2007-2010|US Embassy Aguirre, Solomont & State Dept

At the end of 2007, after having spent the previous 4 months getting no where with the Spanish legal system and domestic violence ‘assistance’ programs, I presented myself upon 3 occasions to the American and French Consulates in Madrid explaining that my and my children rights were being completely violated by the Spanish courts and Spanish lawyers. I repeatedly requested their assistance, but was always told that they were under no obligation to assist me — on one occasion even insinuating that “I was crazy” for requesting their assistance.

Even though Consulates around the world have the power and authority[1] to assist foreign nationals in protecting and defending their interest during judicial proceedings (divorce & custody decision included), they are categorically refusing to do so — in violation of international law and their ‘duty to protect’. Consular agents are claiming that they are prohibited from assisting victims, using rationalizations of ‘private matters’, ‘sovereignty rights’, ‘judicial independence’, etc. even though these arguments have no legal basis, with ample jurisprudence to the contrary ( Intl. Court of Justice – Avena, Mexico vs. USA, inter alia). (The ignorance of Consular agents regarding national & international laws, as well as their own guidelines is incredible.)

But, then when these poor women flee the country with their children (seeking refuge in their home country), the rhetoric of Consulates and governments does and ‘about face’. With the assistance of Interpol, the FBI, local police, and government officials, victims are hunted down, thrown into jail, and victims are returned to the abuser — denying the protective mother all contact with her children.

[1] under international law and art. 2, 5, 36, 37 & 38 of the Convention of Consular Relations

Letters to US Embassy & State Dept|’07-’10

The American Embassy in Madrid is well aware of the elevated level of corruption in Spain, but ‘hangs their citizens out to dry’ when it comes to protecting them from the effects of that corruption. – Perhaps if less time was spent spying, and more time ‘doing their job’,  under democratic principles and laws, then the rights of American’s living abroad would not be so flagrantly violated!!


October 28, 2007

Dear Ambassador Aguirre,

Because I am an American citizen residing in Madrid, I am once again contacting you as I am literally being held “hostage” in this country by my husband and its antiquated legal and judicial system. I am requesting the assistance of the American Consulate in assuring that my legal, civil and human rights are respected and protected here in Spain.

While in college I worked for the former Senator J. Bennett Johnston from Louisiana. One of the services that he provided to his constituents was assurance that their legal and civil rights were protected during judicial proceedings in his state. He no way influenced decisions or judgments; but all proceedings were closely monitored by his staff in order to assure that no prejudice or corruption was allowed to occur during these proceedings. I trust that the American Consulate in Madrid will provide me with this same service here in Spain.

On September 3, 2007 I filed a complaint against my husband’s continual threats to kill me the proceeding day. After filing the complaint I contacted Senor Gonzalo Martinez de Haro of Vinander, Carlos y Associados, whose name I had found on the American Embassy website and had consulted with in July 2007. Senor de Haro agreed to represent me the next day. On September 4, 2007 I presented myself along with Senor de Haro at juzgado of Mostoles, and after the trial he informed me that I would lose custody of my children because my husband had accused me of substance addiction. I found this ridiculous and decided to look for another lawyer.

Due to the fact that my husband has all of our assets and funds blocked in his name. I find myself at the mercy of the competence of a court appointed lawyer, even though our assets amount to over, €1,000,000. Unfortunately, I believe that my legal and civil rights will fail to be defended within the public system. Copies of my complaint, court proceedings are already on file at the American Embassy in Madrid, However, for your convenience I am including a copy of all pertinent documents as well as a detailed history or what transpired over the past months in regard to this case.

On March 12, 2007 I sent a correspondence to you, the American Consul General and one to your wife, Maria Teresa Aguirre, requesting assistance in contacting the appropriate person or persons within the State Department who could examine a project designed to assist the unemployed spouses of expatriated employees, for possible sponsorship by the US State Department. I received a response stating that the American Embassy does not advertise commercial websites on the Embassy web page.

I find it paradoxical that a for-profit Spanish lawyer, Senor de Haro, would be advertised on your web page, while a philanthropic one would not. Additionally, I feel that this lawyer, recommended by the American Embassy, was negligent in representing me due to prejudice against me as a woman and/or American.

When I do finally procure a lawyer and initiate divorce proceedings I fear for my own life and perhaps that of my 2 sons. Due to the stigma and the public humiliation surrounding problems like mine all too many women everywhere remain silent. All too many end up losing their lives.

I respectfully request the assistance of the American Consulate in protecting me from the archaic social and cultural norms in Spain, as provided for in the Convention of Consular Affairs (1963.)


Quenby Wilcox


For all correspondence please click on link below:-

Correspondence with US State Department and US Embassy in Madrid 2007- 2010