, inter alía, abusers are utilizing the tribunals in order to sanction, as well as continue their abuse of victims with litigations and judicial maneuvers.
Until governments are ready to examine their judicial systems from an “intersectional” perspective, with objectivity, recognizing that antiquated norms and laws in judicial systems are encouraging and sustaining gender violence and domestic abuse, the human rights violations of victims will continue under their jurisdictions.
September – October 2007
In the following months the threats of Señor González de Alcalá escalated, including threats to “incarcerate” and “drug me up” for the rest of my life, assuring me he had all of the power to do as he promised. These threats are a tactic often used by abusers in their efforts to silence their victims, and work quite well due to the lack of understanding by judicial actors, as well as the general public, about the signs of gender violence and domestic abuse (see Domestic Abuse and Domestic Abuse as a Human Rights Violations and the Principle of Due Diligence – An Intersectional Approach, p. 47-150).
Also, during these months Señor González de Alcalá blocked my access to all our funds, leaving me without money to cover basic necessities for me and our children. This was in violation of art. 39 of the Spanish Constitution, art.143 of the civil code and art. 226 of the penal code clearly proof of his abuse, but never at any moment did my legal counsel introduce these facts as evidence during divorce proceedings. Also, at the time Señor González de Alcalá stole the passports of our children, my passport, my tarjeta de residencia, registration documents of my car, expensive jewelry/precious stones, etc. for which I filed an official complaint, but these facts were never presented during divorce proceeding by my lawyers.
Upon several occasions the police were obliged to present themselves at my home due to the violence of Señor González de Alcalá, but upon their recommendations and the degrading manner I had been treated by the judge in 607/2007, I dared not file another complaint. My legal counsel did not present these facts as evidence as to the erratic behavior of Señor González de Alcalá in the divorce proceedings.
The failure (by omission of act) of my lawyers to act in my interests and present proof to the tribunals as to the abuse of Señor González de Alcalá was in violation of art. 3 and 4 del CODIGO DEONTOLÓGICO, 658/2001, de 22 de junio; art. 512 and 22 of the penal code; art. 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9 the Equality Act 3/2007; and art. 4 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Centro de Género de Villanueva de la Canadá
From September 5, 2007 until the end of October, I requested the assistance in obtaining a court-appointed lawyer and initiating divorce proceeding at the Domestic Crisis Center, but they were of absolutely no help what-so-ever. In all of my meeting with them I always asked the same question “What do I have to do to get a lawyer?” and the response was always the same “In the next meeting they will tell you”. Until the last meeting they told me to “Go to the colegio de abogados in the c/ Serrano and ask them there”.
Additionally, I asked for social services for me and my children, but they were never given. I asked if they organized support groups or self-defense classes (basic programs for such centers) but was told the “Spanish women don’t want any of that”. Eventually, I found an academy of martial arts in Majadahonda, where they told me they had offered to give specialized defense classes for women in the Domestic Crisis Center, but had always been told “not interested”. Also, in all of my interviews during these months, with hundreds of people, I asked if the judge could not obligate Senor Gonzalez de Alcala to attend “anger management” classes and was always told “that does not exist in Spain”. The lack of assistance and diligence of the Domestic Violence Center of Villanueva de la Canada in executing its functions was in violation of art. 13, 14, 15, and 16 of the Organic Act of Protection Measures Against Gender Violence (núm. expte. 121/000002), art. 512, 510 and 195 of the penal code, and a total waste of the tax payer’s money.
I was given so much of the bureaucratic run-a-round during those months, interviews with people, waiting in lines, etc. that I did not know what was up, down, right or left, and all for nothing. Testimonies in reports by Amnisty International demonstrates that my experience is very commune for victims of gender violence in Spain (as is the case in all countries). Until governments take care of the enormous amount of bureaucracy, and sanction civil servants who do not execute their jobs with efficiency and integrity, the re-victimization of victims by judicial systems will continue.
It should be noted that victims of gender violence normally put up with the abuse for many years before filing formal complaints and attempt to escape. When they enter into the judicial process they are already suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders, and other emotional and physical problems, and the chaos and bureaucracy within the judicial systems only serves to augment the stress of victims and the reason why victims are re-victimized.
The lack of due diligence by State and non-State actors in protecting the rights of victims of gender violence is in violation of the following:
- Spanish Constitution– art. 14, 15, 17.1, 24, 35, 39, 45.1 and 53.1
- Convention on the Elimination of All Formas of Discrimination Against Women – art. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11.1d, 11.1e, 11.1f, 11.2c, 13, 15 and 16
- Convention on the Elimination of Violence Against Women – art. 2, 3 and 4
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination – art. 5
- International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – art. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10.1, 11.1, 12.1, 15,
- International Convention on Civil and Political Rights – art. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 17, 23, 24 and 26
- Convention of the Rights of the Child – art. 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 18
Additionally, I went to my Consulates (American and French) requesting assistance (3 times each one and under the Convention of Consular Affairs art. 5), with basically answers to the effect of “He is your husband he can do whatever he wants” and “This is a private/civil matter”.
Since I would not renounce my efforts to find a lawyer and initiate divorce proceedings, at the end of October 2007 Señor González de Alcalá initiated the divorce with the medias a la previa 1140/2007, filling his petition with false allegations of alcoholism and drug-addiction on my part. The petition was filled with citations of drug-addict, psychotic women, etc. that did not have any bearings on our case or divorce. These allegations of “crazy” and “witch-hunt” tactics are only more proof of Señor González de Alcalá’s unstable emotional state, and the fact that the judge, or other judicial actor, would even consider this “proof” or “evidence” is nothing less that incredible. (As incredible as if I attempted to make people believe that since Señor González de Alcalá is a man, was born in Morocco and is Spanish, this constitutes “proof’ as to his violence or abuse. This problem exists in all countries around the world, is linked to the abusive and antiquated manner that children are raised and does not have anything to do with anyone’s nationality, races, religion, sex, DNA, genes, etc., etc.).
Also in his petition Señor González de Alcalá falsified a bank statement, covering his name as title holder with mine (hand-written). The falsification of the document was so evident that I could not believe that his lawyer had introduced it in a divorce petition; in violation of art. 3 CODIGO DEONTOLÓGICO, 658/2001, de 22 de junio and un violación, and art. 393 and 396 of the penal code española. The falsification of “evidence” in his petition (and in almost all judicial proceedings thereafter), as well as repeated perjury, does not put in doubt the integrity and veracity of Señor González de Alcalá, and all of his contentions about me, from the very beginning?
But, at the time in reading the petition what most worried me was that the petition stipulated that if I did not present myself to the courts in the presence of a lawyer to defend me, I in essence admitted to the allegations of Señor González de Alcalá and in contempt of court.
Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil, Article 771. Provisional measures prior to a claim for nullity, separation or divorce. Application,hearing and decision. 1. A spouse aiming to bring a claim for nullity, separation or divorce of his matrimony may seek the effects and measures referred to in Articles 102 and 103 of the Civil Code before the court of his domicile. The involvement of a court representative and attorney shall not be required to file such application, but their involvement shall be necessary for any subsequent written statements or procedures….The failure of any of the spouses to attend such hearing may lead to the facts alleged by the spouse who has attended being admitted to ground his petitions for provisional measures concerning assets.
When I read the stipulation that I needed a lawyer NOW, and any lawyer, I returned to the American Embassy website and called the only American listed there. He recommended a lawyer that specialized in international divorces, Senora Belen Garcia Martin. I contracted her with money obtained from the only valuable things I possessed.
This stipulation in the civil code in effect removes the presumption of innocence and is in violation of due process and art. 24 of the Spanish Constitution.
Additionally, this stipulation is not only anti-constitutional, but discriminates against homemakers and for women at various levels. My own experience, that Amnesty International confirms is frequent, shows the reality of the situation and its consequences:
- Lawyers from the private sector require advances of money before accepting a client. If a woman does not have access to money, things of value to sell, or family or friends that can lend them money, hiring a lawyer from the private sector is almost impossible.
- One of the most common criticisms of lawyers is their lack of ability to develop a defense for their client and the presentation of said defense to tribunals. Additionally, sanctions for negligent lawyers are almost non-existent within regulatory agencies. Statistics in the USA show only a 2-2.5% discipline rate for complaints filed, while the level of negligence is estimated to be at 70-75%.
- The time necessary to file for all of the necessary forms to obtain a court-appointed lawyer can exceed the time limit in order to respond to a judicial petition. Without a lawyer one is left without a defense, at times with very serious consequences. One of the documents necessary to obtain a court-appointed lawyer, documentation of unemployment, does not exist for homemakers. In my case in order to obtain one I was obliged to return 3 times to the unemployment office, and finally upon my insistence was given a hand-written note.
- Foreign women are more open to discrimination than Spanish women because they lack family networks or friends who can help them find a competent lawyer, as well as problems with the language and/or knowledge of laws and judicial customs.
Centers for judicial advice serviced by local bar associations and public lawyers, as my case demonstrates, are not familiar with procedural laws and judicial processes in cases of divorce. Between September 2007 and October 2008 I consulted with these services about 20 times (Villanueva de la Cañada, Majadahonda, c/ Serrano, c/ Capitán Haya, c/ Barbara de Branganza) and the responses to my questions were always the same “I do not know, I am not a lawyer” or “I do not know, that is not my specialty”. As so concisely stated in Good Practices in Combating and Eliminating Violence Against Womenby the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women 2005, these “advice centers” are nothing more than a façade.
- Also, I went to consult all of the centers and associations of women and victims of gender violence in Madrid and while some of them told me my lawyers where not fulfilling their obligations, no one could give me a name of a lawyer who could defend me, nor where they able to concretely tell me what I could do so that the lawyers would fulfill their obligation.
