One Woman Cracks the Pedo Elite. Chapter 4.

Preface & Chapter 1 here. Chapter 2 here. Chapter 3 here.

Trial 3: Succar Kuri’s trial for child pornography, in which Lydia Cacho is to appear as a witness.

‘Lydia Cacho never realized just how far-reaching (Succar Kuri’s) network was…’ a Special Prosecutor working under federal authority told reporters in March 2006. This acknowledgment by certain Mexican feds – that they knew more than Lydia Cacho, that they knew how far-reaching Succar Kuri’s Pedo Elite network was, – was made while Succar Kuri sat in a US prison awaiting extradition to Mexico. When asked if all the child rape and child porn networks worked together, the Special Prosecutor answered: ‘Very probably. And not only at the national level, but on an international scale as well.’ The Special Prosecutor went on to say Succar Kuri’s detention does not necessarily mean his networks have been dismantled: ‘In the Succar Kuri case specifically,…it is a large-scale network… (M)ultiple international connections have been shown to exist. More than were previously thought.’ Who these ‘multiple international connections’ were was not revealed. – But for the first time, certain Mexican authorities had now acknowledged that Lydia Cacho’s book was factual: Succar Kuri was kingpin of an international child rape and child porn network, running “sex tourism” operations in Mexico for men to rape children. His extensive money-laundering likely linked him to organized crime.

Succar Kuri had been held in a US prison for over two years because the US Magistrate tasked with extraditing him didn’t trust Mexican authorities would charge Succar Kuri, and feared he would be freed. On April 4, 2006, a few weeks after the Special Prosecutor made these remarks to the press, US Magistrate David K. Duncan finally authorized Succar Kuri’s extradition to Mexico. Succar Kuri was returned to Mexico on July 5, 2006, in the darkness of night, and escorted by federal agents to Cancun’s low-security prison. Succar Kuri shook the federal agents’ hands before they left, and waved them a friendly farewell.
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*

In Cancun’s low-security prison, Succar Kuri rented a luxury suite. Family members, – sons and grandsons seen visiting him here, for example, – weren’t searched, and came quequi23-index_r6_c5and went as they pleased. Emma also visited Succar Kuri in his luxury suite several times, each time accompanied by Succar Kuri’s lawyers. Due to rumors Succar Kuri was planning a large-scale jail break, Succar Kuri was moved from Cancun’s low-security prison to Chetumal, a medium-security prison. He was then moved to Altiplano, a maximum-security prison. A few days after this final transfer, nearly 100 inmates broke out of the Cancun Prison as planned, – but without Succar Kuri.

Lydia Cacho: “I had been receiving calls on my cell phone from an unknown number; the person (sic) on the other end would breathe heavily for a few moments and then hang up. Then the calls began coming in on my apartment landline, until I had to eventually unplug the phone every evening when I arrived home. In the final days of October 2006, I got a phone call from Chetumal – a special agent at the prison there asked for my fax number. He said he was an admirer of mine and read my book; he respected my bravery and needed to warn me that my life was in danger… He faxed over a document (showing Succar Kuri had hired two inmates) at the Chetumal Prison to assassinate several witnesses, myself among them. Succar Kuri had given (the men) a drawing of my home in Cancun, sketched in blue ink on the back of a napkin. That same morning, when I went out to buy the day’s paper, (this story) was on the front page.”

*

A year after Succar Kuri had been extradited back to Mexico, the day had finally come: Lydia Cacho would face Succar Kuri. She had been summoned as a witness at his trial, a trial in which he was charged by eight of his victims with producing child pornography. Videos found of Succar Kuri raping these girls would substantiate their statements in Court. But because Mexican law on child rape was weak, Succar Kuri was not additionally charged with raping these girls, but instead with “corruption of minors.” Lydia Cacho anticipated she would be asked to testify that she had sheltered these girls, asked to detail the crimes against them disclosed under trauma-care, asked to explain the psychological damage to a 5-year-old girl raped by a 200-pound man on film, that film then sold, anticipated she would testify that she and shelter staff had now spent years trying to return these girls to some semblance of normalcy. Lydia Cacho would now look into Succar Kuri’s eyes, – after she was abducted, tortured and raped for exposing the exclusive brotherhood of rapists he headed, after Succar Kuri had called her to tell her he would kill her, after knowing Succar Kuri had hired hitmen, – at least twice, – to have her killed. – On May 3, 2007, – finally, – the day had come.

Lydia Cacho: “I had only seen (Succar Kuri) in photographs and video footage. Like millions of others, I had watched the video in which Succar Kuri, with a sadist’s cruelty, describes how much he enjoys seeing five-year-old girls bleed when he penetrates them.”

 

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Federal Police patrol the perimeter of the Altiplano Maximum-Security Prison

“I arrived at the Altiplano Maximum-Security Prison…There is no cell-phone coverage for a two-kilometer radius surrounding the prison and the initial sensation upon entering the isolated area is strange. The most dangerous prisoners in the country are held there.”

Lydia Cacho was brought into a small hearing room where Succar Kuri imagesnewwwsat behind bars. Lydia Cacho: “Through (the bars), I glimpsed a gaunt, pallid face… I was wearing my shirt that read, ‘No More Pedophiles. No More Corruption. No More Impunity.’ I stepped forward and stood in front of Succar Kuri where he sat, and the expression on his face became distorted; he eyed my shirt carefully, then immediately gestured for his attorneys.” Lydia Cacho’s shirt was deemed ‘offensive to the prisoner;’ the Judge ordered her to cover it.

 

Lydia Cacho: “Succar Kuri spent his time during the session glaring at me with intense rancor. From time to time, he would screw up his face so tightly that his pale lips all but disappeared from sight. We were seated a mere six feet from one another, face-to-face.” Lydia Cacho was kept in this claustrophobic room with Succar Kuri, six feet in front of her, face-to-face, with no food or drink, for over twelve hours.

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Lydia Cacho: “It was clear to me that his lawyers lacked a coordinated strategy. In reality, Succar Kuri is indefensible… The pedophile and his lawyers were doing their utmost to skirt the main issue under consideration at the trial: namely, the children who had been raped and used by this man to produce child pornography… (Succar Kuri) had my book brought out again and again for all to see; since he was not able to touch it through the bars, his lawyers would hold it up for him and he would point at something written on the pages and pose questions to me about whatever it happened to be… From one moment to the next, my appearance, which I was ostensibly making in the capacity of a witness, had morphed completely – now it was almost as if I was the one on trial… There was one particularly critical moment when I even found myself asking the Judge if I was making this appearance as a witness who knew the raped girls or, rather, if this was a trial being held against me for having published The Demons of Eden… At other times, as when his lawyer insisted that I am not a journalist because I don’t hold any sort of professional credential, Succar Kuri would raise up his arms and pound them against the (bars) before bringing them down to beat his own chest, like a gorilla marking its territory…”imagespedelite

“I did manage, despite all this, to tell the (girls’) stories… (And also testify) that the pedophile’s lawyers had offered some of the victim’s mothers (money) in exchange for their silence – offers which were accompanied by threats…”

Lydia Cacho: “Finally, after more than 11½ hours, his face contorted and his eyes wild with rage in an expression reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter, Succar Kuri let it be known he was going to end me.” Unfortunately, the Judge had momentarily stepped out of the room and did not witness Succar Kuri openly making death threats. With blood-red rage, Succar Kuri told Lydia Cacho he would kill her. With blood-red with rage, Succar Kuri told Lydia Cacho he would kill her whether he was sentenced or not. With blood-red rage, Succar Kuri told Lydia Cacho he would kill her if it was the last thing he did.

The session was finally adjourned. Lydia Cacho walked over to Succar Kuri as he stood behind bars in the country’s highest-security prison. “I stood directly in front of him,” Lydia Cacho said. “He is a small man – at full height he comes up to my chin, just like Kamel Nacif.” [For the record, Governor Marin is also small].

*

As Lydia Cacho started the long walk back to the prison parking lot, a security van pulled up alongside her. ‘Are you the reporter?’ the prison guard asked. Lydia Cacho: “With a greater sense of pride in my heart than I had felt at any previous moment, I replied that I was indeed. Behind me, several feet under the ground, sat the man who had possessed, like some amoral demon, the souls and bodies of who knows how many girls… Ahead of me was the fresh, free air…” The guard offered to give Lydia Cacho a lift to the parking lot. As she got in, he remarked, ‘Those guys over there are the devil’s lawyers. They can walk.’

*

The girl victims had already testified face-to-face against Succar Kuri, – a terrifying tribunal. Lydia Cacho: “Back in the SUV, for the almost two hours it took to drive back to the Mexico City [Airport], I sat next to my bodyguard with my face turned towards the window and cried inconsolably. Nobody but those young souls who had lived under this cruel man’s yoke could know what it was like to submit to his psychological tortures. I was acutely moved by these young girls and their bravery… Even in their darkest hours, after the nightmares and the mood swings, the girls insisted they would tell me the entire story on one condition: that I would try my best to make sure Succar Kuri and his accomplices would not rape or sell another girl as long as they were alive… And I promised… If they’re not giving up, I thought, nobody else has the right to give up either.”

*

Five days after Lydia Cacho faced Succar Kuri, she was at the Mexico City Airport with three fellow journalists, having just returned from a reporting trip to Juarez, covering the atrocities there against women and girls. Before heading to her Mexico City destination, Lydia Cacho offered to drop her colleagues off. Her bodyguards loaded everyone into the armored SUV. Lydia Cacho: “Just as we were picking up speed and preparing to pull onto the freeway, the SUV began to fishtail, and the driver, who was one of the agents assigned to protect me, instantly slammed on the breaks, swerving to the curb in order to bring the vehicle to a stop.” One of the agents got out; shocked, she held the wheel’s lug nuts in her hands. They seemed to have been sawed with a hacksaw.

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Lydia Cacho filed attempted murder charges with the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Journalists. “(Three months later), as I arrived home, my bodyguards spotted a car parked outside my building with someone sitting at the wheel,” Lydia Cacho recounted. “My bodyguards approached the individual, who said he’d been sent to deliver a summons for me. Ten o’clock on a Friday night and (the Prosecutor’s Office is) delivering a summons? we marveled. I took receipt of the document and to my amazement that pursuant to my having filed charges of attempted murder, (the Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Journalists was) convening me for the very next day – a Saturday, and without the presence of my lawyers – to undergo a psychological evaluation in order to provide further explanations of the attack against me. They did not request to see the vehicle’s lug nuts, nor did they ask to interrogate my security team or the other material witnesses, (or request that we) immediately hand over the SUV for analysis in order to verify whether or not it had been tampered with. (They) only wanted to determine whether I was in my right mind and telling the truth.” By 2016, Lydia Cacho said, nine years later, “the Prosecutor’s Office has still not analyzed the vehicle we were traveling in, which remains to this date parked (outside their office building).” No one was interested in hearing that five days earlier, Succar Kuri stood in a maximum-security prison promising to kill Lydia Cacho.

Puebla Attorney General Blanca Laura Villeda Martinez, who had arranged for Lydia Cacho to be tortured and raped in jail, told reporters that she sawed off the lug nuts. Whether this was caustic sarcasm or a confession was unclear. In any case, it wasn’t investigated.

After Lydia Cacho’s vehicle was sabotaged, many of her friends distanced themselves: “I lost a lot of friends and I respected that – they said they didn’t want to be seen with me in public. My social life changed dramatically.”

Lydia Cacho, no longer sure who she could trust, fired her bodyguards.

*

In August 2007, a Cancun Judge sentenced Succar Kuri to a mere 13 years in prison for child pornography and corruption of minors, and fined the multi-millionaire the ridiculous sum of 85,837 pesos. Emboldened, Succar Kuri appealed the case, – demanding he be set free. At the same time, the pro-bono lawyers representing the abused girls also appealed the case, – demanding Succar Kuri receive a harsher sentence. But all parties would now have to wait: An Appeals Judge would decide.

