Sentence

2010-12-23

This post might seem tainted with negativism. But in our modern age, negativism and realism are too often the same thing in the mind of the people. The content here is simply realism. We are satisfied with the entence, but it’s not over yet

photo: José Arturo Palacios Garza, Diario Repuesta

30 years… it is the sentence that Jose Palacios Garza got for the premeditated first degree murder, with aggravating circumstance, of Renee Wathelet. It is the maximum sentence for a qualified homicide in the Penal code of the state where the crime was perpetrated. The assassin declared he will appeal. He has until December 29 to do so at the Cancun court of second instance of. A large milestone is reached, but it’s not over yet.

It will have taken 462 days to reach this point, which is relatively fast in regards to the handling of such cases in Mexico. Several media, diplomatic and political interventions have been needed. The case file at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Canada has more than 200 notes. It took than one full-time devoted year, 300 documents sent, including a good number of letters to diplomats and politicians. The financial costs can also be estimated: without including the losses of revenue and other indirect costs: to get this result, it will have cost more than 30.000$. We would like thank again all donators and the Victims fund of the Department of Justice Canada. This is a small glimpse of what was required, to date, to seek justice, theoretically a basic right in democratic countries like Canada and Mexico. Moreover, it is not finished yet.

Since the unsuccessful escape attempt by the assassin in October, there were several developments in the case. Our lawyer, César Enrique Garza Sampeiro died in the night of the 21 at October 22. On October 22, the Foreign affairs of Canada transmitted a diplomatic note to the Mexican authorities concerning the case (that is unrelated to the death of César Garza). Following the escape attempt, the American authorities accelerated the process of extraditing the assassin in regard to the murder of his own mother. The negotiations between the two countries are at presently ongoing. The neuropsychiatric examinations were filed at the beginning of November. The trial was started (expedited) at the end of the same month. In October, the prosecutor in charge of the case informed the Canadian authorities that it would take one to two years before a trial takes place.

The near 80 pages psychiatric exam was very revealing. The assassin is completely normal from a neurobiologic point of view. The diagnosis is clear; he has an antisocial personality disorder. It is thus not insane, nor psychotic and even less schizophrenic. He understands what it did, but the consequences of its actions do not inconvenience him to any extent. When he was asked that drives us: why? A rather vague answer was given: you know… things happen… the incident occured because of personal reasons. The other inmates reported he speaks about his actions openly, with great details and even laughter somtimes. From a comparative point of view of the levels of emotive attachment, when the murder of his mother is raised, he explodes in furious anger and refuses to speak about it.

The fight for justice has been carried out on two fronts since the beginning. Today, it is the main one that has, in part, been won; to have the assassin condemn to the maximum sentence. Secondly, to understand the why and gain answers to the questions rose by the verifiable and verified facts surrounding carnage. This second front is all the more relevant following the results of the two psychological examinations, the psychiatric exam, the two CAT Scans and the electroencephalogram which show without a doubt that the assassin is not clinically or criminally insane.

It is quite interesting to observe the way the Department of Foreign Affairs of Canada works. A good metaphor would be the has follow: you have a problem with your vehicle, once at a garage, if you do not know the exact part number that need repair, the mechanic will tell you that there’s nothing he can do. Here’s what illustrates at best the deaf dialogue with our own government during the last fifteen months. Although some bureaucrats of the department try to maximize their capacity to do a minimum, solutions do exist. Let us note these blockages are more imputable to the higher ranks of the hierarchy than the people with whom we deal directly whoes work is above reproach.

Persistence remains, up to now, a key success factor. The support of certain politicians largely helps too. Two elected officials really helped us, and still help us, to try to put a satisfactory end to this nightmare. Most of the diplomatic and political steps are due to the efforts of the Liberals, although all the opposition parties were contacted. On the other side, the quasi-regime in power remains mostly insensitive. Some seems to forget that it is about a murder, the most serious crime that can be perpetrated by an individual, not of a lost passport.

The will of the authorities, either Canadian or Mexican, of going at the bottom of the why is not approximate, it is non-existent. On the other hand, the will to waste time and to hope that all this will just disappear has the time flies by is of Olympic caliber. The answers are perhaps simple, but up to now, they’re still missing. Unless there is an improbable turn of event, the evidences, names, and the still pending questions will be presented on this site once the appeal procedures are completed.

Mourning is the process of acceptance of the loss of a love one. To have accepted its disappearance does not mean to stop fighting for justice. This distinction between the two can be slim, but is important. The two are lived in quite different ways. The experience showed us that unfortunately (or rather fortunately); only people that have lived such abominations really understand this construct. Empathy has its limitation; nothing can describe what one feels to see the blood of his family spread in this way.

In Canada, we are considered and labeled victims of crime. This term keeps a certain connotation of a weakened person. In Mexico, the label is much more appropriate, we are offended. The concept of offence underlies the need for an appropriate response, much more than that of victim which underlies the need to be treated in order to recover from its wounds. One should not exclude the other, but the dominant thought observed up to now seems more directed towards the victimization side of the situation. This is just wrong and weak.

There’s also those who did not believe we would get any kind of justice. The opinions of others in that direction did not influence the determination which still feeds, after 15 month, the will to have total justice. Although we start to cumulate victories, the battle is not finished yet. We were told by the political and media people involved in the case that we changed things. Some walls have fallen, for a time, for the Canadians who will have to live such a nightmare. To fight against governmental systems can seem lost in advance, but the only guarantee is the failure and that it is when nothing is done. It is the duty of the citizen to fight for his basic and fundamentals rights which are never are completely guaranteed. In adversity, some prefer kneeling down, as victims, others choose to die standing up, if necessary.

A big thank you to all who have supported and helped us.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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