It should be noted that conventional wisdom believes that “racism” only exists against Africans (or of their descent), South Americans, Asians, and/or Arabs, but as defined by the Convention on the Elimination Against All Forms of Racial Discrimination “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin”.
The prevalence of anti-Americanism in Europe (and all over the world) is so extensive that Americans are particularly exposed to discrimination within judicial systems for the simple reason that no organization or association exists that will defend their rights and interests abroad.
Civil servants of Domestic Abuse Centers, Bar Associations, court-houses, or law enforcement officials, as well as lawyers from the private sector, that do not execute their jobs with competence and integrity, or even fail to obey laws are absolved of all responsibility and liability because victims do not have any effective recourses within judicial systems, nor the right of reparations for damages.
There are more and more reports that demonstrate that women victims of gender violence lose custody of their children, at times ending up in prisons in their efforts to protect them(see the case of María José Carrascosa http://www.mariajosecarrascosa.es ), or even involuntarily committed to psychiatric hospitals. No statistics exist about the phenomenon of incarceration during custody battles, but reports and testimonies on networks on the Internet show a necessity for such statistics.
One of the saddest stories I found on the Internet was the following:
I am a female that has been in a violent marriage in Spain, and I’ll tell there is no help from the Guardia Civil, Police, Social Services or the courts. There are no investigations carried out so you are sentenced according to denouncias, anyone from the street that you never met can be a testigo. If you do not speak the language they do not offer a transalator for your statement only for the courts questions to you and your answers. Then you sign maybe 10 papers or more of the legal documents and that is in a language you do not understand. You are not given a choice you have to sign and nothing is explained even when you are sent to prison as was in my case. I’m still waiting to hear from someone out there why I was sent to prison but unfortunately all the forms I signed is proof I’m guilty. Wish I knew what crime I committed to be collected from my house and not read my rights, even at the courts, forced to sign a document and that was that. If there is help out there I would appreciate it. Thank youv
I responded to the post, instructing her to contact me so that I might at least notify her Consulate, but never heard from her. To this day I wonder what happened. Did she survive, or become just another cadaver and statistic?
November 2007- January 2008
Discrimination in Alimony Considerations
Medias a la Previa 1140/2007
- Article 103 of the Spanish Civil Code states “ In admitting the petition, the judge, in the case that the spouses cannot arrive at an agreement, will adopt, in this hearing, the following measures: 3a fixing of contributions of each spouse to family expenses, including if necessary legal expenses, established on basis of quantities and guarantees at the disposition of each partner, retention and other temporary measures, in order to determine what one spouse must give to the other. It will be considered the contribution of the work that one spouse dedicates to the raising of common children.”
For the medias a la previa my lawyer, Senora Garcia Martin, failed to draft and/or depose my contestacion in conformity with legal standards, and therefore it was not accepted by the courts. She is now communicating to me that on the day of the trial the judge decided not to accept the written contestation (see document #1), declaring that the hearing would only be verbal.
I still do not know if Senora Garcia Martin did not correctly introduce document #1 into court proceedings, or if it was the judge who refused to accept it, or if Senora Garcia Martin knew before hand that they hearing would only be verbal.
What, I do know, and is clear is that in the verbal hearing Senora Garcia Martin did not make any reference to the violence or abuse of Señor González de Alcalá, his emotional problems or the fact that they had been occurring for many years and were a result of his work related problems in Bogota, Colombia during 2003. In the written contestation that explained the facts of the case, but she did not present these facts in her verbal presentation. If she knew that only her verbal presentation would be permitted, which she now claims was ordered by the judge at the beginning of the proceedings, why did she fail to introduce evidence as to the abuse of Señor González de Alcalá in the verbal hearing? Her omission to introduce these facts, in effect covered-up the abuse and violence of Señor González de Alcalá, in the recorded transcripts of the tribunal as well as what was heard by the judge.
Other grave errors of Senora Garcia Martin were her failure to ask for “litis expensas”, as well as block bank accounts (art. 1389 of the civil code) in order to protect the family patrimony.
These acts, and omission of acts, were in violation art. 1, 3 and 4 of the CODIGO DEONTOLÓGICO, 658/2001, de 22 de junio and art. 252, 460, 467, 451, 467.2 and 512 of the penal code; art. 1347, 1365, 1366, 1369, 1375, 1378 349, 398 and 471 del código civil española; and art. 3, 4, 6, 10, 11 and 12 of the Equality Act3/2007.
It should be noted that under art. 1390 and 1391 of the civil code, art. 10 of the Equality Act 3/2007, and art. 252 of the penal code Señor González de Alcalá has an obligation to return these funds and/or for an equal value as well as all costs associated with the recuperation of said funds.
Also, Señor González de Alcalá, Señor García Martin (art. 1, 3, 4 del CODIGO DEONTOLÓGICO, 658/2001, de 22 de junio and 512 of the penal code, inter alía) and any other State or non-State actor (art. 17, 22, 23 of the penal code) that have incurred a criminal liability due to their acts, or omissions therein, are financially liable for funds losts under art. 249 and 251 of the penal code and art. 1908, 1101, 1106, 1124 and 1295 of the civil code.
It should further be noted that the transfer of €94.000 from BBVA nº 0182-4000-0411563734 in joint name account, Javier González de Alcalá and Quenby Wilcox, to the BBVA nº 0182-4000-0411563727, single name account of Javier González de Alcalá, is in violación of art. 33.3 del Spanish Constitution and art. 1767 and 1772 of the civil code with an obligation on the part of BBVA to return to me half of those funds (as well as all information, financial accounts, revenues, salary, etc. in the name of Javier González de Alcalá (from August 1991 to November 2008, under art. 1347 of the civil code) with the failure of BBVA to return these funds in violation of art. 254 of the penal code; art. 1089, 1098, 1101, 1107 and 1108 of the civil code; and art. 10 of the Equality Act 3/2007.
Perhaps, my manner to terminate Señora García Martin was precipitated and not in accord with judicial norms, but I was very concerned about the complete lack of competence and bad faith of Senora Garcia Martin, and above all her intentions in the future. She was playing with my life, and the life and security of my children, as well as the patrimony of my family. Under what motive? I would be interested in knowing, even today.
The failure of lawyers, as well as judicial actors, to appreciate the very serious situation and danger that victims of gender violence are living under during a divorce, is exactly why women (and children) are dying every day, without even mentioning the physical and emotional suffering survivors are experiencing. This suffering, as well as the failure of authorities to protect victims has very serious economical and social consequences that are extensive within our societies as demonstrated in the report Domestic Abuse as a Human Rights Violations and the Principle of Due Diligence – An Intersectional Approach. Authorities do not have the right to, and can no longer, treat these cases with such ambivalence.
In light of the very serious economic situation in which Senora Garcia Martin put me, my actions were not erratic or hysterical, but completely normal in view of my necessity to assure that she could not do any further damage to my case and situation.
In her correspondence with the juzgado de Mostoles de primeria instancia #2, renouncing her representation (see document #14), Senora Garcia Martin contends that on January 2, 2008 she communicated to me by telephone the conditions of the medias provisionales. Her contention is completely false. During that time, for several days, I was calling Senora Garcia Martin, leaving messages in order to find out if she had heard from the courts. After several calls I finally spoke with her and she informed me that she had not yet received notice from the courts (due to the Christmas/New Year’s Holidays). Therefore, I called the juzgado of Mostoles in order to find out when the vacations would be over and could expect a decision from the courts. I was told that Senora Garcia Martin had already received the court decision.
After all of the problems that I had experienced with previous lawyers and the Domestic Crisis Center, above all my experience with Senor de Haro in relation to the juicio rapido 607/2007, I was very concerned that Senora Garcia Martin wished to hide the fact that she already received notice from the courts, therefore I personally went to the courts in order to consult the court document. When I read that Senora Garcia Martin had not “introduced the contestacion in a legal form”, that she had not requested funds to cover future legal expenses, nor had she requested that bank accounts be blocked or a subpoena for financial records in the name of Senor Gonzalez de Alcala, and that the judge had accorded me €500/month with responsibility for all household expenses, and not sufficient pension for my children to cover their expenses, I lost all confidence in Senora Garcia Martin and her good faith in defending my interest.
In the correspondence Senora Garcia Martin contends the following:
- “on January 8 I was unable to speak with her until 9h30 at night at her home” was at her choosing. At all times I had my mobile phone with me and was very attentive to telephone calls, particularly those from my lawyer.
- that “her voice and manner to communicate was very altered and bizarre” …“her erratic behavior caused a rupture in the judicial process” are remarks that have absolutely no foundation or veracity and can only be attributed to her attempt to deviate attention away from the real problem, her failure to defend my interests (in violation of art. 208 of the penal code, inter alia).
- “she has not solicited a new court-appointed lawyer or procurador (if she is even entitled to one) as a consequence of the renouncement of legal representation and defense to date” – I had not solicited a court-appointed lawyer in the juzgado de Mostoles, because I understood that I was suppose to solicit one in with the oficio de turno of the colegio de abogados in Villanueva de la Canada/Centro de Genero, from whom I had been requesting information since September 2007, to no avail. If the civil servant of this center had assisted me from the beginning (and in an effective and real way) I would not have been in such a “crisis” situation.
Also, Senora Garcia Martin said “(if she is even entitled to one)” and “The reason that dona Quenby has not solicited, nor surely will not solicit a court-appointed lawyer , is due to the fact that she is conscious that her financial situation does not permit her to access one, and thereby obtain free representation and defense”. Senora Garcia Martin knew very well that Senor Gonzalez de Alcala had blocked all of the bank accounts, that I did not have any money from any other source, nor any money in any accounts.
I can only believe that she insisted so much over the fact that I was not eligible for a court-appointed lawyer in order to deter attention away from the truth of the situation; the dire straits in which her negligence had put me, and my children.