*

In late 2008/early 2009, Lydia Cacho was diagnosed with cancer. Her uterus and ovaries were removed.

Lydia Cacho’s doctors warned her that the stress she was under was killing her. Her liver and one remaining kidney were severely damaged. Her organs in general weren’t functioning properly, none of her blood values were normal, and her cortisol level was off the charts. If her cortisol level didn’t come down, her doctors told her that she could die. Lydia Cacho: “I underwent the requisite medical treatments and followed all my doctor’s recommendations, save one. – I was not willing to give up the case. Not until Succar Kuri was convicted for child pornography. Otherwise, his vengeance against the girls who had spoken out against him would be brutal, merciless.”

While in bed recuperating from cancer and the hysterectomy, Lydia Cacho, by late 2009, wrote and published Not With My Child: A Manual to Prevent, Detect, and Heal Child Sexual Abuse. The book was a best seller. And despite Lydia Cacho’s money problems, she asked her publisher to put out a cheap edition at almost no cost, “so teachers throughout Latin America could have easy access to it…”

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*

In May, 2010, a group of military men carrying exclusive military assault rifles attacked the shelter. Leading the attack was a Cancun cop – whose wife and son were at the shelter. Lydia Cacho: “He claimed that we had kidnapped the two of them and were holding them against their will… His wife was indeed at the shelter – he had tried to shoot her… He had made use of police equipment to track the woman, with the help of the (Quintana Roo) Attorney General’s Office. As always, (the shelter) was up to the challenge. We made video recordings of everything: the unit member’s badge numbers, the attack on the gate, and the arrival of additional armed hooded officers to assist in the task of trying to kick down the doors. Eventually, the abusive husband yelled at the guard on the other side of the door. ‘Tell Lydia Cacho that I’m going to report her for kidnapping and that her days are numbered.’ We were able to get the federal police to come to our aid. But to our surprise, the commander merely showed up, took a look around and left, explaining to his superiors that the men had hoods and assault weapons and that although some of them were wearing police uniforms, he thought they might be members of the Zetas or some drug cartel.” The shelter was under siege for several hours, before the Quintana Roo Attorney General ordered them to fall back. The cop who led the attack got a one-week suspension.

The Quintana Roo State Attorney General later admitted that 70 percent of Cancun’s police force had now been infiltrated by the drug cartels. Blood-soaked cartel wars were spreading across Mexico. The cartels had become too powerful to have to pay off the politicians anymore, and vied for power themselves. In these killing times, thousands and thousands of women and girls disappeared across Mexico. The women’s shelters of Mexico were needed now more than ever, but under these conditions, many found it impossible to continue to operate. Lydia Cacho: “Victims of domestic abuse in a majority of areas in the country were no longer able to find help… So it was that our shelter, almost overnight, became one of the few safe places left in the country… Like the rest of the country we found ourselves besieged, surrounded by unprecedented levels of violence…”

*

Several months later, Lydia Cacho collapsed on an airplane as it was landing. Emergency room doctors diagnosed her with an autoimmune disease, – the same autoimmune disease which had killed her mother. “(A)ll the tests indicated that my body wasn’t going to hold out much longer,” Lydia Cacho said. “Ghostly visions of the suffering my mother had endured for the three agonizing years before her passing away haunted my dreams and my waking thoughts. For whole wretched weeks at a time, I lay in bed unable to move as the days went by and the doctors went after my disease with experimental treatments that left me completely spent. I felt a fear that was unfamiliar to me. Fear of waking up one day to find my body paralyzed, unresponsive to my strength of will. Fear at the weakness of cloudy eyes no longer able to read. Fear at discovering my memory reduced… I cried myself to sleep on many of those nights, curled up with a pain that was tearing at my veins…”

Yet somehow, – curled up with pain on her sickbed, – Lydia Cacho wrote anti-trafficking material for schools, developing an educational program on how traffickers can be identified, how traffickers ensnare victims, and how to escape traffickers. Young women and girls would initially be taught this material, then teach it to other females, and so on. Lydia Cacho pulled herself out of her sickbed for the initial workshop, teaching 500 young women and girls this material. A year later, 10,000 young women and girls had learned how to identify and avoid traffickers, and were teaching it on.

*

Also in 2010, this same year, Lydia Cacho published Slavery, Inc.: The Untold Story of Human Trafficking (in Spanish, Esclavas del Poder). In the previous five years of court battles, every time Lydia Cacho had to leave Mexico because of a death threat, she used the days or weeks away from home to investigate female-trafficking around the world. She carried a GPS locator on her person so in case she was killed the people who love her could find her remains. Lydia Cacho: “If you follow the stories of the victims, you can draw the trafficking routes… Alone with my camera, my tape recorder, a notebook, and my NGO contacts as my only provisions, I traveled to London, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and the Afghan border with China. From there, I flew to Thailand, where I traced the routes along which young girls are traded, venturing through the interior of the country to Burma (Myanmar). I then traveled through the villages of Vietnam… I headed to Japan to investigate the Yakuza [Japanese Mafia] in Tokyo and Osaka. And from there I flew to Los Angeles in order to document the Tokyo-Hawai’i-California route for the transportation of drugs and Asian women to the United States. I had investigated human trafficking in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, as well as Latin America, on earlier trips…”

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While enduring 3+ stress-killing trials for which she had to gather evidence, secure witnesses, and persevere through government-ordered gas-lighting, while standing alone against the unified Pedo Elites and their pedo-bros and handmaidens embedded in the government and justice system who consistently worked to derail her, while preparing to come face-to-face with the multi-millionaire Pedo Elites who had plotted and continued to plot her death, while recovering from several feminist-punishing rape attacks which had impacted her musculoskeletal system, while trying to heal from being abducted and tortured and almost cast into the ocean, while providing emotionally-exhausting trauma-care to the girl victims to return them to some semblance of normalcy, while operating a high-security battered women’s shelter which regularly came under siege from groups of armed men and was taking in more and more women as men turned Mexico into a blood bath, and while working to pay her bills, mostly her lawyer’s bills – Lydia Cacho “used the time between different trials” – her fleeing men’s death threats time – to travel to 141 countries around the world to chase down the Uber-Patriarchy and map their female-trafficking operations world-wide.

Lydia Cacho wrote Slavery, Inc.: The Untold Story of Human Trafficking, – an 800-page book, – while enduring this and more over the preceding five years. However, because the publishers who had financed her worried the book was depressing, they severely cut the book. The English edition of Slavery Inc., for example, was cut from 800-pages to 256-pages, with more than two-thirds of the book slashed. Still, Lydia Cacho’s book was translated into Turkish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Dutch, Swedish and English. Slavery, Inc. was published while Lydia Cacho was still recovering from cancer and the hysterectomy, and still fighting her autoimmune disease with experimental treatments. Too sick to go on the global book tour, Lydia Cacho had to bow out of scheduled appearances in Italy, France, Germany, Sweden and the US. She did make it to a few countries, – Australia, for example – though that was physically difficult.

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*

From Lydia Cacho’s work, we can see two markets exist for the rape of girl-children – one for Pedo Elites and the other for men in general. Both markets are sponsored by syndicates of organized crime.

For the market for Pedo Elites, where men from society’s highest echelons rape, trade, gift, and/or sell children to men of like-rank, the syndicates provide stealth communications and computer-networking technology, as was used, for example, by Succar Kuri’s wife to send endless pedo-pornography to Las Vegas. Details of the terms between the Pedo Elites and the syndicates beyond these arrangements, however, remain obscured. Pedo Elites may in fact be members of the syndicates, which makes it hard to know if their primary interest is raping children, uber-male class-bonding through the “butchering” of a penniless female child, who, as Succar Kuri said, “has no chance,” or if, as in Cancun’s network, it is always also a business, always a franchise of organized crime. In Cancun’s network, all of the above were in play. But are all Pedo Elite networks like this one? How many Pedo Elite networks are there? Are they concentrated in countries with corrupt justice systems, or are they wherever the uber-brotherhood wants them to be? Are they closed and exclusive? How, exactly, are these networks linked? What, exactly, are their terms with the syndicates? Are the Pedo Elite networks operated independently, or are they run by the syndicates top-down? How is this blood-money divided? Who pays who? Clearly these men are protected and veiled. Their veiling is institutionalized and paid-for, often paid-for by the children themselves, who are handed out like gold coins, offered up for rape to politicians, immigration officials, Interpol agents, hoteliers, reporters, bankers, judges, cops, etc. To lift the veil to try to answer these questions, is, – as Lydia Cacho discovered, – life-threatening. But because men’s behavior is everywhere the same, everywhere predictable, it can be extrapolated from this one uncovered, yet still covered, Pedo Elite network, that the Pedo Elite networks must look alike, that the other networks must look like this one. As Mexico’s Special Prosecutor confirmed, the Pedo Elite networks are inter-linked and exist within the structure of organized crime.

For the market for men in general, the syndicates run girl-trafficking and female-trafficking as intertwined operations around the globe, – from which they make a killing. They also run multiple support-sectors. Support-sectors include the establishment of slave routes, the protection of slave routes, the continual provisioning of “fresh product” for market, and the money-laundering of billions of dollars in annual profits. Support-sectors are themselves major global enterprises. For example, money-laundering billions of dollars year after year is a massive global undertaking with scores of actors and props – suits, mules, pilots, seafarers, storefronts, fake accounts, phantom clients, fraudulent bank documents, furtive electronic transfers, countless collaborators in a vast eclipsed matrix. Money-laundering colossal sums of money is big business. In fact, according to Lydia Cacho, money-laundering is the third-biggest business in the world. [Besides the well-worn offshore options, it is also logical to suspect international businessmen are involved in syndicate money-laundering, as legitimate businesses are needed to rinse the money clean. To surmise, Russian syndicate profits could be laundered as cash loans, – to international businessmen for new and legal business ventures. International businessmen, “global players,” might even compete for these “loans,” especially those with sub-par credit-ratings, bypassing the standard scrutiny of a bank, with their legal and regulatory restrictions and their credit-rating-based interest rates. Interest rates on a Russian laundry loan might be quite low. Syndicates might even pay the laundromat, and pay quite well]. Succar Kuri was initially arrested because Interpol found $20 million of his transactions suspicious. – Just one Pedo Elite ringleader – at least $20 million…

*

Lydia Cacho believes the syndicates which traffic females work together, and are supported by all the governments of the world. Lydia Cacho: “The point of the book was to understand how the international markets are connected. As a reporter, I was really frustrated, because every time I interviewed an expert, everyone kept telling me they’re not linked, that this isn’t an international business. But it is… (It may be) an international mafia also involving Las Vegas… All governments in the world are lying to us about what’s going on with sex-trafficking. The governments are protecting the mafias. We are much more powerful than the mafias… Their greatest power lies in our fear.”

Feminists, Lydia Cacho believes, can end female-trafficking. “I’ve cried a lot,” she said. “But we have to do this work.”

*

Lydia Cacho eventually got so sick, she almost died. Her precarious health and the global recession which had dried up funding for non-profits forced her and shelter staff to permanently close their women’s shelter. – Transforming it instead into a training center for the prevention of violence against women and girls, a place where, among other things, women are now being trained to open and run their own women’s shelters.

Meanwhile, Succar Kuri reportedly had become fearful of the other inmates in Mexico’s highest-security prison.

*

On August 31, 2011, Lydia Cacho got an urgent call from her lawyer: ‘You have to go to the Federal Courthouse in Cancun,’ he said, – ‘right now. The Appeals Judge deciding whether to free Succar Kuri on appeal or not had asked to see her.

Lydia Cacho:

“I identified myself at the entrance to the building, and several minutes went by before the Judge’s assistant arrived to show me in. I walked into his office, he greeted me with scrupulous formality, and I took a seat across from him at his desk… I scarcely breathed as I listened to what he had to say. [It will later be learned that this Judge, while deliberating this case, was both offered cash and threatened].

