The Mexico City prosecutor opens an investigation against Andrés Roemer after accusations of sexual assault

Andrés Roemer, during a meeting in 2014.
Andrés Roemer, during a meeting in 2014.Michael Macor / Getty Images

The Mexico City Prosecutor’s Office has opened an ex officio investigation, that is, for criminal news, against the communicator, diplomat, writer and philanthropist Andrés Roemer, whom three women who have identified have accused of sexual abuse and rape. Others continue to leave similar testimonials anonymously on social media. That is why the Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed that a folder is being opened against the one who is still the host of a program on ADN40, a TV Azteca station. At the moment, none of the victims has been called to testify or filed a complaint. This Tuesday, Unesco has also confirmed that the disseminator has left his post as Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations organization for Education.

“By mutual agreement between UNESCO and Mr. Andrés Roemer, it was agreed that he will withdraw from all activities related to his mandate as Goodwill Ambassador, pending clarification of all the accusations made against him. UNESCO reaffirms its policy of zero tolerance towards all forms of harassment ”. This diplomatic figure has already been removed from the communicator’s profile on Twitter. Columbia University has also deleted him from its list of Visiting Scholars, as has been published by Periodistas Unidas de México on the same social network. Roemer has been charged by three women of sexual assault and abuses suffered over the years. These three victims have done so with names and surnames, but others have left similar confessions anonymously on social networks, in a storm against the communicator that does not stop. In the last hours; Martha Cristiana, who was a beauty queen and actress, added her story to that of other victims, although she did not speak of consummate abuses, but of “inappropriate behavior.”

Women report the same pattern in Roemer’s behavior, offering them growth in their jobs or threatening to ruin their careers under his influence. Roemer was consul in San Francisco, representative of Mexico in the Unesco, professor, political official and co-founder with Ricardo Salinas Pliego of La Ciudad de Las Ideas, a festival of talents, as well as host of the program Head, from ADN40, a radio station Aztec TV.

A video of the dancer Itzel Schnaas published last week on the internet served as a spur for other women to begin to reveal that the same thing had happened to them too. Roemer contacted them and made an appointment to talk about work, some meetings that, as a rule, ended at his house, in the basement that is equipped with a movie screen for his “important meetings.” So he told them. Once there, the intimate questions, the insinuations and the abuse began. Several of them have related how he offered them a good wad of bills so that they could buy nice clothes for the next date, which never happened, although he kept sending them WhatsApp messages.

There are accusations dating back many years. And many on the internet now say that this trajectory with women, all of them very young when their lives intersected with Roemer’s, had been known in various academic and business circles for a long time. The communicator defended himself last weekend in this newspaper against the accusations, attributing that of Itzel Schnaas, specifically, to feuds between senior executives of the Salinas Pliego group. Regarding the violation mentioned by Monserrat Ortiz, he said that he denied it “one hundred percent, that it was to harm. Barbaric, incredible and painful ”. But the defendant said he did not know whether some of the accusations were real or not and pleaded not to “deny a human being.” He also blamed his behavior on patriarchy and “the ignorance of some men in unconsciously locked issues.” In any case, he affirmed: “Now they lynch you the same if you give a compliment as if you dismember a person.” “I have never experienced such great pain.”

A Goodwill ambassador is one who contributes his prestige and his knowledge to a specific cause, knowledge, education, health. Roemer was appointed in 2017 for Social Change and the Free Flow of Knowledge, “in recognition of his commitment to promoting free and pluralistic societies as a contribution to peace. and human rights ”, according to Unesco. But his reputation has plummeted these days, in what he himself has called “an exaggerated lynching” in public space. And Unesco has reacted: this morning, a message on social networks by columnist León Krauze, reported that the agency had confirmed that Roemer was no longer listed as ambassador.

On the other hand, TV Azteca, that is, ADN40, kept Roemer’s program on the air last Sunday and the Unesco symbol was permanently displayed on the screen at the top. The television station has not yet ruled on the path it will take regarding the driver of Head. Unesco has been diligent in the face of suspicions, although they have not yet been confirmed or settled in court. The victims have not filed a criminal complaint, although they are, they assure, collecting data and combining their causes to be able to go through this legal route.

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