- “without the knowledge of la Letrado Sra. García Martín she sent a fax to the other lawyer with an account number, and that in the juzgado had been served personally.”– It was Señor González de Alcalá that had called me telling me that I was obligated to send a fax to his lawyer with the account number where he should send the monthly payments which I desperately needed, even if the juzgado already had this information. (The judge had not awarded me enough money to cover all of the household expenses and those of my children and while I am VERY GOOD at managing money, I am not a magician. I know of absolutely no one who is capable of covering all of the cost of a 450m2 home and personal expenses; electricity, heat, water, insurance, food, gas, transportation, etc., etc. on nothing more than €500/month).
I can only conclude that if Senor Gonzalez de Alcala provided me with false information, it was just another “maneuver” in his games designed to make my actions and behavior appear “erratic” and illogical to the courts.
Once again since I had absolutely NO ONE who was providing me with accurate, complete and correct information at the time, nor since, under the reasonable person principle all of my actions and decisions, given the limited and conflicting information that I was constantly given, were perfectly rational and logical.
It should be noted that I am foreigner and while I speak Spanish well enough, I have had great difficulty in understanding all of the legal words and terminology as well as judicial procedures that I have had to confront with no assistance or anyone to answer my questions. I always believed it was the job of a lawyer to watch out for the interests of his/her clients and explain to their clients what was happening in regards to their case, and what options were available in their defense without thinking that I would need a defense against such ridiculous and fantastic accusations from an obviously very disturbed man, Senor Gonzalez de Alcala, in a simple divorce.
Civil servants are always complaining that the courts are over-loaded with work, but if judicial actors were not so occupied with maneuvers like those we have seen with Senora Garcia Martin and Senor de Haro, and as we shall see with other lawyers in my case, the courts would not be so “over-loaded” and “turned-around” with inane cases.
The first step in assuring a competent and honorable justice system, is that authorities should send a very strong message to lawyers that the courts are not a place where they can play with the lives of their clients.
- “Disobeying all of the advice given by her lawyer, dona Quenby Wilcox went to the court house on a daily basis”. – This is completely false. She was not giving my any information or instructions, and I have no idea where she came up with the contention that I was going to the court-house every day. I can only assume that once again Senora Garcia Martin was attempting to discredit me with the judge, and deviate attention away from the true problem at hand, her incompetence and her manipulations.
- “We must inform the Juzgado that, as she has now done with the Sra. García Martín, doña Quenby has been the author of similar “maneuvers” with two other lawyers in the past, to who she owes fees in the entirety.” – Surely the “maneuvers” to which she refers were fees owed to Senor de Haro in regards to his negligent actions and “defense”, leaving his client “hanging” with a court decision that accused me of being an “alcoholic and drug-addict”. Senora Garcia Martin was well aware of the “maneuver” of Senor de Haro, even herself telling me that he had been negligent in his representation of me in 607/2007.
It should be noted that Senor de Haro took me to court requesting the fees which I owed him. I recognized the debt without any problem, stating that I was unable to pay him due to the fact that I was unable to access any of my funds, due to his negligence, as well as the negligence of other lawyers.
The other bill to which Senor Garcia Martin refers is with Señora María Fernanda Guerrero Guerrero for €348. But, once again the “manuever” was on the part of Señora Guerrero, and not I. In September, in a meeting with her, (and after my negative response to her question asking if “my husband was of THE Francisco Gonzalez family – President of BBVA)”, she instructed me to go to the juzgado de Mostoles in order to “recurrir las sentencias de juicio rápido 607/2007”. The next day I went to the juzgado de Mostoles in order to “recurrir” the “sentencia”. Of course the civil servants at the juzgado looked at me as if I were crazy, telling me that I could not “recurrir” a “sentencia” without a lawyer. Before this day I had never even heard of the word “recurrir” or “sentencia”, or any other legal/judicial terms and was completely ignorant to any judicial processes in Spain. I was ignorant, but not stupid, nor “crazy”. I would still be interested in knowing why Señora Guerrero sent me on a “wild goose chase” that day; but only a question that she can answer.
Señora García Martin was well aware of the “maneuvers” of her colleagues and her contention that it was I the author of “maneuvers” and acting in bad faith, once again can only be attributed to her intentions to deviate attention away from her negligence, and discredit me with the presiding judge in my case; aggravating her previous professional negligence and in violation of art. 3, 4 and 5 of CODIGO DEONTOLÓGICO, 658/2001, de 22 de junio; in violatión of art. 173, 199, 208, 450, 451, 456, 461, 464, 467.2, 510 and 512 of the penal code; art. 1, 9, 10, 14, 18 and 24 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 3, 4, 6, 7.2 and 9 the Equality Act3/2007; art. 2, 5, 13, 15 and 16 del Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; art. 17, 23 and 26 the International Convention on the Civil and Political Rights.
It should be noted that also in July 2007 before my meetings with Señora Guerrero and Señor de Haro, I met with two other law firms. One of which told me that since the common nationality between Señor González de Alcalá and I was French, the divorce would fall under French law, and therefore everything would needed to be translated into French, a service which their office would be happy to provide (for a price of course). The other lawyer with whom I met said to me “Your husband is an alta-executive for BBVA? We have to get a lot of money out of him!!And, it will cost you lots of money!!” I left the meeting thinking “This man is absolutely crazy!! I want a divorce not a war!!”
It should be noted that in the past 4 years, the only lawyers that have acted with any semblance of professionalism, integrity, and confidence have been court-appointed lawyers, and I cannot even begin to express to what extent I have appreciated their integrity. If all lawyers from the private sector in my case had shown the same level of professionalism, my case would not have become so complicated and exhausting.
My only complaint with court-appointed lawyers has been with Señor José Manuel Hernández Jiménez who refused to request a subpoena for all financial records of Senor Gonzalez de Alcala (August 1991 and November 2008), so that I might examine them and present a financial analysis to the courts in the liquidation of common assets.
To this day, I do not understand how in 4 years none of my lawyers have done something as simple, and necessary, as petitioning financial records, and in violation of art. 33.3 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 252, 510 and 512 of the penal code española; art. 1347, 1365, 1366, 1369, 1375, 1378 349, 398 and 471 of the código civil española; and art. 3, 4, 6, 10, 11 and 12 of the Equality Act3/2007. After having worked in the financial markets for quite a few years, and managing our family finances for many years, I am quite adept at preparing financial analysis, but do need financial records and numbers in order to prepare an analysis! Under the reasonable person principle, it is “normal” that in a divorce lawyers would requests financial records under common property in order to find out what the financial situation of the family is?!
As previously stated, I still have many questions about judicial process and Spanish procedural laws, and I have surely made mistakes in the past years, but under the reasonable person principle, and the level and quantity of negligence and lack of due diligence on the part of judicial actors that I have been obliged to deal with since September 2007, my lack of confidence in Señora García Martin and her good faith in January 2008 was completely justified.
While the actions of Señora Garcia Martin were contrary to my interests, the presiding judge also had an obligation under the principle of due diligence and art. 24.1 of the Spanish Constitution to assure that my rights were respected and defended in her court. Within any judicial procedure the judge has the ultimate responsibility of assuring that the rights of the accused are respected and that due process is accorded in conformity with art. 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11 of the Ley Orgánica 6/1985, 1 de julio, Poder Judicial.
Even if Señora García Martin had not asked for “litis expensas” nor enough funds for me to cover me and my children’s needs, in the verbal hearing Señor Gonzalez de Alcalá recognized that his salary was €8.185,41/month (in 2006). The judge’s decision that granted me only €500/month, and responsibility for all household expenses, were discriminatory and in violation of my rights. My portion of Senor Gonzalez de Alcala’s salary under artículo 1347.1 of the civil code was €7.500/month (in 2007). The fact that I was not accorded half of his salary during 2008 was in violation of art. 33.3 of the Spanish Constitution, art. 1408, 1362, 1365, 1368, 1369 and1382 of the código civil española; art. 446, 447 and 450 of the penal code; art. 3, 4, 6, 10,11, 12 and14 del Equality Act 3/2007; art. 2, 3, 4, 5, 13, 15 and 16 del Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; and art. 23 of the International Convention on the Civil and Political Rights.
In effect the judge’s decision misappropriated €75.000 of my funds during 2008, with which I could have been able to assume living expenses and “liberation” of my website, and Global Expats today would be generating more than sufficient income today for me to live comfortably with no need for any alimony or other common property funds. A lawyer told me that these monies would be reclaimed during liquidation of common assets; but in 2012 these monies have not been included in the inventory by my present lawyers. (?)
In regards to advancement of provisions for future legal expenses, Ms. Martin’s contended that “in Spain men are not obligated to pay the legal expenses of their spouses during divorce,” which was later affirmed in all judicial decisions, “there is no reason as to the imposition of charges. In light of legal precedents cited and other general and pertinent application.” These contentions and decisions demonstrate to what extent actors within the judicial system fail to completely understand and grasp the concept of common property law, and how discriminatory laws are applied in violation of women’s rights.
At no time have I been requesting my husband’s money or other funds to pay my legal expenses, I have been requesting MY MONEY to pay my legal expenses. My ex-husband’s legal expenses were paid with common property asset, and to not accord me with the same consideration is clearly discriminatory, and solely based on antiquated norms and legal precedents within judicial customs rather than legitimate legal principles under a constitutional democracy.
The most powerful instrument that an abuser has over his victim is the retention of money. Judicial decisions that do not provide access to common property assets and funds in cases of divorce not only support and encourage domestic abuse, but participate in the subjugation and oppression of women.
The role that homemakers and women play in our societies is essential to its well-being and functioning of its economy, and judicial systems and decisions that do not recognize this importance are completely discriminatory against women and violate the following: art. 1, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 24, 33.3, 35,39 and 45.1 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 13, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 16.1(c), 16.1(d), 16.1(f), 16.1(g) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; art. 2(c), 3 and 4 of the Convention on the Elimination of Violence Against Women; art. 1, 2, 3, 6.1, 7(a), 7(b), 7(c), 7(d), 9, 11.1 and 12.1 Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; art. 2, 3 and 6 of the Convention on the Rights of Children.