‘I can tell you now,’ Judge Mata Oliva said, ‘because Succar Kuri and his lawyers heard the sentence a few hours ago and they know all about it.’

‘Tell me your honor,’ I asked in a barely audible voice, fearing the worst – an exoneration.

‘I should tell you that I have reviewed each and every piece of evidence carefully. You are familiar with the evidence, are you not?’

I nodded silently.

‘Not once in my career as a Judge have I ever seen anything as horrifying as the videos Succar Kuri and his wife made of themselves preparing those girls, less than 8-years-old, to be raped. It’s inhuman.’

‘Yes, I know,’ I said.

‘The sentence, which the victims as well as the perpetrator will have formal access to as of now, is 112 years in prison. (Succar Kuri will pay) a fine of 527,174 pesos, and will also be required to pay 320,000 pesos in damages per victim, a figure designed to allow to cover the costs of their therapy, future studies, and any health problems resulting from their trauma. In other words, he will be required to pay 2.5 million pesos. I made the decision to sentence him for each individual case because the law allows me to do so, and because of the seriousness of the crimes… I wanted these girls…to understand that this Court recognizes their bravery and that these crimes have been substantiated beyond all doubt.’”

Never before had a sentence like this been handed down in Latin America. – Not before feminist Lydia Cacho.

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*

Because of one feminist’s extraordinary courage, the following changes have occurred in Mexico: Beating a woman is now against the law. Child rape and child porn have been re-framed in a feminist context, and it is now better understood that these are crimes men commit. Being a rape victim has also been re-framed in a feminist context, and it is now better understood that rape victims have a right to privacy, should not be publicly identified, and also not blamed. Child rape is now a much more serious crime. Making child pornography is now a much more serious crime. (This was to be called ‘The Lydia Cacho Law,’ but she declined). Sharing child pornography is now against the law. Trafficking women and girls is now a much more serious crime. Bringing criminal defamation charges against a journalist is now against the law. Mothers and teachers are now educating themselves on how to identify pedophiles and recognize signs of sexual abuse in children. Young women and girls are now educating themselves on how to identify traffickers and recognize the entrapment tactics traffickers use. And the international Uberpatriarchs who think they can live lavishly off their industrialized rape now know feminists can track them down. – And make them die in prison.

*

In a red-blood rage, Succar Kuri had sworn to Lydia Cacho in the middle of a maximum-security prison that he would kill her – if it was the last thing he did. Shortly after Succar Kuri was sentenced to 112 years in prison, an agent with US Immigration Enforcement contacted Lydia Cacho to tell her Succar’ Kuri’s wife and five sons were back in Cancun and living at the Solymar Villa.

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The pedophile’s wife and lawyers

Succar Kuri’s wife, the US immigration agent warned, was looking for a hitman among corrupt police in Cancun ‘for a little job.’ One week later, Lydia Cacho was forced to leave her home, escorted by the organized crime unit of the federal police because a contract killer was shown to be within a two meter distance of her home, – striking distance.

The death threats have not stopped. The death threats, in fact, have only become more harrowing. In one recent incident, Lydia Cacho’s no-access satellite phone turned on by itself, while a man, through a voice scrambler, said: ‘We’ve already warned you, bitch, don’t mess with us. What’s coming next is you’ll be in pieces. That’s how we’ll send you home.’

*

 “My life is in danger today,” Lydia Cacho explains. She tapes all phone calls.  She videotapes her surCACCroundings at all times. She keeps a packed bag and her passport ready. Arrangements are in place for the care of her Rottweilers. Lydia Cacho: “I take the death threats seriously. I intend to stay alive; yet if that were not the case, if the mafias end up killing me…it is important to document the entire story of the powers that protect traffickers…”

“This is not martyrdom,” Lydia Cacho wants it to be known. “This is a fight for dignity.”

I hope that I can continue to dodge any and all bullets meant for me, but should that prove not to be the case, at least I know with certainty that I am proud of my life…”

*

Each morning, when she rises, Lydia Cacho says: For myself, for my mother, for all women.

*

Many many men want Lydia Cacho dead. – But Lydia Cacho is alive today. – LYDIA CACHO IS ALIVE!

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Additional Info:

References Include:

Books:

  • Cacho, Lydia. Infamy: How One Woman Brought an International Sex Trafficking Ring to Justice. Translated into English by Cecilia Ross. Soft Skull Press. 2016.
  • Cacho, Lydia. Slavery Inc.: The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking. Translated into English by Elizabeth Boburg. Soft Skull Press. 2014.

Theses:

  • Pearsall, Jill. Corruption, Pedophilia, and Accountability in Mexico: The Case of Lydia Cacho Ribeiro. Ohio State University. May 2008.
  • Jones, Gareth and Thomas de Benitez, Sarah. Lost Opportunity: The Lydia Cacho Case and Child Rights in Mexico. The London School of Economics and Political Science. 2014.

Radio:

  • Mexico’s Lydia Cacho on Bravery and Journalism. Latino USA. NPR. 2017.

Documentaries:

  • Los Demonios del Edén: La Cruzada de Lydia Cacho
  • Lydia Cacho : #ImpunidadMata || EP
  • Juarez: The City Where Women are Disposable

Articles:

  • McGeough, Paul. The Defiant One. The Sydney Morning Herald. August 23, 2014.
  • Walker, S. Lynn. Mexican Writer’s Book on Pedophiles Exposes Abuses, and Puts Her in Peril. Copley News/Banderas News. April 2006.
  • Mexican Journalist Lydia Cacho: “I don’t scare easily.” The Guardian. April 31, 2012.
  • de Valencia, Norrie. Refugees, Human Rights Defenders and the Incredible Story of Lydia Cacho. UNESCO 2008 Freedom of Speech Award Speech. Mozambique. May 3, 2008.
  • Imison, Paul. Independent. The New Suffragettes: Lydia Cacho: Justice for Women Means the Right to Live in Safety. May 30, 2013.
  • Dangerous Women Project: Lydia Cacho.
  • Murphy, Zoeann, Global Threats to Free Press, What Dangers Have You Faced While Reporting in Your Country, Lydia Cacho. The Washington Post.
  • Martinez, Chivis. Lydia Cacho: Most Killings of Journalists are Ordered by Government, Military, Political Parties. Borderland Beat. March 24, 2013.
  • International Women’s Media Foundation, 2007 Courage in Journalism Award.
  • Méndez, Alfredo and Petric, Blanche. Lydia Cacho: “Edith ya sufrió demasiado; no daré yo la última estocada.” La Jornada.
  • Mendez, Alfredo, Herrera, Claudia. Familiares de Succar Kuri anuncian que demandarán a Cacho Ribeiro. La Jornada.
  • Barajas, Michael. Mexican Journalist Who Braved Death Threats and Torture Will Speak at OLLU for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. San Antonio. October 4, 2016.
  • Cacho, Lydia. Challenging the Merchants of Human Slavery. 50.50 Inclusive Democracy. November 30, 2012.
  • Campbell, Monica. Battling the Demons of Eden. Amnesty International Magazine. September 9, 2008.
  • Scott, Cameron. Mexico’s Most Wanted Journalist. Mother Jones. May 1, 2007.
  • Watts Kennedy, Victoria. Interview with Lydia Cacho. 2014.
  • Páez Martes, Samantha. Ventila Lydia Cacho ante ONU impunidad en SCJN y Puebla. In e-consulta. October 14, 2014.
  • Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, journalist threatened. AmnestyUSA.org.
  • Allan, Nicole. Lydia Cacho Ribeiro. The Atlantic. November 2011.
  • Roig-Franzia, Manuel. Horror Story. The Washington Post. September 1, 2007.
  • Supreme Court Judges were bribed,” says Cacho. Mexico Reporter. February 8, 2008.
  • Cevallos, Diego. Mexico: Ties Between Elites and Child Sex Rings “Beyond Imagination.” InterPress Service. September 13, 2006.
  • Cevallos, Diego. Mexico: Key Evidence Blocked in Child Sex Ring Trial. InterPress Service. September 5, 2007.

Speeches:

  • Lydia Cacho, Wallenberg Lecture. 2009.
  • Lydia Cacho, Global Forum on Freedom of Expression. 2009.

Interviews and clips:

  • Frontline Club. Insight with Lydia Cacho: Slavery, Inc.
  • Slavery, Inc: Lydia Cacho in conversation with Damien Carrick (Melbourne Writers Festival 2014).
  • Hrant Dink Award to Lydia Cacho, Vimeo.
  • Lydia Cacho, Mexican journalist risks life to take on sex traffickers, Vimeo.
  • Lydia Cacho Goes Undercover in the Global Sex Trade, Fora TV.
  • Interview with Lydia Cacho on sex trafficking, prostitution, feminism.
  • SEMBLANZA LYDIA CACHO.
  • Lydia Cacho on Slave Trade Enablers.
  • Lydia Cacho on the dangers for journalists in Mexico.
  • CNN Heroes: Lydia Cacho Ribeiro.
  • Lydia Cacho: Slavery is Big Business, Festival of Dangerous Ideas. 2014.
  • why women count | Lydia Cacho | Mexico.
  • How the Sex Trafficking Industry Is Evolving – Lydia Cacho, complete video
  • Lydia Cacho.
  • Mexican journalist and human rights activist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro chooses “not to fear the monsters.”
  • Shame to Mexico: Mexican Supreme Court Rules Against Lydia Cacho.
  • Entrevista a Succar Kury respecto a la pederastía.
  • Female Freedom of Expression in Mexico (Lydia Cacho Ribeiro).

Other: UN Report on the World Conference on the International Women’s Year, Mexico City, 1975. Published 1976.  http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/otherconferences/Mexico/Mexico%20conference%20report%20optimized.pdf

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One Woman Cracks the Pedo Elite. Chapter 3.

Preface & Chapter 1 here. Chapter 2 here. Chapter 4 here.

“I was living with countless death threats,” Lydia Cacho said, “guarded day and night like a criminal by federal agents, and (the pedophiles) whom the authorities knew every last detail went about their business in the world with absolute impunity, smiling free and easy…” Despite the substantial evidence authorities now had, despite Kamel Nacif’s recorded phone calls, and despite public outrage, – Kamel Nacif, Governor Marin, and other known members of Succar Kuri’s international child rape and child porn network weren’t arrested. Not one of these men was investigated. Not one of these men was even questioned. – Lydia Cacho, on the other hand, would now be subjected to three high-stakes court battles: 1). Kamel Nacif’s charge that Lydia Cacho “defamed” him in her book on the child rape and child porn network. 2). Lydia Cacho’s historic charges against Governor Marin and Kamel Nacif for violating her human rights by having her abducted and tortured, and 3). Succar Kuri’s trial for child pornography, in which Lydia Cacho is to appear as a witness. For Lydia Cacho, all these trials took place simultaneously. – Here they’ll be chronicled one at a time.

Trial 1: Kamel Nacif’s charge that Lydia Cacho“defamed” him in her book on the child rape and child porn network.

Mexico does not have freedom of the press. Journalists can be charged with defamation – which is not a civil charge, as it is elsewhere in the world, but a criminal charge complete with jail time. If Lydia Cacho is found guilty of having defamed Kamel Nacif, she will be sent to prison. Even if what she wrote is determined to be true, absolutely true, – if her words are found to have caused Kamel Nacif “harm,” – Lydia Cacho will be sent to prison. In one of the recorded phone conversations between Kamel Nacif and Governor Marin, the Pedo Elites debate whether to lock up Lydia Cacho for one decade, – or two.

