Sirs of Plaza Pública, I refer to the article published in the electronic media entitled The incredible story of Edmond Mulet and children "exported". I beg you to distribute this right of reply in the same manner and with the same eagerness you spread the original investigation and other follow up news.
1) I emphatically reject the accusations contained in the report, namely that I was part of an "i...
1) I emphatically reject the accusations contained in the report, namely that I was part of an "international adoptions ring". The investigation has biases and omissions, and contains hints and statements that tend to false conclusions. Beginning with the title, which refers to "export" children as if they were fruit or vegetables.
2) My professional actions were always framed within the laws of the time in which the facts happened and cannot be assessed or transposed in light of current legislation. The procedures followed were the usual and legal in those days. There were many prestigious lawyers and law firms that, within the law and procedures of 34 years ago, made such arrangements. However, I was the only persecuted and falsely accused, all due to circumstances which are explained below.
3) I never profited from adoption, I never deceived anyone, I never robbed or cheated anyone. I always acted in good faith. Everything was done in daylight. There was nothing dark in the processes of adoption. The adoptions in which I took part as a notary were granted by the legitimate parents. serious and legal Canadian entities judged the adoptive couples honorable and well-off to ensure the children's welfare. Now these chilren have developed their lives in much higher conditions that could have had by remaining in Guatemala.
4) Many of the data spread in the Spanish version of the article are incorrect, like the Statement that I am Assistant Secretary General of the UN, my family is of French origin, or that I was a Congressman three times, etc. The claims made as "he used his political connections in order to avoid being investigated for his actions" are taken from other sources without credibility or with political agenda; the investigation says that these children were not orphans, because they had their mother, but the law says an orphan is one who has lost his father or mother, or both. The investigation also makes a characterization of the institution of adoption as if it were a crime, when it is recognized in the Constitution of the Republic and the laws of our country.
5) When requested, and like any responsible citizen, I voluntarily presented myself before the Police to clarify the accusation interestedly made against me.
6) There was no trial, there was no process and the case was dismissed by the courts for clearly lacking merit.
The political environment
The report, which meant many hours of work and large sums of money, did not cover aspects such as the political context of over 34 years ago. Politics and justice still mix today, let alone at that time. The article does not remind us the dark days of the regime in power, when the distress was deep, Manichaeism dominated the political spectrum, violence, criminal acts, enforced disappearances, terror in the countryside and in the cities, were causing dozens victims all day. And it was not just a "dirty war" between rebel groups and the army, but armed conflicts among the National Police, Judicial Police and some factions within the armed forces, which disputed control over territory and illegal businesses.
It is important and necessary to confront our past with criticism and humility. In the years 79, 80, 81, just before this situation arose, I helped several parents who had children in rebel groups in Guatemala. They were persecuted, they were about to be killed or kidnapped and tortured, or disappeared. Some relatives of those young people contacted me to help them get away from these activities and leave the country. I had no ideological sympathy for them, but it meant saving the lives of young victims of the ideological polarization of the moment. Two Latin American embassies used to open their doors in the early morning and I walked into them with my truck carrying people I had just met. Earlier, arrangements had been made in order to get them passports and visas. These efforts did not go unnoticed by the regime. I had high ranking friends in the army who warned me to be careful. On more than one occasion, I was suggested to leave the country for a few weeks, in order to lower the level of the the threat.
A year and a half before the case referred to in his article, when the Embassy of Spain was burnt down, I was the only one who delivered public statements denouncing the Police. Remember that the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs called Guatemala's Chancellor and asked him not to send the security forces into the headquarters of the Embassy, since it would be a violation of the principle of extraterritoriality embodied in the Vienna Convention.
At the same time I was part of the leadership ring of -PNR- National Renovation Party, led by Mr. Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre. In his memoirs, entitled "Witness of Witnesses", Lawyer Maldonado Aguirre includes an index of names where they appear quotes regarding this case. In chapter 8 and section 4, there appears a detailed chronology of events relating to pressures from the ruling party against our leader and our party, so that we supported the official candidate. Lawyer Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre recently wrote the following, authorizing the quote: "... the year 81 was crucial for our group. At that time we seriously displeased General Lucas and his military group, including people at the PID party who did not forgive us for rejecting an alliance with them and for the fact that his humble servant -Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre- rejected being their presidential candidate. We suffered several casualties, people who disappeared forever. Effect of that persecution was the slanderous accusation against you, that in due course I denounced on the press, as even the National Assembly of PNR did in the proclamation of Escuintla. I am a witness and I can reiterate that this claim was part of the pressures that were against us, especially since you were one of the main leaders who opposed any alliance with the government and actively worked to form the Opposition Union". Lawyer Antonio Arenales Forno also says in one of the articles you published he never doubted that the prosecution was politically motivated.
All these elements, what Lawyer Maldonado Aguirre tells, my position on the Embassy of Spain's take, and my humanitarian action that saved several lives of the above mentioned youngters, were not acceptable for the regime. Deputy Minister of the Interior himself, a decent and proper man, sent me a message that something was being prepared against me. Another friend sent me a threatening message from the Director of Police Chupina - "tell that rooster it is best for him if he stops singing ....". An day I walked early into my office and all the walls were marked with painted handprints in red. They had not broken into, they did not opened a drawer or a file, did not lift a paper or steal anything. Just wanted to prove they could enter and leave a "message" and remain unpunished. A few days after this event, there came this political prosecution. The regime, when I was taken before the the Second Corps and in its intention to discredir me, organized a press conference enlivened with marimba (!). The Judicial Police was in charge of arming the whole plot. The inspector who designed the scheme committed suicide in his cell a few months later, after being accused of murder and torture.
When they could not act directly against their victims, the terror regimes that dominated our country used other means to destroy or discredit their opponents. Although I do not intend to live up to these characters, remember the murder of Myrna Mack and a few years later, the crime against Monsignor Gerardi, both trying to disguise political crime as common crime.
In this long life I have had the opportunity and privilege to do many things, striving to earn the trust and respect of my peers, serving and always thinking of others. Something that fills me with great satisfaction was saving lives of both young men who had lost their way to participate in subversive movements, and of some children, who not having had the opportunity to be adopted, would have become homeless children or criminals. It was right after that incident, based on false and spurious accusations, that my public life began. I won an election six weeks later, since the people, like justice, understood that it was a political stunt.
I have the satisfaction of having been on the right side of history, that is to say, with the victims of the terror regime of the time, and not on the side of the perpetrators.