The retention of my assets by judicial decree while discriminatory in and of itself, was discriminatory at a second level. During divorce proceedings adolescent children are consulted in regards to custodial decisions. Unfortunately, due to convenience this legal stipulation has transformed into the common practice that adolescent children are the ones who effectively make the custodial decision. As concisely stated by one of the myriad of lawyer with whom I consulted, I had to “buy my children, and convince them that they wanted to live with me.”
This common practice and its obvious consequences are not only discriminatory against women, but extremely detrimental to a society at large, particularly given the increasing rates of divorce around the world. In order to understand the complexity of this discrimination it must be examined from an “intersectional” perspective.
- Ask any adolescent with whom they wish to live, the parent who buys them everything they want, skip school when they want, go to bed when they want, etc. Or the parent who sets rules and guidelines to which children must adhere? Obviously they will choose the former.
- Since access to the assets of Stay-at-Home Moms can be severely restricted during and after a divorce, as my case, inter alia, demonstrates, they are at a distinct disadvantage financially in “buying” their children.
- Since winning the custody of children implicates a financial advantage as well as physical possession of the family domicile, egoistic, unscrupulous parents are naturally tempted to seek custody of children for whom they are later not prepared to assume responsibility. How many juvenile delinquents, at all socio-economic levels, are created by uncaring, egotistical parents who have no idea where or with whom their children are associating?
- Adolescent children are easily influenced and susceptible to manipulation by adults, particularly their parents who they naturally wish to please.
- An ethical and principled parent will not be willing or able to manipulate and lie to their child in order to obtain personal or financial benefits.
All of the aforementioned factors create a situation whereas conscientious parents are put at a distinct disadvantage in custodial decisions. Additionally, in cases of domestic abuse, particularly psychological abuse, children are exposed to manipulations and threatening behavior from the abuser which, as seen in reports, court personnel are not equipped to detect or understand.
In my own case, by awarding me €500/month with responsibility for household expenses (normally €6000/month,) the judge created a situation that was clearly discriminatory against me as it provided my ex-husband who was residing in his parents’ home completely free of charge, with €5500/month leisure expenses. With €500/month, I was barely able to assure basics such as electricity, water, gas, food for our home, much less “compete” with my ex-husband in “buying” my children with gifts, restaurants, outings, expensive vacations, etc.
January – February 2008
In my ensuing efforts to procure a court-appointed lawyer the following irregularities occurred:
- The file clerk handling my case in the juzgado de Mostoles consistently presented me with documents petitioning a court-appointed lawyer for the medias a la previa (1140/2007) and not my divorce hearing (1143/2007.) Upon questioning this irregularity she assured me that this was correct judicial procedure. It was only upon my repeated and adamant insistence that she produced documents pertaining to 1143/07.
Additionally, she and a co-worker provided me with false information regarding how one obtains a “stay” in judicial proceedings, until I was granted a lawyer. They informed me that a “stay” would be automatically granted upon the deposition of documents requesting a court-appointed lawyer with the colegio de abogados. The fine print of the petition for a court-appointed lawyer clearly states that this is not correct procedure and that a stay is only accorded after the petition has been delivered to and stamped by the juzgado/instancia in question.
- After previous repeated irregularities, I had little confidence in the competency of the file clerk handling my case. I, therefore, tried to present my petition for a court-appointed lawyer to the abogado de turno in the Centro de Violencia de Genero de Villanueva de la Canada, butwas refused under the contention that I was missing a necessary document. When I returned to the Ayuntamiento of Villanueva de la Canada requesting the document in question, they assured me that the document that the abogado de turno was asking for did not exist, and that I was in possession of the correct documentation.
- I was then obligated to present my petition to 2 different offices of the Colegio de Abogados in Madrid, in the presence of two witnesses, before it was accepted.
- I was then obliged to return 3 times to the juzgado de Mostoles, with witnesses, insisting that the file clerk stamp and process documents for 1143/2007, as well as she continually processed documents pertaining to 1140/2007 and not 1143/2007.
- The next day I returned to the central office of the Colegio de Abogados (c/ Serrano) and was informed that my petition had not been correctly entered into the system. I returned to the office where my petition had been deposed, requesting that it be correctly processed while I waited.
Once again if I had not been able to obtain a court-appointed lawyer and obtain a stay of legal proceedings, I would have in effect admitted to the allegations of alcoholism and drug-addiction, and have been held in contempt of court as stated in the petition for divorce.
All of these acts, or omissions of acts, are in violation of art. 413 of the penal code española.
If I had not been able to obtain a court-appointed lawyer, I would once again have been recognizing the allegations of Senor Gonzalez de Alcala and in competent of court.
At the time I could not understand why I was having such problems with judicial civil servants with simple bureaucratic paperwork, until a lawyer informed me that “everyone knows everyone” in the courthouse of Mostoles with a very “pueblo” mentality.
My ex husband’s cousin, Victor (first last name unknown) Lamata has worked for over 30 years for the guardia civil of Mostoles and knows everyone in the court house. His wife divorced him years ago for his abuse and violence, has always been extremely degrading towards women, and there is no “love lost” between us. He would be more than happy to use his influence and contacts within the entire jurisdiction of Mostoles to my disadvantage, as I am the only person in the family who has ever dare to stand-up to the degrading way he treats the immigrant “concubine” that lives with him.
If Senor Victor (….) Lamata utilized his connections, or other means, to influence any State or non-State actor in the exercise of their duties or decisions, as well as any judicial actor who has let themselves be influenced in their duties or decisions, etc. are in, or could be in violation of art. 419, 418, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 425, 428, 429, 430, 439, 442, 446, 447, 450, 451, 458, 460, 461, 464, 465, 467, 510 and 512 of the penal code and can be held responsible for all damages suffered under art. 10, 109, 111, 113, 116, 121, 122, 123 and 124 of the penal code.
Regardless, if the ignorance or negligence of civil servants regarding basic administrative procedures and information was intentional or not, is irrelevent under the principle of due diligence. The Spanish State and government has a responsibility to assure that its civil servants, and all those who provide public services (under art. 24.4 of the penal code) execute said duties with the utmost integrity and and competence.
Examining the Link Between Organized Crime and Corruption
By the Center for Democratic Studies
4.5.2 Vulnerability factors and corruption mechanisms
The factors that render the judiciary more or less vulnerable to outside influence and corruption vary widely across the EU. They include complex cultural, institutional, historical and socio-economic factors that explain why and how corruption exists.
Salary levels: interviewees have pointed to salary levels as an explanation as to why corruption is more (PL, SP) or less likely (UK). Often, members of the judiciary compare salaries with neighbouring countries (ES) or civil servants.
Cultural setting: the cultural and social factors that make members of the judiciary vulnerable to corruption or make society sensitive to judicial corruption are the most complex.
In areas with significant mafia influence the social setting and informal networks allow for pressures to be exerted on judges (IT, CS-FR). Tourist coastal areas (CS-ES, BG) and border areas (PL, BG) with significant concentration of criminal activities (e.g. Costa del Sol, external Eastern EU borders), as well as local communities dependent on illegal economic activity, create similar pressures.
Favours: The cultural concept of ‘favour’ takes on a different meaning in some Member States where it is an accepted and even expected way of working. As one interviewee stated, “You ask them a favour basically. This works with anything and anybody, it doesn’t necessarily have to relate to organised crime” (EL).
Nepotistic relations and family pressures are stronger in some Member States than others. Small towns could serve as catalyser to corruption, as informal relations and favours are considered socially acceptable (ES, PL, BG, EL). In many Northern European countries, where such values are not tolerated, small towns could even have a reverse effect.
Public tolerance: In some Member States alleged corruption does not upset public opinion too much, and the judges are kept in their posts until a sentence is issued (SP, FR).
CASE STUDY: SPAIN
- Background: corruption in Spain
According to the 2008 Corruption Perception Index published by TransparencyInternational, Spain fell from 23rd to the 28th position worldwide compared to the previous year. Spain is still ahead of other European countries such as Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece or Italy.89
Corruption seems to be a comprehensive term combining a lot of different connotations to different people; to date, the Spanish legal system has not defined it… When any of the corruption related offences are committed in an organised manner, the offence of “unlawful association” (Article 515) also comes into play.90 Broader social concepts, such as clientelism, nepotism, cronyism, patronage, discrimination, lack of transparency, “capture” of institutions by interest groups (Rose-Ackerman 2004) remain largely outside these narrow legal definitions. Understanding how governance operates and how it is organised becomes indispensable to getting the picture of why corruption and organized crime opportunities seem to be so favourable in Spain. Nieto
(199 6, 2005, 2008)91 has published extensively on the issue of the ungovernance92 of the Spanish public institutions. He analyses the impact thatthe law has on the behaviour of citizens, public officials, the administrationand the judges. With regard to the impact on public administration,he argues that non-performance of bureaucrats does not usuallycarry a personal responsibility but a disciplinary action with no seriousconsequences. He also criticizes that judges often pass legally correctyet contradictory sentences without consequences.
Law-enforcement corruption is generally related to lower-level organised crime including drug trafficking, organized robbery, human smuggling and trafficking or trafficking of vehicles. Most of the media cases reported have involved police officers from the Civil Guard arrested for links to drug trafficking networks. This is understandable given the fact that the Civil Guard is charged with controlling the ports of entry. However, there have also been cases of National Police and Local Police officers, along with members of the military,93 who have been linked to drug trafficking.
Nevertheless, a few recent examples of corrupt practices in law enforcement institutions which have been uncovered by internal affairs units, point to levels of police corruption that have not been observed recently in most EU-15 Member States.