Also, police in Mexico don’t generally carry out investigations. Investigations, if they are carried out at all, are carried out by the State Attorney General’s Office at their discretion. (Or rather, at the discretion of the Governor who appointed the State Attorney General. Mexico’s patronage system also may or may not direct Special Prosecutors to investigate high-profile cases should they have political ramifications). But even if a State Attorney General agrees to investigate a particular crime, it is still the victim who must do the investigative work. In Mexico, in general, the onus is on the victim of a crime to investigate the crime committed against them. The victim is responsible for compiling evidence. The victim is responsible for securing witnesses. And the victim must bear all costs. Lydia Cacho must compile her own evidence, secure her own witnesses and bear all costs. For example, she must chase down the camera footage from the toll booths in Merida showing the two female agents weren’t with her, and if the footage is available, and if somebody is willing to find it, and if somebody is allowed to make a copy, and if somebody is willing to make a copy, Lydia Cacho must pay, most likely several “fees.” Lydia Cacho must also hire an attorney to represent her, to navigate the paperwork maze of her case.

The first attorney willing to work with Lydia Cacho failed to submit briefs to the Court as required. Lydia Cacho: “…(A)fter learning that the (new) Judge would not be allowing further evidence because my side had not submitted in time, I had a clear vision of my lawyer seated with Kamel Nacif and Governor Marin’s people…handing over my documents…” The second attorney willing to work with Lydia Cacho asked for obscene sums of money: “They calculated they would need four lawyers working on my case full-time in order to deal with the avalanche of legal requirements. That meant purchasing four round-trip tickets once a week for the eight or nine months they estimated the trial would last. In addition to their fees, we would have to cover the cost of their meals and lodging. I rented an apartment in downtown Cancun for them…” The obscene sums of money procured by this second attorney was the price Lydia Cacho would have to pay for her legal team to not be bought-off.

“I was beginning to understand,” Lydia Cacho said, “that the concerted strategic effort being employed by Kamel Nacif, Governor Marin, and Succar Kuri’s lawyers – a total of half a dozen law firms working against me – consisted of wearing me down physically and financially. Each one of them individually threw the entirety of his legal resources into multiplying the number of summons, (testimonies, verification of information, presentation of witnesses), submissions of additional evidence…and psychological and medical evaluations…I had to juggle. They were so good at it that in one particular week, I was under obligation to appear in courts in Cancun, Mexico City, and Puebla – all on the same day.”

“On top of all this,” Lydia Cacho continued, “the Special Prosecutors for Crimes Against Women and for Crimes Against Journalists were asking me to appear practically every third day [in Mexico City]. The litany was never ending, and so were the costs.” Legal fees paid by Lydia Cacho, Lydia Cacho’s family and numerous feminist friends approached 300 million pesos. “Kamel Nacif had said it on one of the recordings: ‘I’m going to (take Lydia Cacho to court) over and over again, – until she begs for forgiveness.’”

Besides the Pedo Elite effort to break her, the Mexican criminal justice system also tried to break her, as it was designed to do: What in other countries might be considered the illegal treatment of a terrorist suspect is in Mexico the normal course of events for the victims of crime. Lydia Cacho was required to undergo countless invasive and cruel psychological and medical evaluations, but not told when and where these evaluations would take place. Unpredictably, state workers came calling, – at which point Lydia Cacho had to stop whatever she was doing and for the next 10 or 12 hours, talk about the trauma of being tortured. The state workers weren’t there to listen, though. They were there to gaslight the torture survivor.

Lydia Cacho: “The country’s criminal justice system is organized on the assumption that all victims lie… The first evaluation to which the Attorney General’s Office subjected me was carried out by a young inexperienced (woman, who)…showed up in Cancun one day with no warning… I was taken to an office where I was kept from 10 o’clock in the morning until after 9 o’clock at night with no access to either food or drink…”

“At each of these sessions I was asked to describe in ever greater detail not only the facts of what had happened to me, but also the emotions I had experienced, [ostensibly] in order to evaluate the extent of emotional damage caused,” Lydia Cacho said. “The criminologist was questioning me with pointed insistence about every humiliating detail of my torture – Why do you say that you were tortured? How are you going to prove it?…What are you so afraid of – tell me, what is it? Are you aware that there are even crueler tortures…?…Why are you crying?…”

“The authorities use all means necessary to make sure victims fear and distrust the (evaluator),” she explained, “so the (evaluator) can then report that ‘the victim was uncooperative, because he or she was unable to establish a relationship of trust with the examining psychologist…’”

“(Talking later to my own therapist), I couldn’t stop crying, no longer able to tell which was more traumatizing for me – what the agents had done to me, or the systematic abuse on the part of the authorities who were trying to prove no crime had in fact been committed…while stacks of overwhelming evidence were lying patiently on desks of bureaucrats for whom the mere mention of the name Kamel Nacif was enough to set them quaking in their boots.”

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*

Lydia Cacho’s attorney called to inform her she would have to take the stand against Kamel Nacif in two sessions, – each session six to nine hours, – the first taking place the next day. Lydia Cacho: “I set the telephone down, paced around my apartment, sat down in the living room and lit a white candle. How do I feel? I asked myself, searching in my breath for an honest answer. What I found were mixed feelings… Part of me wished never to be near them, but another part of me was experiencing a feeling of solid certainty that the only way I had to exorcise the fear I had of my tormentors was to face them head on, with the truth acting as my shield… I wanted to look Kamel Nacif in the eyes, and in this way say: ‘Here I am, you have not destroyed me.’ I’m ready, I told myself. This will be a chance to show them that a woman can stand up to them without fear, to remind them that they are not the masters of the world.”

*

One of the girls at the shelter who was sexually assaulted by Succar Kuri told Lydia Cacho that if she could say something to the man protecting Succar Kuri, she would say, ‘No more corruption.’ Inspired by this, Lydia Cacho and shelter staff had T-shirts printed which read: “No More Pedophiles. No More Corruption. No More Impunity.”

“(The morning I was to face Kamel Nacif),” Lydia Cacho said, “I donned the shirt. When I looked in the mirror before heading out the door, I felt armored by these three simple demands shared by tens of thousands of people. I felt as if the 40,000 people who had taken to the Puebla streets to march in protest and all the other people following the news of my case day in and day out were with me, somehow, in those three phrases. I felt prepared.”

*

Now for the first time Lydia Cacho was in the presence of Kamel Nacif. “(T)he look on Kamel Nacif’s face was one of a man wild with rage,” Lydia Cacho said, “and struggling to keep his cool. I glanced at him calmly, head on. I turned my torso so he could see my shirt. His eyes fixed on the words, and a bright red flush burst across his face.”

The Judge, who it will later be learned was threatened by Kamel Nacif and his lawyers, trembled and sweat. The Judge would not accept the child victims’ transcripted testimonies which Lydia Cacho tried to submit to the Court. Lydia Cacho: “(T)he Judge, avoiding my eyes, stated no connection existed between (this case in which I was charged with defaming Kamel Nacif) and the Succar Kuri case.” The Judge forbade Lydia Cacho from speaking Succar Kuri’s name. Kamel Nacif’s lawyers grinned. – It would now be impossible for Lydia Cacho to defend herself. How could she defend what she had written about Kamel Nacif if she could not submit the evidence – the testimonies of the girls implicating Kamel Nacif? And if she could not mention pedo leader Succar Kuri, how could she explain why she had identified Kamel Nacif as Succar Kuri’s protector?

Succar Kuri had given a television interview in which he’d said, with uber-hubris, so confident of his impunity that he could boast to a television camera in a prison cell, that Kamel Nacif had given him US$300,000 towards his legal defense. Evidence was everywhere that Kamel Nacif was protecting Succar Kuri, even on national television, – yet Lydia Cacho had been forbidden by the Judge deciding her case from even saying Succar Kuri’s name.

To tell the truth about child-rapist Kamel Nacif who would never be charged for his crimes, to be taken to court for “defaming” him, for which you will be imprisoned if found guilty, yet to be prohibited from submitting proof that what you wrote is true – this was completely insane.

*

Eventually, Lydia Cacho’s turn came to cross-examine Kamel Nacif. Lydia Cacho: “I asked him calmly, watching as his eyes darted away from mine every time I attempted to hold his gaze, why he was funding the defense of the pedophile Succar Kuri. And though the Judge would not allow the question to stand, the businessman’s lawyers could not stop their client from leaning forward towards me in his seat, like a panicky bull readying himself for the charge, snarling, ‘Goddamn you fucking lady.’” (Effectively admitting being patron to the pedo).

Kamel Nacif’s sweatshop-owing associate who was taped suggesting to Kamel Nacif that Lydia Cacho be raped in jail by women prisoners, only to have Kamel Nacif reply that that had already been arranged, was presented as a character witness for Kamel Nacif. ‘Kamel Nacif is an upstanding man,’ the associate testified, ‘incapable of committing the disgusting acts (Lydia Cacho accused him of in her book).’ Lydia Cacho: “Staring at him straight in the eye, I…ask(ed) him if he considered it an example of upstanding behavior to have ordered the prisoners at the jail to rape me and beat me. To the utter shock of all present, his white skin turned crimson as he spat despotically, and replied, ‘That rape was never carried out in the end.’ His lawyers gaped in horror, but his words had already been taken down by the stenographer. I felt like a soccer player who’d just managed to slip the ball past the unbelieving eyes of the goalie, right straight to the back of the net, in a single, clean, glorious shot.” (Effectively admitting criminal collusion).

*

Several months later, on September 29, 2006, Lydia Cacho had her second and final session with Kamel Nacif. “When I entered the room,” Lydia Cacho said, “while the Public Ministry official was finalizing preparations and everyone was getting settled in their seats, I walked straight over to Kamel Nacif, who was leaning up against one of the walls. I positioned myself directly in front of him, standing very close, and informed him quietly, ‘Kamel, every time you look in my eyes, all those abused girls will be looking back out at you.’ I retired quickly, and he fixed me with a look of disbelief and hatred that was captured perfectly by the several video and still cameras in the room.”

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Lydia Cacho and her attorney, seated right. Kamel Nacif, seated center, with his attorneys all standing

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Kamel Nacif said Lydia Cacho’s public statements that he raped children and that over 100 female workers in his sweatshops filed sexual harassment claims against him had caused him to lose export orders, – though he did not bother documenting said lost orders. Lydia Cacho: “As the session was drawing to a close, when it became clear Kamel Nacif couldn’t prove the ‘millions in losses’ his textile factories had, according to him, suffered as a result of the words I had written, Kamel Nacif flew into a rage. His lawyers, frantically chewing their gum, could do nothing to calm his furor… The Judge whispered to me, ‘Step over there. You don’t want to get yourself beaten up.’”

This trembling sweating Judge who was too afraid to call for order at this hearing he presided over, would now deliberate on whether or not Lydia Cacho would be locked up. Lydia Cacho does not know if these are her last days of freedom until this Judge rules.

*

When this second and final session with Kamel Nacif was over, Lydia Cacho went to the shelter to be with the girl survivors. “For years, these girls and women believed their rapists to be untouchable, all-powerful beings,” Lydia Cacho said. “Now their tormentors were human, plain and simple, and standing up to them was a woman just like them.”

‘We are all Lydia Cacho,’ the mother of one of the girls said to Lydia, lovingly. Lovingly, Lydia replied: ‘And Lydia Cacho is all women. We are in this together.’

*

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On January 2, 2007, Lydia Cacho, Kamel Nacif, and their lawyers came to Court to hear the Judge’s ruling. To the astonishment of everyone present, the Judge threw out the case. Kamel Nacif does not win his case against Lydia Cacho. He cannot say she defamed him. Lydia Cacho is absolved. Lydia Cacho will not go to prison.

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*

Kamel Nacif followed up this stinging loss by suing Lydia Cacho in 2008. Having lost his criminal suit against her, he was now pursuing a civil suit for damages, – and had signed on Emma as co-plaintiff.

005n1pol-1_miniEmma, now 24, wrote Lydia Cacho to say Kamel Nacif’s attorneys had her sign an agreement in English which she didn’t understand, in exchange for money. Yet Emma did show up to personally testify against Lydia Cacho, no doubt under duress, clearly still Stockholmed, – though she told the media she now felt all parties involved had betrayed her. Kamel Nacif’s and Emma’s civil suit alleged Lydia Cacho had exposed their “private affairs, and therefore, Lydia Cacho and her publishers owed them millions of pesos for making their “private information” public in her book. The suit also alleged Lydia Cacho was not a journalist because she did not hold a professional credential. “A group of the country’s most renowned journalists had to testify before the Court,” Lydia Cacho remarked of the absurdity, “that I am indeed a journalist.” In the suit, Kamel Nacif offered Lydia Cacho and her publishers the option of paying damages or letting him rewrite her book.

By 2013, the suit had ricocheted its way all the way up to the Mexican Supreme Court, – where Kamel Nacif, et al, lost. Lydia Cacho and her publisher were cleared of any wrongdoing. The contents of The Demons of Eden were determined to have appropriately placed the general public’s interest first. This was a first in Mexico. – A step towards democracy. – To rule that it was appropriate to place the general public’s interest first.

*

In response to Lydia Cacho’s case, a federal law was passed making defamation not a criminal charge with jail time, but, as elsewhere in the world, a civil charge. However, the laws of Mexican States supersede Mexican federal law, and so it remains to be seen if the 31 Mexican States will adopt this legal precedent. Nevertheless, along with the Supreme Court decision that it is appropriate to place the general public’s interest first, decriminalizing defamation for journalists is a startling legal precedent for Mexico, sweetening Lydia Cacho’s victory. – Not only did she set a new bar for freedom of the press, she beat back a multi-millionaire Pedo Elite in a justice system devised explicitly for him and explicitly against her, – and did it twice.

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Trial 2: Lydia Cacho’s historic charges against Governor Marin and Kamel Nacif for violating her human rights by having her abducted and tortured.

When the taped calls between Governor Marin and Kamel Nacif went public, Lydia Cacho charged Governor Marin and Kamel Nacif with violating her human rights for ordering her torture in the car and in jail. No one had ever done this in Mexico before; human rights violations were common, but they weren’t recognized in Mexican Courts, and it seemed unlikely the case would be heard. “My lawyer was clear in his forewarning that I had no chance whatsoever of winning the case,” Lydia Cacho said, “or even having it investigated properly.” Nevertheless, Lydia Cacho brought federal corruption charges against Governor Marin, Kamel Nacif, Puebla Judge Rosa Celia Perez Gonzalez, who had authorized Lydia Cacho’s abduction and detention, and Puebla Attorney General Blanca Laura Villeda Martinez, who had arranged Lydia Cacho’s jail torture and assault. She charged them with abuse of power, influence peddling, criminal collusion, abduction, torture and rape in retaliation for having exposed Governor Marin’s and Kamel Nacif’s links to the international pedophile network. Lydia Cacho filed these charges despite of the fact no charges of any kind can be brought against a Mexican Governor; Mexican Governors are immune from prosecution by law. (Kamel Nacif, though not a Governor, financed Mexican Governors’ political campaigns, including Governor Marin’s, and so would also in effect be immune from prosecution, as would Governor Marin’s two appointed handmaidens – all of them likely viewed as logical extensions of a Mexican Governor’s unfettered power).

On April 18, 2006, the Mexican Congress stunned the country by requesting that the Mexican Supreme Court hear Lydia Cacho’s case. Unbelievably, the Mexican Supreme Court agreed to hear Lydia Cacho’s case.

Not only would Lydia Cacho be the first to bring federal corruption charges against a Governor (and Judge and Attorney General), Lydia Cacho would also be the first woman ever to bring a case before Mexico’s Supreme Court, the first woman ever to testify before the Supreme Court’s ten Justices, and the first woman ever to have a human rights and women’s rights case heard by Mexico’s highest Court.

*

Four months later, Lydia Cacho’s case file was stolen. The file contained irreplaceable evidence against Governor Marin and Kamel Nacif. “It was the most complete, extensive dossier regarding my case in existence,” Lydia Cacho said, “and if it were to fall into Governor Marin’s hands, he would have access to the names of my key witnesses.” The Mexican Human Rights Commission erroneously told the press that the theft of Lydia Cacho’s case file was unrelated to Lydia Cacho’s case.

One month later, Mexico’s Supreme Court declared insufficient evidence had been presented for the Court to hear Lydia Cacho’s case. But the Court then made an unprecedented announcement. Lydia Cacho: “(T)o my complete surprise and that of my lawyers, the Supreme Court ruled 7-3 in favor of widening the scope of the inquest.” A subset of Supreme Court Justices headed by Justice Silva Meza would form a Special Investigative Commission to investigate the criminal conspiracy against Lydia Cacho themselves. An ecstatic Lydia Cacho told the press: “This is historic. This is monumental. The Mexican Supreme Court is saying it will dare to investigate public servants who collude with organized crime to shut journalists up.” Unbeknownst to the parties involved, the Special Investigative Commission ordered 21 wiretaps, – eavesdropping on Governor Marin, Governor Marin’s wife, Kamel Nacif, Kamel Nacif’s ex-wife, the Puebla Judge, the Puebla State Attorney General and other public officeholders. The Commission also heard the testimonies of the child victims. (Of those who stepped forward, many dropped out after receiving death threats from Succar Kuri and his wife, or after accepting his money and signing retractions. One girl was moved to another state by her uncle, who took the pedophile’s money in exchange for her silence. Many others, of course, never came forward – fearing for their lives. Twenty-three victims of the Pedo Elites, however, stood together to give the Commission their testimonies). All parties named in the lawsuit were called to testify, as was Lydia Cacho.

On June 26, 2007, the Special Investigative Commission assembled to announce its findings. Lydia Cacho and her attorney were present as the session was called to order, as was the press. Lydia Cacho: ‘What a surprise was in store for us!’ For the very first time in Mexican history, a full and thorough investigation of human rights and women’s rights had been conducted by the highest court of the land…’

Justice Silva Meza read aloud: The Special Investigative Commission has determined that the Governor and his associates ‘conspired to apprehend and torture Lydia Cacho, whose journalistic work uncovered a network of political and financial forces supporting and protecting child pornography and pedophilia rings.’ Lydia Cacho fought back tears. Speaking on the Commission’s behalf, Justice Silva Meza revealed that 30 high-ranking government officials had been involved in the criminal conspiracy against Lydia Cacho, – far more than even she realized.

A court clerk suddenly interrupted. He said he must now read a statement on behalf of another Supreme Court Justice who had ‘lost his voice’ and could not read the statement himself. The statement requested the Court withhold its ruling on the Lydia Cacho case ‘until such time as the rules for reaching a determination have been decided upon.’ Justice Silva Meza was visibly taken aback. After the session was adjourned, 003n1pol-1_miniGovernor Marin’s lawyers brazenly told the press the Justices had heeded their warning to protect the Governor. Lydia Cacho was devastated. It was unclear what this rift between the Justices meant for her case, – except it would now be stalled.

 

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*

Lydia Cacho, meanwhile, was being tailed. A woman with the Governor’s office forwarded her documents faxed to the Governor by two investigators, reporting her movements and transcribing her calls. “As I went through these documents,” Lydia Cacho said, “I was astonished to find accounts about people with whom I had gone to lunch or dinner at one point or another…” The two investigators, the woman said, worked for Kamel Nacif. The ‘two investigators’ – Montano and Perez – had been living in Cancun for the past two months at Succar Kuri’s Solymar Villa.

A week later, Lydia Cacho met with her therapist to discuss the sudden onset of nightmares.

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Arrest warrants were issued for Montano and Perez for the torture of Lydia Cacho. A federal police agent who was in the end not picked for either the abduction or jail job had reported that he and others received direct orders from the Puebla Attorney General’s Office to ‘fuck Lydia Cacho up, you know, – beat her up or kill her,’ – which had resulted in the arrest warrants for Montano and Perez.

The men who had tortured and raped Lydia Cacho began calling her, again and again – detailing how she would die. A dead Lydia Cacho wouldn’t take the stand against them, and so Montano and Perez were now personally motivated to kill her.

Yet despite the arrest warrants, Montano and Perez weren’t picked up. No one knew, the authorities told Lydia Cacho and her attorney, where these two men were. Eventually, the matter was dropped. Lydia Cacho would later learn Quintana Roo’s Governor had had the matter dropped, – and that Governor Marin had called him afterwards – just to say thanks.

*

Thirty days after the Special Investigative Commission’s findings were abruptly stalled, they were just as abruptly officialized and made public in a 1,205-page document. Lydia Cacho: “(T)he Supreme Court’s Investigative Commission unraveled and laid out, step by step…the criminal conspiracy against me.” On behalf of the Investigative Commission, Justice Silva Meza wrote: “Journalist Lydia Cacho did not go far enough in her book. The journalist’s book does not begin to tell it all.”

The full Mexican Supreme Court would now convene to deliberate on Lydia Cacho’s case. They would now consider whether Governor Marin, Kamel Nacif, the Puebla Judge and Attorney General were guilty of federal corruption, abuse of power, influence peddling, criminal collusion, abduction, torture and rape. They would would rule whether Lydia Cacho’s human rights were indeed violated.

*

Puebla Governor Mario Marin, the man who gave the two goons orders to terminate  Lydia Cacho, the man who gave the two handmaidens orders to crush her, could, if Lydia Cacho wins this case, be impeached. (Not imprisoned; just impeached). Yet the threat of impeachment had never before presented itself to a Mexican Governor. To combat this threat, Governor Marin spent 500 million pesos of taxpayer money on a scrub campaign to sanitize his image. Additionally, the lawyers defending him, their fine meals, their luxury hotel stays and transport in private plush “air limousines” were also paid for by taxpayer money – a staggering 3.5 billion pesos.

International and national investigative agencies will later inform Lydia Cacho that Governor Marin’s criminal activities were extensive. The Mexican Special Investigations on Organized Crime (SEIDO), the Mexican Bureau of Investigation and National Security (CISEN), the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and the Merida Initiative (an intelligence collaboration between the US, Mexico and Central America to fight organized crime, money laundering and drug-trafficking) were all aware of Governor Marin’s criminal activities.

Lydia Cacho: (T)he DEA uncovered the existence of a company owned by Governor Marin called Millennium Air Service… The company was created with the illegal allocation of US$66.4 million of public funds for the purchase of a fleet of helicopters and airplanes (made) by Marin’s son…” The Governor’s son acted as front man in these acquisitions. The Govenor’s son now lived in Wels, Austria, ‘one of the most exclusive regions of the world,’ according to a Mexican reporter who tracked him down, ‘renowned as a refuge for princes, kings, magnates, and the Hollywood elite…’ Intelligence officials determined Governor Marin’s son had not held any job which might have afforded him this lifestyle.

According to Interpol, Governor Marin owned seven 407-model Bell helicopters worth US$21 million, two 206 Bell helicopters and two Augusta helicopters worth US$16 million, two Cessna 2008 XA-TWT aircraft worth US$600,000, a Dassault Falcon 20 plane worth US$350,000 a Sabre Cinergo plane worth US$300,000 and four Learjet 45s, worth about US$8 million each, or about US$32 million for all four Learjets. The Governor of one small Mexican State, in other words, owned nineteen aircraft.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) found illicit transportation of undeclared cash in Marin’s aircraft, with probable links to organized crime. Large sums of money were moved from Mexico to Texas and Florida. Because heads of drug cartels had also flown on the Governor’s aircraft, in one case to successfully evade an arrest-in-progress, ICE used diplomatic channels to request special attention be paid to all aircraft registered in the Marin name.

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Lydia Cacho: “One of the young Mexican girls who had fallen victim to the Cancun sex trafficking network affirmed in a statement in 2004 that three American girls from Florida were brought over on a large private plane which they said belonged to a Governor…” According to Interpol: ‘(Governor Marin) is known to have a penchant for underage women (sic).’ A General on the Merida Initiative’s Intelligence Team told Lydia Cacho that Governor Marin had ‘a history of protecting pedophiles,’ but, he said, the President of Mexico, when given this intelligence, did nothing. Intelligence agencies knew Governor Marin was protecting Succar Kuri. Lydia Cacho: “Marin was under close scrutiny [by intelligence agencies]…for protecting a criminal network involved in the sex trafficking of minors, and yet his businesses and ties to dangerous friends were allowed to continue…”

*

On November 29, 2007, Lydia Cacho was about to present her new book, Infamy, at a book launch, – a book launch the Pedo Elites had tried but failed to stop,when the Supreme Court announced it would now make its final ruling on the Lydia Cacho case. Due to widespread public interest, the Supreme Court’s final ruling was about to be broadcast live on national television, – something which had never happened before in Mexico, a country where the Supreme Court has not even had to make its rulings public.