5.1.1 Operation Block: the Coslada police corruption ring94
Following complaints from victims of extortion, on May 8,2008, the chief of the local police95 of Coslada (a Madrid suburb) and another twenty- six local police officers were arrested on suspicion of involvement in a corruption ring that involved extortion from prostitutes, bars and local businesses. On May 14, a judge authorized detention without bail for thirteen of the arrested officers. Trial proceedings have not begun yet.
According to some police officers working in Coslada, the so-called “Sheriff” of the town, Gines Jimenez Buendia, was the only one in charge of the local police corps. He liked to surround himself with people he trusted but if anyone opposed his orders, they would be quickly replaced. That is how he managed to build his core group which was known as The Block.
Gines Jimenez Buendia told the investigative judge that he was innocent and had just gotten caught up in political in-fighting. The name of Gines Jimenez has also been allegedly linked to extortion rackets of Madrid nightclubs (made public under the Operation Guateque) and of some brothels in Barcelona.
It has been claimed that Jimenez protected Bulgarian organised crime groups involved in prostitution and that he in turn has always enjoyed protection from Coslada Mayors since the early 199 0s, while he also managed to befriend several judges. In fact, Judge Carlos Nogada from Coslada, was suspended temporarily by the General Council of the Judicial Power (CGPJ) after some wiretapped conversations between him and the Sheriff were made public.
5.1.3 The Costa del Sol “Drug and Organised Crime Unit” (UDYCO)
The Malaga Provincial Court sentenced, on 21 April, 2009, two former UDYCO97 officers (the former head of UDYCO – Costa del Sol, Superintendent Valentin Bahut, and former chief of the Organised Crime Section, Chief Inspector Alfredo Marijuan) to eighteen months in prison and to an eleven-month-prohibition from holding public office for revealing secrets and failing to counteract crimes. A third defendant, also a police officer, was acquitted of the charges.
The charges related to the cover provided to an Italian protected witness who was allowed to travel freely between Spain and Morocco despite being the subject of a European arrest warrant. The police officers have appealed the sentence.
Other cases include the arrest of a lieutenant colonel of the Civil Guard,98 the dismantling of the Santa Pola anti-drug unit,99 or the theft of 400 kilograms of cocaine in the Port of Barcelona.100
5.4.1 Corruption in the courts
This type has to do with corruption occurring in the courts which is usually perpetrated by civil servants (not necessarily judges) who abuse their positions in order to prioritise certain files/cases over others. In Spain, this type of corruption was rather common some years ago. Today, it has practically disappeared, due in large part to the implementation and management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. Nevertheless, the corruption that occurs in courts is not only connected to the speeding up or delay of proceedings but also to evidence that goes missing103 or to the removal of judicial records.104
It should be noted that the same corruption that has occurred in Coslada and Marbella is rampant in southern suburbs of Madrid, Mostoles and towns under the jurisdiction of Mostoles included. In 2007, Carlos G. L “El Armario” the head of the anti-drug division was arrested for drug-trafficking, involvement in prostitution and “protection” rings, and the fifth member of law enforcement of Mostoles in the past 4 years to be detained in connection with illegal activity. Additionally, local politicians from Brunete, Navalcarnero, Quijorna, Villanueva de la Canada, and Boadilla del Monte, all under the jurisdiction of Mostoles, have been implicated in real estate scandals involving corruption in the past years.
To believe that “cultures of corruption” would not translate into judicial proceedings during divorce is naïve to say the least.
While there are not any studies, or statistics, that have been conducted regarding corruption or “intentional negligence” in divorce courts, there are more and more studies being conducted about institutionalized judicial corruption. If one examines cases of domestic abuse, and failures to protect victims; when the abuser are law enforcement officials, judicial civil servants, politicians or influential businessmen, irregularities in judicial process and decisions are quite common. The possible irregularities are identified in the Report About Judicial Corruption 2007 by Transparency International.
- Judicial civil servants can manipulate the dates of hearings in order to favor one party over another
- Judge can make inexact summary decision or distort the testimonies of witnesses before handing down a sentence
- Judges can refuse the introduction of evidence or testimonies in order to favor one party over another
- Civil servants can “lose” a document
- Prosecutors can block avenue of legal reparation
In this same report it says that corruption is more likely in judicial procedure where journalist do not have free access to all fact or lack of activist groups who push for reform. In order to push for reform, accountability and transparency within family law COMPREHENSIVE MEDIA COVERAGE AND RESPONSIBLE ACTIVISM IS VITAL.
It should be noted that these acts by civil servants or any person who executes a public function (art. 24.2 of the penal code), are in violation of 413, 414, 428, 429, 451, 22, 27, 28, 29 of the penal code and can be held responsible for all damages under art. 10, 109, 111, 113, 116, 121, 122, 123 and 124 of the penal code.
In the report Study about the Link between Corruption and Organized Crime by The Center of Democratic Studies states that corruption is more probable in judicial process where journalists do not have free access to the facts and/or the lack of activists who push for reform; fundamental problems in cases of divorce and gender violence. In the USA activists groups “protective mothers” for more than 10 years have been trying to expose the corruption in divorce courts and the failure of these courts to protect victims of gender violence and domestic abuse.
The story of Maria Jose Carrascosa in New Jersey is only one amongst thousands per year in the USA. But, even worse is that what is happening in the USA, and the reasons it is occurring, are the same reasons that it is occurring in countries around the world, see the report Domestic Abuse and Discrimination Against Mujer –Human, Civil and Constitutional Rights Violations.
What part of my case is due to intentional negligence and which part is due to incompetence or antiquated, discriminatory norms of judicial actors is still to be determined, and I hope that an investigation by Spanish authorities will clarify exactly what happened. But, what is the most important is that the problems that identified in my case and Domestic Abuse and Discrimination Against Women – Human, Civil and Constitutional Rights Violations, do not repeat themselves.
I was finally accorded a court-appointed lawyer, Mr. Jose Manuel Jiménez Hernandez, however, during the ensuing months he repeatedly showed himself negligent in preparing my defense.
His negligence was as follows:
- Refused, per my instructions, to respond to my ex-husband’s proposed convenio reglador. This document clearly demonstrated my ex-husband’s intent to defraud me, and is why I instructed it to be introduced into court records. The agreement declared that family asset equaled €256,000 when in reality they were €1,700,000, underestimating them by €1,444,000.
Value of Principle Residence – In the proposed agreement my ex-husband valued our home in Villafranca del Castillo at €450,000 with a mortgage of €292,000. The property’s market value is €950,000, and no mortgage exists on the home, as my ex-husband is well aware. In 2010 ( 3 years later) my ex-husband is alleging in court documents that the mortgage is €397,642.
Investments and Savings – In the proposed agreement these are valued at €88,000 while bank statements from BBVA Madrid and Miami (2007) how deposits and positions of €256,048.97.
Household furniture and contents – In the proposed statement these items are valued at €10,000 while they were insured in our move from Bogota to Madrid (2004) at $450,000 (€340,000.)
My husband’s efforts to defraud me not only constitute a criminal offense but are once again proof of his psychological abuse, and should have been introduced by my lawyer as proof of this abusive. Any attitude that finds falsification of legal document or intent to defraud one’s spouse during divorce as something “normal,” only demonstrates the necessity for reforms in customs and norms within our societies and judicial systems.
It should be noted that one lawyer that I met with in my quest for an honest, competent, dignified professional said to me “we have to get lots of money out of your husband!” I left his office thinking “this man is crazy; I want a divorce not a war!” Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that divorce courts are ruled by “destroy or be destroyed” and as long as this is the reality, unscrupulous, manipulative, dishonest, abusive people will always have the upper-hand.
- Refused, per my instructions and proper judicial procedure, to initiate liquidation of my assets.
- Refused, per my instructions, to introduce written testimonies of Astrid Betancourt on my behalf
- Instructed me to obtain unnecessary documents, wasting my time, money and adding to emotional stress.
Additionally, this Señor Jiménez Hernández advised me NOT to seek employment in Spain until AFTER my divorce decree was pronounced as it would have a detrimental effect upon custodial decisions and render me ineligible for alimony from my husband. Essentially, custody of my children would be awarded to my husband under the contention that if I was working outside of the home I would be incapable of assuming my parental responsibilities. But, the capacity of Senor Gonzalez de Alcala to assume both responsibilities was never put into question. I cannot complain that he advised this, as other lawyers confirmed that this discriminatory norm is common in divorce courts, and in violation of art. art. 1, 9, 14, 32, 35 and 39 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 14 of the Equality Act3/2007; art. 2, 4, 5, 11, 15 and 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; and art. 6, 7 and 10 of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, inter alía.
These two reasoning are yet more examples of de facto discriminatory policies against women within divorce courts .
- Alimony – If I had remained in the remunerated work force during the preceding 20 years, my income would have been in the hundreds of thousands of euros. However, due to the large gap in my work experience, my age, and limited skills in written Spanish, my prospective before tax income level in Spain was €15-20,000/year. In essence my hard work of 17 years, and my dedication to and sacrifices for my family and husband’s career were considered null.
Homemakers in modern societies are educators, nannies, secretaries, managers, chefs, gardeners, housekeepers, sports trainers, social escorts, and any other thing that they must handle, with a market value of €30.000/month, and have the right that their work is recognizes under art. 35 of the Spanish Constitution, art. 7(a)(i), 7(a)(ii), 7(b), 7(c), 7(d), 10, 11 of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; art. 2, 3, 4 and 11 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, inter alía.
All of this work is done without any financial remuneration, pension, unemployment insurance, social services or health insurance. The lack of consideration by the courts or governments to accord and recognize the contributions that homemakers make to a society with their years of dedication, love and care, relegates them to the statute of servitude: in violation of art. 8.2 del Convenio de derechos civiles and políticos, inter alía.