Lydia Cacho, with family, friends and journalists, found a bar, where they could watch the Supreme Court’s proceedings on television. Lydia Cacho: “My lawyer was there in the chamber along with the Governor’s seven and the human trafficker’s [Kamel Nacif’s] five. The solemnity and tension in the room were palpable even on screen. The court crier announced the order in which the Justices would speak and then proceeded to explain that this was one of the most closely followed Supreme Court cases in the country’s history.”

Of the ten Justices on Mexico’s Supreme Court, Justice Silva Meza spoke first: ‘The violation of the human rights of the journalist Lydia Cacho as a result of the concerted actions of the Governor of the State of Puebla and the authorities of the State Attorney General’s Office and the Court of Justice of the same has been irrefutably established.’ Justice Silva Meza then read out the names of the accused. Justice Silva Meza and the three male Justices who spoke after him ruled in favor of Lydia Cacho. The four remaining male Justices ruled against Lydia Cacho. Justice Aguirre, one of the four male Justices ruling against, said: ‘(T)housands of people are tortured in this country – what is this woman complaining about? What makes her so different or so much more important that the Court should trouble itself with one individual case?’

The ruling was now 4-4, with two female Justices remaining, – one a conservative, and one pro-feminist. The conservative female Justice voted against Lydia Cacho, – bringing it to 5-4 against. The pro-feminist Justice, Justice Olga Sanchez Cordero, a blond-haired woman, adjusted her glasses repeatedly as she read her statement. She then began to stutter. ‘Crimes had indeed been committed,’ she said. ‘But said crimes were not very serious in nature.’ The pro-feminist Justice ruled against Lydia Cacho, deciding her human rights had not been violated by being abducted, tortured and raped, with a final ruling of 6-4 against Lydia Cacho. “To the utter astonishment of those watching,” Lydia Cacho said, “(the pro-feminist Justice) exonerated the Governor and his accomplices.”

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“Silence filled the bar and I realized every person there was staring at the television screen [in shock],” Lydia Cacho said. “Then, here and there, people hung their heads, buried their faces in their hands, and more than one journalist began to offer insults [at the television].” The mafias have gained control of the Supreme Court, Lydia Cacho thought to herself. She knocked back her tequila and set down her shot glass. Lydia Cacho went up to her hotel room and cried. She wished her mother was alive.

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*

Lydia Cacho later alleged some of the Supreme Court Justices – who 48 hours earlier looked as if they would rule in her favor, – were paid off by the Governor’s attorneys. Lydia Cacho heard this from a person close to those attorneys, but could not substantiate it. “Pro-feminist” Justice Olga Sanchez Cordero, however, did later admit she ruled against Lydia Cacho after coming under ‘extreme political pressure.’

*

In January 2010, the four Supreme Court Justices who ruled in Lydia Cacho’s favor published a book in her defense. This was startling, – the first book Supreme Court Justices ever published about a case – and to condemn its verdict. The Justices said they took this unprecedented step because they found the mafia’s influence on the Supreme Court’s ruling deeply unsettling. In The Ways of Power: The Lydia Cacho Case, the Justices declared: “(T)he journalist’s fundamental rights were seriously violated… (T)he authorities under indictment are protecting and promoting pedophilia and child pornography networks.” By 2016, this book had inspired 16 law school theses in Mexico, and become required reading for the degree in human rights and jurisprudence.

*

Also in 2016, a decade after the abduction, Montano and Perez were finally arrested. Montano and Perez have been charged with the torture of Lydia Cacho. That outcome is pending.

Lydia Cacho, periodista Mexicana amenazada.

 

 

 

 

One Woman Cracks the Pedo Elite. Chapter 2.

Preface & Chapter 1 here. Chapter 3 here. Chapter 4 here.

On December 16, 2005, Lydia Cacho, barely recovered from the kidney failure, pneumonia and bronchitis which had put her in critical care two months earlier, was driving to the shelter, back to work. She called shelter staff, per protocol, saying she’d arrive any minute. One of her bodyguards went out on the corner and waited.

Lydia Cacho: “When I parked my truck and turned off the engine, a small car drove past, and then I got out of my vehicle. Suddenly, a silvery blue car with Puebla State plates stopped in the middle of the street, blocking the way, and three (men) jumped out, one of them wearing a white T-shirt and a shoulder holster that clearly had a gun in it. Another held a pink folder in his hand and was walking very quickly towards me. I looked to my left – behind me on the street was a white Jeep Liberty. I scanned it for plates – this one was from Puebla too. At both corners, cars were closing the street. At that moment, I was convinced they were contract killers, although I didn’t know who might have hired them. Then I glanced down the street toward the intersection – a red car was blocking it, and a man standing outside (the shelter) was gesturing to another close by. I thought they were about to shoot me, and my heart froze. The man with the folder shouted as he approached me, ‘Lydia Cacho, easy now, don’t try anything, you’re under arrest.’ There were two men coming at me head on, and another slipped around the side of my car. Terrified, and hardly realizing what I was doing, I pushed the car alarm button on my key ring and tried to climb back in, but by that time one of the men had already reached me, and he quietly pulled out a gun and hissed: ‘Don’t try anything, and don’t call your bodyguards, or we’re sure to have some fireworks on our hands’… ‘On what charges? Who’s charging me?’ I managed to ask once or twice, trying to maintain my composure… One of them took a gun, put it to my head and said, ‘Shut up!'”

The men told Lydia Cacho she was being arrested for defamation. They were taking her to the Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office in Cancun first, they said, and then to Puebla, to jail. [Puebla, the city, is in the Mexican State of Puebla, over 1,000 kilometers from Cancun, a 20-hour car drive across five Mexican states]. ‘Don’t resist,’ one of the men threatened. ‘Journalists sometimes get killed by stray bullets.’ Lydia Cacho: “Like a slap to the face, the echo of his words knocked the air straight out of me, and I felt instantly nauseated. And they were all almost as nervous as I was. The man with the pink folder kept shoving it in my face, opening it to show me – but all of the pages inside were blank.”

“My car alarm continued to blare, and I knew that my colleagues were probably watching everything over the closed security system we had installed… I knew that everything had been recorded…(on) a hard drive (which stored) 24-hour-a-day footage from our cameras around the building… From his post at the corner…one of the three guards on my security detail witnessed everything that was happening.” A second guard, a female, later testified that the guard on the corner called the head of security, their boss. ‘Ms. Cacho is being taken away,’ he told him. The head of security asked: ‘Are they policemen?’ Despite the fact that the men abducting Lydia Cacho were wearing street clothes, not uniforms, and were blocking off the street with unmarked cars, not cop cars, the guard said, ‘They look like policemen.’ The head of security replied: ‘Let them take her then.’

*

“As we approached the building where the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Quintana Roo is housed – not 15 minutes after I had first gotten into the car – I saw that the agents had spoken the truth and we really were going to the Attorney General’s local Cancun Office, so I lowered my guard. It was not until that moment that I discovered I had practically stopped breathing,” Lydia Cacho said. “The tension had petrified my lungs, I was inhaling barely enough to keep from passing out… I took in a large gulp of air and was instantly seized with a loud fit of coughing that interrupted the agents as they exchanged instructions… I never thought the sight of the main entrance to the State Attorney General’s building could produce such a wonderful feeling of relief in me… They’re not hitmen! This is legal, and I’m going to come out of it, I thought.”

“A couple of people at the entrance to the building recognized me, but I wasn’t able to see their faces, and then the agents shoved me toward the hallway, pushing and pulling me. ‘That’s Lydia Cacho from TV,’ I heard a woman say… One of the (men) alerted the others: ‘They’ve seen her… quick, get the papers you son of a bitch.’ They closed ranks around me so no one else could see me (and took me to a room)… ‘Please, I have the right to speak with my lawyer…I’m sick, I have bronchitis, I have the right to see a doctor,’ I repeated several times. ‘Yes, yes…settle down,’” said Comandante Montano, the man who had held the pink folder of blank pages. (Comandante Montano told me to sit down). ‘We’re going to let you see your lawyer, and you can bring your medicine and everything. Just remain calm so we don’t have to handcuff you and we don’t set off any fireworks. You wouldn’t want to get shot by a bullet now, would you? I’m told you’re a real feisty one.’” Lydia Cacho sat down. Comandante Montano and the other men, (a mix of Puebla and Cancun police agents), laughed – then turned their attention to the paperwork before them. Lydia Cacho: “Suddenly a local Cancun agent who recognized me approached my chair… Without saying a word, he spilled some papers on the floor next to me where I was sitting. As he slowly gathered them back up, he leaned in towards me and whispered, ‘Ma’am, don’t let them take you in the car…they’re going to off you… The Attorney General hasn’t signed off on this, ask them to let you see him.’”

Just then a woman from the shelter’s board of directors burst into the room. She embraced Lydia, who desperately whispered to her friend, ‘Don’t let them take me – they’re going to kill me.’ ‘Sit down!’ the Comandante barked angrily. The woman, with iron determination, announced that she would now go speak to the Attorney General about this. Lydia Cacho: “As she left the room, I could hear her voice trail off as she told the agents to hold tight since I had the right to request that my lawyer review the petition for my arrest…. ‘Moreover,’ she insisted, ‘Ms. Cacho is ill, she was just released from the hospital… if you take her anywhere, she mustn’t travel by highway, because her health is delicate’… When (my friend) left, Montano and the…other agents laughed mockingly. One of them said, right to my face, ‘Nosy fucking bitches, now you’re scared, aren’t you?’” The men grabbed Lydia Cacho’s arms without warning, lifting her out of her chair, rushing her out of the room. As they led her down the hallway, Lydia Cacho spotted her shelter co-workers, the shelter lawyer and her bodyguards. Without thinking, she yelled, “You guys follow me, call the Anti-Drug Czar, they’re going to kill me!” When Lydia Cacho’s friends tried to speak to the Attorney General, an official they knew well, an official who had always welcomed them into his office, – he refused to meet them. Later they would learn he had just taken a call from the Governor of the State of Puebla, Mario Marin, a prominent Pedo Elite.

“(O)ne of the men behind me grabbed hold of my hands, positioning my two fists at my back, while the other two agents immobilized my forearms. Quickly an agent positioned himself in front of me, and they practically ran me out of the building’s back door,” Lydia Cacho said. “A second later, I felt a sharp yank at the back of my head. Someone was pulling my hair with rage; I buckled in pain and allowed myself to be pulled along. A few moments later, the man dragging me by the hair hurled me into the back seat of a car.”

“Additional Cancun agents were already waiting for us,” Lydia Cacho said. “They immediately activated a series of highly coordinated maneuvers… Ahead of us was the red Jetta, leading the way. Why so many police officers? I thought to myself. I peeked behind us, hoping to see my bodyguard following, but the only vehicle there was the white Liberty (which we would later prove [was owned by] Kamel Nacif). They floored it, and we…headed for the highway. It was at that moment I realized I had been tricked. A feeling of outrage swelled up inside me. I sat up and began rattling off at the top of my voice, ‘This is illegal! This is a kidnapping! You didn’t let me see my lawyer! I need my medicine! I never saw an arrest warrant!’… I closed my eyes and thought, My God, they’re going to kill me, they’re going to disappear me…” Comandante Montano sat in the front seat, with Jesus Perez, the driver. Perez whirled around, pressed the barrel of his gun to Lydia Cacho’s forehead, and yelled:“Just shut up, bitch! You’re with us now!”