- Custodial decisions – My husband working hours obligated him to be away from the home from 8:00 am to 8-9:30 pm, but were irrelevant to HIS capacity to assume parental responsibilities. This is in violation of art. 14 del Spanish Constitution; art. 23 of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; art. 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, and 13 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, inter alía.
Statistics show a 70% discrimination rate in American court systems. While statistical research does not exist in Spain the Women and Gender Rights Unit of the High Commission on Human Rights concur with reports on the American judicial system. Additionally, the norms, customs and beliefs that discriminate, cited below, are even more prevalent in Spain than in the USA. In the USA women’s rights movement has been in existence for many more years than in Spain, resulting in less discrimination in norms and customs in the USA.
Senor Gonzalez de Alcala refused to respect the visitation rights set down by the courts, thereby denying me contact with my children for almost 2 months. When I filed a complaint against his non-compliance, the presiding judge threatened to bring my children in for questioning if I did not withdraw my complaint, in violation of art. 464 of the penal code.
I removed my complaint refusing to use my children, knowing from their own words, to what point they were upset when they had to present themselves to the courts.
From the beginning of my divorce proceedings my children expressed their desire that they not be “put into the middle” as well as their desire to not choose with which parent they would reside. The worst emotional distress that I have suffered in the past 6 years has been my appreciation of the detrimental impact the emotional turmoil and chaos my divorce has had on my children. The failure of EVERYONE involved to consider or protect my children’s rights or think about their well-being, has been the greatest atrocity and HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION of the entire nightmare, and in violation of art. 1, 9, 10, 18, 24 and 32 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 16, 18, 19, 24, 29, 36, 37 and 39 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; art. 23 of the International Convention on the Civil and Political Rights.
As declared in the Gender Review, Social Policies and Law, vol. 17.2, Abuse and Discretion – Evaluating Custody Decisions in Divorce Courts, “Given the imprecise rules associated with the best interest of the child standard, Steven N. Peskind says that it has a produced a situation in custody cases have become “a combination of beauty contest and a circus side show where two parent try to sway the judge with their respective strengths while demonstrating concurring weaknesses of their spouse.” The fact that divorce courts have become a “circus” once again work in favor of the abusive parent, discriminates against women, and almost assures that in cases of international divorce the parent with the local nationality will be favored in judicial decisions.
On the night of April 19, 2008 I was at home preparing for the annual Easter Egg Hunt/Lunch which I organize every year for my children and neighbors. My ex-husband called me at 10:30 pm asking me if I had forgotten about our friend and neighbor’s birthday party. I said I had, called my neighbor and told her I would be over as soon as I finished. I was exhausted as for the preceding 8 months I had not been able to sleep for more than 2-3 hours per night due to extreme emotional stress.
Upon my return home from the party, 1.3km and less than 4 minute drive from my home, my husband and 4 police officers were waiting in front of my house. I parked in front of a neighbor’s house to request their assistance and to act as witnesses to my detainment. The police detained me before arriving at my neighbor’s doorstep and requested an alcoholemia test; in violation of art. 174, 175, 176 and 177 of the penal code.
I informed the police that this constituted entrapment, with clear intention to defame my character (violatión of art. 208 and 429 of the penal code and aggravating the criminal responsibility of Señor González de Alcalá for art. 22, 23 and 17 of the penal code española) and remove custody of my children from me. I was logistically impossible that the police officers were answering a call from the “central”, there presences was not a coincidence, and they had specifically stationed themselves in front of my home in order to assist Senor Gonzalez de Alcala in his illegal maneuvers. Without any witnesses and/or legal representation the police were at liberty to falsify the results of the alcoholemia test.
Therefore, I informed them that before submitting to any investigation on my person, I wanted the presence of a lawyer, translator and representatives of my Consulates (French and American), as was my right under art. 9.3, 17.3, 20.4 and 24.2 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 428 and 429 del código civil española; art. 537 of the penal code; art. 9.1, 14.3.2, 14.3.4, 14.3.6, 14.3.7, 17.1, 17.3 of the International Civil and Political Rights; art. 3(b), 3(c), 3(d), 3(e) and 3(h) of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women; art. 2(d) of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; andart. 5 del Convention on Consular Affairs.
It should be noted that not only did I have the right to request legal representation during my retention, but also under art. 537 of the penal code, the police officers that tried to prevent me from exercise this right were committing a criminal act under art. 537 of the penal code. I cite art. 537 “The authority or public officer who prevents or hinders a detainee or prisoner in the exercise of his right to legal counsel, who attempts or favours his renunciation to such counsel, or does not immediately inform him of his rights and of the reasons for his arrest in an understandable way, shall be punished with the penalty of a fine from four to ten months and special barring from public employment and office of two to four years.”
It should be noted that at all times of the retention Señor González de Alcalá was present, had been consuming wine at the same birthday party, and had left immediately after I (confirmed in testimony during the trial.) In order to arrive at our home before me (2-3 minutes), he had been obliged to speed (while under the influence of alcohol) at approximately 60-80 km/hour in a 20km/hour zone, which the arresting officers could not have failed to observe (see document #7B). However, Senor Gonzalez de Alcala was not requested to submit to the same alcoholemia test as I; clearly discriminatory.
If the police’s only interest in detaining me was to uphold the law against “drunk driving,” as they contended, then they would have stopped everyone, including Señor González de Alcalá , leaving the party. The fact they singled only me out for an alcoholemia test, abstaining from requesting the same from my husband is highly suspicious, and clearly discriminatory.
I was taken to the local police station and provided with a lawyer, but no translator and neither the French nor American Consulates were informed of my detention.
Also, it should be noted that the four arresting police officers failed to present themselves at the ensuing trial and as such the judge attempted to intimidate me into renouncing my right to a fair and public trial, and plead guilty, in violation of art. 464 of the penal code. Also, it should be noted that in said trial the arresting police gave false and contradicting testimonies in violation of art. 458 of the penal code.
Perhaps if judicial actors and law enforcement officials were not permitted to utilize the judicial systems for maneuvers designed to intimidate victims of domestic abuse, the courts might not be so over-burdened with work.
In the ensuing judicial decision, as well as the divorce decision 1143/2007 (and juicio no. 226/2007) the opinion that I refused to submit to a police examine producing a second criminal offence is once again an example of judicial opinions based on prejudices and erroneous opinions (as already cited art. 537 of the penal code). Additionally, it is anti-constitutional (under art. 1, 9, 10, 14, 17, 19, 24, 53 and 103 of the Spanish Constitution) that law enforcement officials retain a person without any reason, try to prevent them from obtaining legal assistance, or deny the right to have Consulate representatives present for any interrogation or judicial examines.
The fact that police can retain people without any cause in countries where a high level of corruption and discrimination is demonstrated “opens the doors” to police harassment and the violations of the rights of its people (with said corruption and discrimination shown in Beauty Solomon vs. Spain by the European Courts on Human Rights www.womenslinkworldwide.org/wlw/new.php?modo=detalle_proyectos&dc=26, as well as reports and statistics presented in Domestic Abuse and Discrimination Against Women – Violation of Human, Civil and Constitutional Rights, calling attention special attention to the studies by Amnesty International cited within regarding police harassment and the failure of the Spanish State to investigate and sanction said harassment and violation of human rights – p. 185 – Espana: Sal en la herida Impunidad policial dos anos despues by Amnesty Internacional 2009).
My case brings up legal questions not only about the constitutionality of police retention of people who have not committed an offense, but also whether police retention in such cases is really in the in protection of public interest and safety, or is it an action (or potentially and action) that is retaliatory and/or with the intent to intimidate by State actors, particularly in cases motivated by discrimination and/or corruption and are in violation of art. 428, 450 and 451 of the penal code.
Additionally, it should be noted that the contention that Señor González de Alcalá called 112 is logistically impossible. In light of the speed at which the police officers responded to the call to the residence in question (less than 4 minutes) the only logical explanation is that Señor González de Alcalá called the police officer(s) directly and/or said officer(s) were expecting and waiting for the call with the express objective of retaining me.
Calling attention to the fact that the 4 police officers with 2 polices cars responded to the call, according a lot of (discriminatory) attention and importance to a woman driving a few hundred meters within Villafranca del Castillo after having had a few glasses of wine at the birthday party of a neighbor. It should be noted that it is VERY frequent for the residence of the urbanization to go from house-to-house after dinners or parties on the week-ends, but the police NEVER retain them inside of the urbanization, opting to station themselves on the M-503 and M-509 for “alcohol retention” operations on the week-ends where serious and dangerous accidents due to drunk-driving are frequently caused by speeding and unsafe driving.
The only logical explanation is that Señor González de Alcalá was in direct contact with the said police officers, assumingly through his cousin who works at the guardia civil. Later I officially requested a transcript of all incoming calls of the night in question in order to demonstrate that Señor González de Alcalá did not call the central number, but rather directly to the police officers in question, but my request was denied, once again violating my rights to access to public documents and evidence to defend myself, in violation of art. 451 of the penal code.
It should also be noted that in the preceding months police officers of Villanueva de la Canada took 20-30 minutes to respond to calls to my home for domestic violence (and in the case of Sylvina Bassani – http://worldpulse.com/node/13171 /report from Amnesty International, who had a protection order, they took 3 hours to respond to the ex-husband’s call stating “there are 2 dead bodies here, perhaps 3” after having killed Ms. Bassani and her new partner, before committing suicide in front of their 2 year old son).
These facts put into question what are the priorities of police officers in Spain; the protection of citizens and victims of gender violence, or the intimidation of women in process of divorce and/or foreigners?
Decision of Fiscal de Menores – Custody April 2008
On the morning of April 20, 2008 my husband entered our home, and woke my eldest son (almost 16 years old) at 3:00 am and removed him from our home. He later retained my youngest son and took him to his parent’s home, where he himself had been residing for the past 9 months. It took me several days, and an emotionally stressful scene for my children in front of their school and in the presence of the local police, before I recuperated my children. The abduction of the minors from their legal domicile by Señor González de Alcalá was in violation of art. 224 and 225 of the penal code.