*

Lydia Cacho was being abducted in a car flanked by three other vehicles – a vehicle of men in front of her, a vehicle of men alongside her, and a vehicle of men behind her. When this phalanx reached the highway, the vehicle in front and the vehicle alongside honked good-bye to Montano and Perez. Perez waved back at the two vehicles and laughed. “It suddenly dawned on me that I was going to be spending the next 1,118 kilometers or more alone in a car with two armed police agents,” Lydia Cacho said, “and three more in the vehicle behind us.”

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“Montano was now behaving courteously,” Lydia Cacho recounted. “He explained that his boss chose to send him rather than anyone else because he had a reputation for being kind.” Perez laughed, then lit a cigarette. Montano and Perez lit cigarette after cigarette, chain-smoking and complaining to each other that they hadn’t had time to eat breakfast that morning because they’d been too busy coordinating with Cancun Police. They asked Lydia Cacho questions as if they didn’t know who she was, then demonstrated they knew exactly who she was, referencing, for example, her TV show. One minute Montano made himself accessible, potentially simpatico, listening as he drew on his cigarette; the next minute Montano flew into a rage: ‘Why’d you mess with Kamel? Why’d you have to go poking around in the bosses’ lives? What do you want to go writing about their business for?’ Lydia Cacho: “A shiver ran down my spine (at the mention of Kamel Nacif). I started to explain to them what my book was about. I asked them if they had any children… I asked them to imagine that while they were driving along in the car with me, some man had just taken their small daughter or son and was using them to make pornographic films while raping them.” They said they would slice off the pedophile’s testicles and skin him alive before killing him. Montano clarified that it couldn’t be done in the State of Puebla though, because in the State of Puebla, the pedophiles were in charge.

Lydia Cacho coughed uncontrollably. Montano and Perez, smoking, talked about the men they’d shot. They talked about rape in prison. Montano and Perez asked Lydia Cacho if she liked the ocean. Perez said they were asking because, ‘we might just toss you into the ocean in a little bit.’ Lydia Cacho could not stop coughing. She told them, between hacking, that she was sick. She pleaded for some medicine for her cough. Perez asked Lydia Cacho to lean forward. ‘I’ve got your medicine right here…a little cough syrup, you want some?’ he asked, groping his genitals and laughing.

Lydia Cacho: “A few hours went by and the two agents were explaining what a big mess I’d gotten myself into by writing that book of mine. They alternated comments about how powerful and important Kamel Nacif was with others about how stupid it was of me to think I could get away with defaming him, and still others about how pretty I was. They said they thought the boss was giving them a nice little reward when…shown a photograph of me wearing a bikini. I felt the stomach acid rising up into my throat; I realized the last thing I’d eaten was a bowl of fruit at eight in the morning. But I wasn’t hungry… Every now and then I would carefully bring my arms to the front of me to get rid of the numbness that kept taking over… They went into explanations from time to time about how they had been trying to locate me for two months without knowing where to find me. But then they contradicted themselves…asking if I was worried someone would break into my apartment when I was away (at the hospital), saying it was such a nice little apartment… One minute they’d (talk) to me in a friendly, respectful tone, and the next they might just as easily be insulting me or telling me how I was their little reward and we were going to have fun together on this trip.”

“In a moment of silence, I went out on a limb and asked Montano to let me make a phone call,” Lydia Cacho said. “To my surprise, he said, ‘Of course, ma’am. We just have to stop somewhere because I don’t have any more minutes left on my phone card.’” They pulled into a rest stop and parked. Montano and Perez sat silently and smoked. Lydia Cacho asked if she could make that phone call Montano promised. Montano dialed, reached back to hand her his phone, hung up and said, ‘No answer.’ Lydia Cacho: “(We would repeat this) same scene over and over again. For some reason I was unable to comprehend; every time, overcome with anxiety, I actually believed he was going to let me talk to someone. But he didn’t, and after awhile, the two men chuckled.” Sitting in the car at the rest stop, Lydia Cacho asked if she could use the restroom. “Montano told me to go ahead, but before I could make a move, the two told me I’d better not try to run away because one time a prisoner they picked up in Veracruz tried that and they had been forced to shoot a couple stray bullets at him. They asked each other if they ever did figure out which one of them ended up killing the prisoner who tried to run when they let him out to go to the toilet. They went over all the details of how the man died and how they had to carry him back into the car, his pants covered in urine, all because he tried to pull a fast one on them. And so I stayed in the car,” Lydia Cacho said, “silent. The same scene was repeated with ever so slight changes of script four more time over the following 20 hours, every time I asked to use the restroom.”

Lydia Cacho was being held captive in a car by two chain-smoking goons who wouldn’t let her use the restroom two months after she was hospitalized in critical condition for kidney failure (she only had one kidney; she had lost her other kidney as a young woman, nearly dying from that experience), and barely recovered from the pneumonia and bronchitis she’d contracted in the hospital. Montano and Perez began talking between themselves about how inviting the ocean looks at night. “Montano glanced at me in the rear view mirror, Lydia Cacho recounted, and quietly asked, ‘Do you know how to swim in the ocean at night? Of course, it’s sink or swim, you know.’ Lydia Cacho: “Trembling not only from fever but from fear, I hugged my arms around my body… Gazing at the jungle beyond the highway (I remembered I sailed sailboats and) muttered, ‘I’m a sailboat captain. I can sail, and I can swim.’” The men laughed and laughed; they laughed at her. Then Montano told Lydia Cacho she could now make a phone call. She was in disbelief, as this time, her family answered and Montano actually did hand her his phone. Montano put his gun in Lydia Cacho’s face, resting the barrel on her nose. Hearing the voices of the people she loved, suddenly Lydia Cacho felt she might just survive, – she felt – salvation. ‘You’re OK,’ her family said, ‘right?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, her heart racing. ‘I’m OK.’ ‘You’re being escorted by women,’ they said, ‘right? So you’re OK.’ ‘Women?’ Lydia Cacho asked. ‘No, they’re men!’ Montano snatched back the phone and hung up. Then he said, almost sweetly: ‘I hope you trust me now. I hope you can see how nice I am.’ Lydia Cacho, traumatically grateful, said that she did.

Montano’s phone rang. It was someone he called ‘the boss.’ The boss asked Montano if there were any witnesses. Lydia Cacho: “(Montano and Perez) made a couple of phone calls and I slowly realized they were asking the (men behind us) in the Liberty if anyone was following us. I was hoping that my bodyguard was tailing us.” Pleased, Montano hung up and said, ‘They’ve left you all alone.’ Lydia Cacho: “The two of them took turns telling me how I’d better behave and how I was going to have to perform oral sex on them if I wanted them to give me anything to eat. I sat still and said nothing. The phone rang again. Montano’s voice repeated, ‘Yes sir; yes, boss; yes.’ All of the sudden they stopped. Montano moved quickly to the back of the car and sat next to me… He pulled his gun out, ordered me to open my mouth and proceeded to put the gun barrel in my mouth. I immediately felt like coughing. I could smell his breath next to my face. ‘Come on, cough lady…’”

It goes without saying that these men torture Lydia Cacho. And while she minimizes what happened in that car in Infamy, her book-length account of these events, in an interview with Australian journalist Paul McGeough, she recounted what happened in greater detail:They had their guns in my mouth and in my genitals. I was handcuffed and they made me lie face-down. As they drove through the night, they undressed me and took turns sitting on me.” Perez struck her with his pistol, fracturing her rib. Oral rape was forced at gun point. In Infamy, Lydia Cacho breaks from the recounting these atrocities by writing: “Ten years later, when Montano was arrested for torture and I had to confront him in court over the course of five hours, I could still smell his breath from a distance. When the Judge asked me to explain the sexual torture I had endured on that infamous road trip, I broke down in tears, but Montano laughed…” Lydia Cacho told the reporter McGeough she didn’t write about the torture in detail in her book because she didn’t want that to be the focus. She wanted the child rape and child porn network to be the focus; she wanted all those who tried to destroy her so that rich men could continue to rape five-year-old girls to be the focus. She said people like victims, not survivors. She said she is not a victim. She said she is a survivor.

*

Meanwhile, as soon as Lydia Cacho was kidnapped, her family and shelter staff alerted international human rights organizations and the media that her life was now in danger. Lydia Cacho: “(My family and friends) wrote to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists in New York and sent urgent cables to all the national newscasts and media outlets… Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, and the World Organization Against Torture all sent out emergency bulletins… The news spread like wildfire. A network of journalists from Puebla and all over Mexico [and also internationally] began covering my case and gathering vital information about my captors and the corrupt officials who made my kidnapping possible…”

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Governor Marin

The Governor of Puebla, Mario Marin, – who had arranged for Lydia Cacho to be kidnapped and tortured, – was now being contacted by diplomats, international human rights organizations and journalists, and urgently pressed to make sure Lydia Cacho got to Pueblo alive. Lydia Cacho: “(No one) could have ever imagined that the criminal collusion surrounding the events that were still unfolding had in fact been orchestrated by the Governor himself, and that three other Governors were involved in the plot to have me killed.”

 

*

 

The car suddenly stopped. ‘How about a little swim?’ Montano asked happily, while Perez lit a cigarette. “It was dark out,” Lydia Cacho said. “The two agents rolled down their windows and asked me a couple of times if that noise they were hearing was the sound of the ocean. ‘I think so,’ I replied. The Liberty pulled up even with us and the men spoke to each other through the open windows. The man (driving the Liberty) shouted over: ‘Here it is, the ocean, it looks pretty calm. We’re gonna go get some shrimp cocktails.’ The street was deserted, and all the seafood joints lining it were closed. I found myself trying to reason with them almost like a small child: ‘But everything’s closed, seafood restaurants don’t stay open in the middle of the night! Why are you all leaving? Where are you going?’ Nobody responded. Slowly it dawned on me and I thought silently, They’re leaving so the others can throw me into the ocean. I called in anguished silence to my dead mother. Please, Mama, please don’t let them throw me into the sea, no one will ever find my body…”

‘No,’ Montano said, changing his mind. ‘We’d better just get going.’ Lydia Cacho collapsed in relief. But then she saw the Liberty was driving off anyway, and that Montano and Perez weren’t moving. “(T)hey turned off the engine, and Montano got out. From the driver’s seat, Perez asked halfheartedly, ‘Don’t you feel like swimming?’ and he motioned toward the door with his gun. He stepped out of the car, leaving his door open… ‘Whenever you’re ready,’ Perez said to me… ‘Bet you don’t feel like writing anything now, do you? Not feeling so brave, anymore, are you, to walk around telling lies and defaming people like that?’… My body felt heavy and I kept imagining the weight of a rock tied to my legs… Perez suddenly spoke more loudly, pretending he didn’t know I was listening. ‘Like the boss said, she was acting very belligerently, she tried to escape, and she ran into the water. We tried to find her, but it was just so dark out’… Perez opened the other door and I felt glued to the seat. He pulled my hair so strongly that I moved with him. He pulled me out onto the sidewalk where I fell on my knees, crying…”

“(T)hey debated shooting or drowning me,” Lydia Cacho told the reporter McGeough, offering more details than provided in her book-length account.“For maybe an hour they’d put me in the car, pull me out, push me towards the water, then drag me back.”

Perez dragged Lydia Cacho to the ocean by her hair, deciding, finally, to drown her. ‘She got hysterical and we couldn’t pull her back out. We were just trying to do our job,’ Perez said, lifting her up off the ground to hurl her into the ocean, ‘and bring her in safe and sound.’ Montano’s cell phone rang. Lydia Cacho was dropped. Montano answered and kept his replies short: ‘Yes. No. Yes, sir. No, sir. Yes. All right, sir.’ Having received new orders from Governor Marin, Montano signaled Perez to put Lydia Cacho back in the car. Lydia Cacho: “He hung up and spoke to Perez through gritted teeth. ‘Change of plans.’” When she was in the back seat again, Montano spun around to look at her. Sarcastically, he said, ‘You’re famous, ma’am. You’re on TV now.’”