During those days Señor González de Alcalá insisted that I had lost custody of my children, and that he had documentation to prove it. The next day, April 25, 2008 my lawyer informed me that the Fiscal de Minores had removed custody of my children from me with no visitation rights. During all judicial procedures Señor González de Alcalá knew about judicial decisions before they were handed down. How, and through whom, he was consistently aware of judicial decisions in the past months before they had been handed down would be speculation on my part.
The fact to remove custody of my children from me without notification, not the opportunity to be present during the process, nor respond to any accusations, was in violation of my rights under art. 24 and 39 of the Spanish Constitution; art. 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; art. 14 and 17 of the Convention on Civil and Political Rights.
If every parent in Villafranco del Castillo, or Spain, who drove home from a neighbor’s party on a Saturday night after drinking a few glasses of wine was declared an alcoholic and a danger to their children, losing custody of their children in the process, then there would be no more children living with their parents in the neighborhood. The Child Protection Services decision was discriminatory towards me as a women and mother in process of divorce.
My arrest under such Machiavellian and suspect circumstances PROVES that my husband’s allegations are totally unfounded, and nothing more than a ploy to obtain custody of my children and financial benefits.
Between 2004-2009, 8:30 h – 21h, every day of the week, at the same hours of the day, I drove approximately 100 km on M-508, chauffeuring my children, trips to the gym, and running errands for my family. If my husband’s unfounded and fantastic contention were true, then the police could have detained me on my daily runs. But, since my ex-husband knows his contentions are false and fabrications of his imagination, he came up with this ridiculous, illegal scheme. His false allegations and defamation of character campaign are in violation of my constitutional rights under art. 10, 15, and 18 as well as desecrate of the principles and sanctity of marriage.
My ex-husband also knows that they worst thing that he could do to me is to deprive me contact with my children, and why he has gone to such extremes to do so. It is his way to continue with his abuse after our divorce. My worst distress over the past years has been my inability to be and communicate with my children and assure that he is not mistreating them.
In addition to reports from friends around the world as to hysterical phone calls at all hours of the day and night during 2008 from my ex-husband desperately trying to convince everyone as to my “deteriorating state” he sent the following email to my sister’s ex-husband on May 15, 2008, also documenting his desperation, manipulations and pathological lying.
“Hi Peter, Thanks for your messages, calls and hopes. I know it is impossible to find her (Quenby) because she never answers or returns her phone calls due to her physical and mental state. Tell Doranne that yesterday between 6:45 and 7:30 am, I was calling her to give her news of Quenby, but no one answered. She can call me at my cel. Phone 00.34.618.157185 when she wants. “Minor Child 1” and “Minor Child 2” are better since the 3 weeks, they have been with me in my parent’s house, although sad to see their mother worse each time, continuing with her “war of complaints” (all will be lost) in the courts and now taking anti-depressants, which makes her even worse. The children wish to return home, but for the moment Quenby is prolonging the process, even though in the end the children will return to our home with me, as since September 2, 2007 they have declared with the guardia civil, local police and courts on various occasions that they wish to live with their father. Quenby is waiting to be condemned to prison for 6-12 months and 1-4 years loss of her driver’s license. Last Thursday after her criminal trial, the prosecutor asked for the maximum penalty which will be declared in 20 days…”
Followed by an email on June 3, 2008
“Subject: WHEN CAN YOU CALL ME AT CEL. 618.157185 THEY HAVE DECLARED QUENBY INCAPACITATED FOR CUSTODY AND HAVE PROHIBITED ALL VISITS WITH THE CHILDREN UNTIL SHE STARTS A TREATMENT FOR HER MENTAL DISORDERS OF PARANOIA AND ADDICTION TO ALCOHOL AND DRUGS…”
See Defensor del Pueblo #2 for the second part of the complaint.
 In this official complaint the definition of corruption used is that of Amnesty International; Transparency International; The Internacional Council on Human Rights Policy; Edgardo Buscaglia and Jan van Dijk, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer and Officer-in-Charge, Human Security Branch, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in CONTROLLING ORGANIZED CRIME AND CORRUPTION IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR; inter alía.
 The Relationship between Human Rights and Corruption: The Impact of Corruption on the Rights to Equal Justice and Effective Remedy, by Victoria Jennett, THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY, Review Meeting, Corruption and Human Rights, Geneva, 28-29 July 2007
 See Document #19 (Global Expats – Executive summary, Concept, and Financial Projections) and http://worldpulse.com/node/44543
 See Documento #30 – Good Practices in Combating and Eliminating Violence Against Women by UN Division for the Advancement of Women
Spanish Constitution – art. 1, 9, 10, 13, 14, 20, 33.3, 35, 38, 40, 45 and 121; Equality Act 3/2007 – art. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 42, 44 and 45; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women – art. 3, 4, 11, 13, 15 and 16; Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – art. 6, 7 and 15; International Convention on Civil and Political Rights – art. 5 and 26; Spanish civil code – art. 1254, 1256, 1258, 1274, 1277, 1279, 1280, 1282, 1288, 1088, 1089, 1091, 1092, 1094, 1098, 1101, 1102, 1902 and 1902 ; Spanish penal code – art.10, 11, 17, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 31 bis, 109, 110, 112, 113, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120.4, 121,122, 124, 125, 126, 127, 129, 169, 172, 173, 177, 195, 243, 248, 250, 252 510, and 512.
 Para blogs, etc. Documenting the emotional damages see http://stopthetortureandgenocide.blogspot.com/2009/07/domestic-abuse-cancer-within.html/http://stopthetortureandgenocide.blogspot.com/2009/07/end-domestic-abuse-through-actions-not.html/http://stopthetortureandgenocide.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2009-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2010-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=7
 LA CUENTA SATÉLITE DEL TRABAJO NO REMUNERADO EN LA COMUNIDAD de MADRID por María-Ángeles Durán Heras.
 See Document #20 – Sexual Abuse in the Family Courts and the Failure of Family Courts to Protect Them p. 19-20.
 See Document #10 – Statistics on Annulments, Separations and Divorces Year 2010 por el Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas
“both laws and practices still tend to make divorce easier to access for men than it is for women, and to make life tougher for women than for men in the post-divorce period. That this is true for both systems based on Muslim law and for those based on other sources reflects a commonality of patriarchal control asserted through laws, practices and social attitudes.”549 Laws that Discriminate Against Women p. 95 – Document #23
 “This points to a common difficulty experienced by women, many of whom do not participate in the paid labour market and who are therefore unable to contribute in monetary terms to the acquisition of family assets. The non- recognition or minimisation of the unpaid work done by women in the home and community results in legal disenfranchisement. .. She then cites the case of Tabitha Wangeci Nderitu v. Simon Nediritu Kariuki572 where a judge described a stay at home wife who was seeking to claim a share of matrimonial assets after divorce as “sitting on her husband’s back with her hands in his pocket” seemingly forgetting that the “cock bird can feather his nest because he does not have to spend all day sitting on it” or put differently, that a man is enabled to go out into the paid workforce because his wife is taking care of hearth and home for him.573… some legal systems may see the husband’s duty to give dower for the wife and to maintain her during the course of the marriage as entitling him to unilaterally divorce her and also to keep the matrimonial assets on the dissolution of the marriage.574… Operating on the principle of “take what you have paid for” negates a woman’s domestic contribution, for all she is able to point to, are the clothes on her back and maybe a few pots and pans. Laws that Discriminate Against Women p. 98-110 – Document #23
 Estudio Jurisprudencial sobre el Impacto del SAP en los Tribunales Asturianos (vea Documento #24)
 See Document #31 – Domestic Abuse as a Human Rights Violation & the Principle of Due Diligence: An Intersectional Approach by Quenby Wilcox, Founder, Global Expats p. 43-71.
 Ibid, p. 104-150.
 Ibid, p. 226-234
 Cultural Adjustment of the expatriated family is the determining factor in a successful expatriation experience, with the expat homemaker instrumental in assuring that adjustment. Since, multinationals, and other expat employers, spend billions of dollars (euros) each year to expatriate their employees, the adjustment of the expat family, particularly the expat homemaker and her (or his) desire to maintain a career, is increasingly becoming a focus of multinational and foreign service HR departments. See Family In Global Transition http://www.figt.org/bibliography
 See Document # 25 – Global Expats – Market Analysis – Profile of the Trailing Spouse and the Expat Family
 See Document #19 – Global Expats – Executive Summary, Concept and Financial Projections
 Article 66. The spouses are equal in rights and duties.Article 67. The spouses must respect and assist each other and act in the family interest.Article 68.The spouses are obliged to live together, to be faithful to one another and to come to one another’s’ aid. They must, furthermore, share domestic responsibilities and the care and attendance of parents and descendants and other dependents in their charge.
 As demonstrated in document #1- contestacion de Senora Garcia Martin, the emotional problems of Senor Gonzalez de Alcala arose after his work related problems in Bogota, Colombia as Executive Director of the Treasury Department of Banco Ganadero/BBVA, and when his functions were removed during 9 months in regards to irregularities in his department. This was very traumatic for Senor Gonzalez, and I (as was my obligation as his wife) gave him all of my support and encouragement in Bogota, as well as upon our arrival in Madrid en September 2004. But, these work related problems were nothing new, and I had spent our entire marriage managing the consequences of his erratic behavior and resulting problems. Upon our arrival in Madrid in September 2004, I gave him an ultimatum, that he confront his psychological problems or our marriage would be over. Instead of facing his problems, Senor Gonzalez de Alcala decided to start a defamation of character and destruction campaign against me. Within the understanding of gender violence, his behavior is quite “normal”, and is exactly this behavior and its roots that judicial actors need to understand and detect (and not cover-up as they are doing) in order to defend victims of gender violence and domestic abuse. Other problems related, and that need reforms, are psychiatrist and psychologists that find it easier to proscribe pharmaceutical drugs to victims of abuse instead of confronting the abuser in order for him (or her) to change their behavior.
More Rights, The Same Obstacles – 2006; HAY QUE ACTUAR A TIEMPO DETECCIÓN DE LA VIOLENCIA DE GÉNERO and ATENCIÓN A LAS VÍCTIMAS EN EL ÁMBITO SANITARIO ESPAÑOL- 2006; The Law AgainstGender Violence: Two Years After Victims Continue to Encounter Obstacles – 2007; MÁS RIESGOS and MENOSPROTECCIÓN MUJERES INMIGRANTES EN ESPAÑA FRENTE A LA VIOLENCIA DE GÉNERO – 2007; ENCUENTRO LEYCONTRA LA VIOLENCIA DE GÉNERO_ DOSAÑOS DESPUÉS LAS VÍCTIMAS SIGUEN ENFRENTANDO OBSTÁCULOS, Resume de las ponencias- 2007; Obstinada Realidades, Inter alía.
 See Documento #21 – Domestic Violence and Abuse in Our Societies and Court Systems p. 35
 While during the legal process and hearing I understood most of the Spanish dialogue, I did not understand a Word of their Spanish legal jargón, and I have absolutely no idea what the judge said during the first 5-10 minutes of this hearing, and in all hearings afterwards.
 Senor Gonzalez de Alcala’s salary in 2007 was €181.000 (see document #19) and under art. 1347.1 and art. 1392.1 of the civil code. While 1392.3 contradicts 1392.1, setting the date of termination of the common property regime in November 2007 (medias a la previa) I contest this date as termination of common property under two contentions: 1) Senor Gonzalez de Alcala acted in bad faith during all judicial proceedings and with a clear intention of defrauding me of my assets, therefore, under art. 1391 (and 1390), inter alia, the date of dissolution of the marriage art. 1392.1 should apply, and 2) since I was instructed by my lawyers in 2008 to “not look for gainful employment until after the divorce decree, as it would nullify my rights to alimony” (judicial biases confirmed in sentencia #1079- oct 2009), thereby unable to work (discrimination under art. 1, 9, 10, 13, and 14 of the Spanish Constitution; and art. 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14 of the Equality Act 3/2007, inter alia) art. 1392.1 should again apply to date of termination of common property.
[i] ABUSE AND TORTURE GO FAR BEYOND BROKEN BONES, IT BREAKS THE HEART AND SPIRIT AND IS SO DESIGNED
In 2001 I attended the inauguration of the Spanish version of Ingrid’s Betancourt’s book La Rage au Coeur, in Bogota, Colombia, and her ensuing presidential campaign speeches. While I was impressed with her convictions, enthusiasm, and desire for peace and change for her county, I felt that she could never achieve in Colombia what is unattainable in the United States and Europe. I followed her 6 years of captivity in the Colombian, Spanish, French and American press closely and admired Astrid and her family’s never ending persistent, to liberate Ingrid. I know enough about the dynamics and political backdrop of her liberation to know that without the efforts of Ingrid’s family, she, and those freed with her, would have been left to die in the jungles of Colombia by the “important” people of this world.
However, it was upon reading the following passage in her book Letter to My Mother that was published during her captivity, that I thought to myself; “This is exactly the torment and fear that I have lived for the past 3 years, and that all too many women and children around the world live for an entire lifetime. And, no one really cares, as I have learned the hard way! “
This is where the true battle lies for peace and democracies, not in political campaigns and politically correct rhetoric!
I owe an enormous amount of gratitude to Ingrid and Astrid. At the end of 2007 I realized that my children would end up under the custody of their emotionally unstable father, and his and his family’s influence and mercy. In my desperation, I contacted every association whose mission is to help women in my situation and anyone and everyone I have known during my life-time, who have any kind of “power,” asking for their assistance. THE ONLY person who provided any assistance was Astrid Betancourt.
The amount of people who provided me with empty rhetoric and promises, ignored me, or slammed the proverbial door in my face was amazing. The apathy and indifference of people over the life of a woman and her children stunned and disillusioned me more than I had even been in my entire life, and is precisely why what happened to me and my children occurs every day, everywhere.
Additionally, for the first time in my life I was presented with a problem that I did not know how to handle or confront, and had no one to turn to for advice. It was in re-reading Ingrid’s book La Rage au Coeur that she gave me the advice and answer that I needed.
I will be indebted to these two women for the rest of my life, not only did they assist me in a practical way, but they have given me the strength to continue fighting day after day, by observing the courage and force that they had shown in face of horrifying challenges and adversities. After 6 years of living in Colombia with security concerns of my own children and family, witnessing kidnappings, homicide and terrorist attacks, I can appreciate the emotional strain that Ingrid’s captivity was for the entire family.
The entire world would do well to look to these two women, their mother, their children and family to see where true values lay, whether it be of a family or nation. True values, morals and integrity are not to be found on a slip of paper, whether they be on marriage certificates, birth certificates, constitutions, declarations of rights, or legal codes, but rather through love, honor and dignity. And, I have observed Ingrid and Astrid demonstrate all three of these on various occasions over very many years.
LETTER TO MY MOTHER by Ingrid Betancourt.
This is a very dense jungle where sunlight scarcely ever penetrates, and it is barren of affection, sympathy, or tenderness.
They separated me from the people with whom I had a good rapport and affection and put me in with a very difficult group. I am tired, Mamita, tired of suffering. I have been, or tried to be, strong. These nearly six years of captivity have proven that I am not as resistant, not as brave, not as intelligent, not as strong as I thought. I have put up many battles, have tried to escape several times, have tried to keep up hope like one keeps one’s head above water. But, Mamita darling, I give up. I would like to think that one day I will get out of here, but I realize that what happened to the congressmen which affected me so deeply-could happen to me at any moment. I belief it would be a relief for everybody.
I keep thinking that at last I am going to cry no more, that it has now healed over. But the pain starts up again and attacks me like a vicious dog, and I again feel my heart breaking into pieces. I am tired of suffering, of bearing it all inside me all the time, of lying to myself, of believing that this will soon end and finding that every new day is the same hell as the one before. I think of my children… We have gone through so much together, have lived our lives so intensely that terra firma seems to have disappeared in the distance. They are the same, and yet they have changed, and with every second of absence, of my inability to be there for them, to assuage their pain, to be able to advise them or give them strength and patience and humility in the face of life’s blows, all the lost opportunities to be their Mama, poison these moments of infinite loneliness for me, as if I were given an intravenous injection of cyanide.
Mamita darling, this is a very difficult moment for me. They demand a proof of life and here I am pouring my heart out to you on this sheet of paper, I am in poor physical condition. I haven’t been eating; my appetite has shut down; my hear is falling out in clumps; I have no desire for anything. And I think the latter is the only thing that is right-having no desire for anything. Because here in this jungle the only answer to everything is “No.” It is better not to want anything so as to be free, at least, of desires….
I would like to ask you, Mamita darling, to tell the children that I want them to send me three messages a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Ask them to send you a couple of lines to your e-mail address so that you can read them to me. Nothing world-shaking, just whatever they can think of to write, such as “Mamita, today is a marvelous day” or “I’m having lunch with Maria; I love her very much and I know you are going to be pleased with her” or ‘I am exhausted but I learned a lot today in class about new filming techniques that I’m excited about.” I don’t need anything more, but I do need to be in contact with them. In fact, everyday I wait anxiously to see if you are going to mention them or if you talked with them. That is what makes me happy, the only thing I care about knowing, the only vital, significant, indispensable information. All the rest doesn’t matter to me…..
Well as I was telling you, life here is no life; it is a gruesome waste of time. I live, or survive, in a hammock strung between two poles, covered with mosquito netting and a canvas that acts as a roof, which to keep my belongings, that is to say, the knapsack with my clothes and a bible my only luxury. Everything is prepared for leaving on the run. Here, nothing is one’s own, nothing lasts; uncertainty and precariousness are the only constant……..
Everyday less and less of myself remains….. Everything is hard. That’s the reality. It is important that I dedicate these lines to those who are my oxygen, my life-to those who keep my head above water, who do not let me drown into oblivion, emptiness, and despair. They are you my children…..Tell them that they have never ceased to be my source of joy in this harsh, captivity. Everything here has two sides, joy comes with pain, happiness is sad, love cures and opens new wounds; to remember is to live and to die anew…..
I was telling you that for years I was unable to think of the children because of the dreadful pain it cause me not being with them. Now I can hear them and feel more joy than pain. I seek them in my remembrances and sustain myself with the images I keep in my memory of the ages of each. I sing “Happy birthday” to them on every birthday …. I celebrate their birthdays in my heart…. And, if I were to die today, I would go satisfied with life, thanking God for my children…..
For a long time, we have been the lepers that mar the ball, we captives are not a politically correct topic…… We must think of where we come from, who we are, and where we want to go. I aspire to our having that thirst for greatness one day that makes people rise up from nothingness to the sun. When we are unconditional vis-avis the defense of the life and liberty of our own, that is, when we are less individualistic and more committed to the common good, less indifferent and more involved, less intolerant and more compassionate, then at that time we will be the great nation (world) that all of us would like to be. That greatness is there asleep in our hearts. But hearts have hardened and weigh so heavily that no elevated sentiments are permitted….
,,,The wars waged against the freedom of a handful of forgotten ones are like a hurricane seeking to bring down everything. It is of no interest. His intelligence, his nobility, and his devotion have given pause to many, and here, more than the freedom of some poor crackpots chained up in the jungle, it is a matter of taking stock of what it means to defend human dignity.
Until human dignity, honor and peace exist within our hearts and our homes, it will never exist within our communities, societies and this world. Quenby Wilcox