*

Lydia Cacho: “We…began our ascent into the Veracruz mountains. Cold came streaming in through the front windows, which were now completely rolled down. The two agents smoked in the front seat while I struggled to remain awake, my face now leaning against the glass… Montano spoke suddenly, his voice shaking me out of my trance. ‘We’ll be arriving in a few hours, so don’t you forget, like we said – you tell them we treated you well, and we won’t do a thing. But if you start blabbing, well then, you know how it is ma’am – we know where you live and we know where you work, we even know what beaches you go to… We know where your father lives. We know everything about you.’” They even knew, they told her, that one security grille on her apartment was loose and ‘easy to open.’

In a town called Hope, they pulled up next to a red car. Lydia Cacho: “Out of this vehicle stepped a tall, dark man with a mustache. He was visibly exasperated… He directed two female plainclothes (Puebla) Police agents sitting in his vehicle to get out of his car. He ordered Perez to get out and practically shouted his instructions to the two women. ‘You two have been in the car with her since Cancun.’” Montano took over the wheel and the two women got into the car. One offered Lydia Cacho her lipstick. ‘Fuck off,’ Lydia Cacho said.

*

As they arrived at the building of the Puebla Attorney General, the media awaited them. At the top of the building’s steps a bank of TV cameras and reporters, along with Lydia Cacho’s family, watched as they approached. The men in the Liberty, still following them, called and told Montano: ‘Go to the main entrance. – And make sure they see her with the women.’ Lydia Cacho: “The two female agents got out of the car and escorted me, one on each arm, as though they had been at my side the entire time.” As they ascended the steps, under her breath, Lydia Cacho said: ‘The toll booths in Merida have cameras; they’re going to know you weren’t with me.’

As the two female agents pushed Lydia Cacho through the press, Lydia Cacho’s sister stepped forward and held her. “Everything’s going to be OK,” her sister whispered. Lydia Cacho heard not her sister’s voice, but the voice of her mother, before the two female agents pulled Lydia Cacho back. Finally, Lydia Cacho thought, the nightmare is over.

Inside the building, the two female agents took Lydia Cacho into a room, with Montano following, and closing the door behind them. “A new and very aggressive group of agents burst into the room,” Lydia Cacho recounted, “and told Montano to hold it right there. They argued briefly, and Montano told them that he had orders to get me to my prison cell as quickly as possible, but the others ignored him, and one yanked me by the arm and shouted, ‘Get downstairs!’” Lydia Cacho was hustled downstairs by this new group of agents, who were strangely at odds with each other. “I saw that there were two distinct groups of agents,” Lydia Cacho said. “Some had been instructed to feign restraint, and others were highly irate and barking counter-orders.” The female agents followed, showing signs of fear. Downstairs, Lydia Cacho said, “(A) young man came over to me, and I tried smiling at him, hoping to elicit some feeling of compassion… He avoided my eyes and shoved me carelessly against the wall as if I were a sack of potatoes. With everyone watching, he pulled the front of my jacket open and, pretending to slip, placed his hands on my breast and grinned. Then he hung a numbered sign around my neck, stood back, snapped a few photographs, told me in a tired automatic voice to turn first to one side, then the other, and the next thing I knew he grabbed me by the hair without a word and slammed my head against the wall.”

Lydia Cacho was put in a Gessel chamber – a confession room with a two-way mirror. “(O)n the ground in front of me lay a torn mattress reeking of urine and blood. It was covered in multiple dried bloodstains… A few minutes passed, then the door opened and the strongest-looking of the men walked in, tossed out a couple of insults, and told me it was time I was taught a lesson, ‘to see if you really want to go on writing lies.’ I couldn’t believe it; I no longer had the strength to believe any of this. My family was right there, upstairs, just a few steps away – and they were going to beat me up?”… For awhile I could not remember how many times the man shoved and pushed me around the cell. It was only years after I was able to read the deposition of three witnesses in my torture case that one woman had said, ‘We thought he was going to crush her head against the wall so many times.’ I lost all sense of time…”

*

“The door opened suddenly,” Lydia Cacho said. “A man wearing a jacket with the embroidered initials of the (Puebla) State Human Rights Commission on it was shown into the room. [This, Lydia Cacho will later learn, is the President of the Puebla State Human Rights Commission]. He walked over and stood facing me, holding a piece of paper in one hand and a pen in the other… He greeted me as though we were acquaintances getting together for a quick meal in a cafeteria rather than strangers meeting for the first time in a torture cell. He didn’t ask but told me that I had been treated very well by the police and that I should sign the Human Rights Commission’s document he was holding out to me… I refused to sign… The man told me I looked just fine to him, that it didn’t appear as though I’d been mistreated at all.” Lydia Cacho marveled: Who could possibly have the power to set all this in motion…?

A woman Senator Lydia Cacho knew came in and embraced her. ‘They want to kill you,’ the Senator whispered. ‘It’s the Governor of Puebla.’ Later, for having had the compassion to embrace Lydia Cacho, as Lydia Cacho, for the first time since this nightmare began, broke down and cried, – this Senator with a 30-year political career who belonged to the same political party as Governor Marin and Mexico’s President, would be deleted from all future ballots – punishment for having held Lydia Cacho as she wept.

Puebla’s Police Chief, who’d been behind the two-way mirror watching the man slam Lydia Cacho’s head against the wall, announced that Lydia Cacho would now be going to jail. It’s ironic, Lydia Cacho thought. I actually feel safe going to jail! Taken outside, she was then driven from the building of the Puebla Attorney General to Puebla’s Jail. “There were several cars following behind us carrying my family, human rights advocates [real ones], and members of the media.”

*

At Puebla’s Jail, three men in black military uniforms carrying long guns escorted Lydia Cacho to a strip search by a woman prison guard. The men positioned themselves so they could watch from a distance. ‘Are you the one on the television?’ the woman guard whispered. ‘The one who wrote the book about Kamel Nacif and the raped children?’ ‘Yes,’ Lydia Cacho answered. ‘Nacif has some of his people in here,’ the guard cautioned in a conspiratorial whisper. Then she hissed urgently under her breath, ‘Don’t let them take you into the high-security area… They’ve got it all set up – you’re going to be beaten and raped’… ‘But how? Who?!’… ‘Some of the female prisoners,’ the guard replied. ‘With broomsticks’… ‘Please, please,’ Lydia Cacho begged. ‘Don’t let them hurt me!’ The female guard told the three men that due to the prisoner’s high fever, she must take the prisoner to the infirmary, and that their orders to take the prisoner elsewhere will have to wait.

At the prison infirmary, a young woman with a dragon tattoo an an IV in her arm kept up a lively and mostly one-sided conversation with Lydia Cacho. ‘Did Kamel Nacif put you in here? You’re not going to get out. He’s in charge here; a lot of girls are in here because they complained about abuses at his sweatshop factories.’ Lydia Cacho said the charges against her weren’t criminal, that she should be out in a few hours. ‘Neither are mine,’ the young woman said. ‘They don’t even have any evidence against me, and I’ve been here six months’… Other women in the infirmary, Lydia Cacho recounted, “talked about the power Kamel Nacif wielded in Puebla, and about his associate, [also a sweatshop owner, both of] who exploited prisoners by putting them to work in their textile factories.” Kamel Nacif, Lydia Cacho will later learn, also opened his factory operations within the prison itself, forcing the female prisoners into slave-labor. Lydia Cacho also will later learn that Kamel Nacif trafficked people (from China, for example) for forced labor in his Mexican sweatshops, these slave-labor trafficking arrangements helpfully pushed through by the President of Mexico himself, – a personal friend.

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*

A female guard came to the infirmary to inform Lydia Cacho she was now to be taken to a special holding cell. Although this is not included in her book-length account of events, Lydia Cacho told the journalist McGeough that in the special holding cell, she was held down by female prisoners as other female prisoners raped her, that afterwards, they beat and tortured her, that the rape was paid out and arranged by the Puebla State Attorney General, – a woman, – Blanca Laura Villeda Martinez, – under the orders of Kamel Nacif.

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Puebla State Attorney General Blanca Laura Villeda Martinez, who arranged for Lydia Cacho to be raped and beaten in jail, as ordered by Kamel Nacif

The journalist McGeough: “Why has Cacho chosen to reveal the Puebla rape now? She isn’t sure – and she seems somewhat surprised that the words tumble so easily from her mouth… ‘In Infamy, I wrote about the rape – and then I removed the passage. I wasn’t ready to talk about it. There were so many interviews that focused on my ability to understand and to explain, and I can’t tell you how many TV interviewers tried to make me cry. – So I thought it was healthy to not talk about it. I’m not interested in sitting down to talk about how it affects the rest of my life…’”

After the assault by the female prisoners, Lydia Cacho explained, “I was fainting when they told me to put my clothes back on… I grabbed hold of the bars and felt my legs giving way – I could no longer stand upright. I crumpled into a crouching position close to the floor and called to the guard, who graciously brought me a plastic chair.”

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Judge Rosa Celia Perez Gonzalez, who signed orders for Lydia Cacho’s “detention”

Lydia Cacho was hunched in the plastic chair in her jail cell, when a woman judge, – Judge Rosa Celia Perez Gonzalez, – appeared before her. “It was I,” Judge Rosa Celia Perez Gonzalez announced, “who ordered your detention.” For the first time since this nightmare began, Lydia Cacho was now finally read the charges against her. For writing about Kamel Nacif’s links to the international child rape and child porn network in The Demons of Eden, Lydia Cacho was being charged with defaming Kamel Nacif. Lydia Cacho: “The Judge read me the entire report and at long last I realized that the whole thing was actually an attempt to defend the pedophile Succar Kuri.” The Judge showed Lydia Cacho a retraction Emma had signed. The Judge then handed Lydia Cacho a prepared retraction and told her to sign it. Lydia Cacho: “After 20 hours of abuse in the car and (then the) rape and torture in prison, they (wanted) me to sign a prepared statement, which would have been an admission that The Demons of Eden was lies; that I had concocted it all to make myself famous.” Lydia Cacho told the Judge she would not sign. “I was agog,” Lydia Cacho said. Interestingly, Lydia Cacho was agog not at the retraction the Judge wanted her to sign, but now that Lydia Cacho understood what was happening, she was agog at how her situation could effect the victims of Succar Kuri: “If I was to remain in prison, the (US Magistrate) who was holding Succar Kuri behind bars in Arizona would think that the contents of my investigation were false, and that would contribute to Succar Kuri being set free! Then the girls…would be brought back into the pedophile’s fold. No, we could not allow this…”

The Judge, intent on keeping Lydia Cacho in jail, set an unreasonably high bond, orders of magnitude higher than any bond ever set in the State of Puebla – and did so at 3 pm on a Saturday afternoon, knowing banks in Mexico had just closed for the weekend.

After the Judge’s appearance, Lydia Cacho’s family was allowed to see her in her cell. Family members, trying to lift her spirits, rushed in snapping pictures of her behind bars: “Smile!” they said. And, – seeing them, – she did.

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Against all odds, Lydia Cacho’s family, friends and supporters emptied their pockets, coming very close to meeting the outrageous bail set by the Judge. The Judge, not anticipating this, called up the chain of Pedo Elites for instructions. “Later,” Lydia Cacho said, “we would discover that the…Judge had called the cell phone of the Chief Justice of the Puebla Superior Court of Justice,…who in turn telephoned Governor Marin,…who called Kamel Nacif.” And Kamel Nacif, of course, was acting in the interest of the King of them all, – the man who supplied five-year-old girls for rich men to rape.

*

Having met bond, Lydia Cacho was released. Lydia Cacho: “I was escorted from the building by several armed men. In an instant, I was outside. Free. I looked around me…but I couldn’t see my family. Then I spotted them in the distance…We ran towards each other…” Lydia Cacho’s release, however, was conditional: she had to report to Puebla’s Jail in person once a week for a year, over 1,000 kilometers from home; she had to submit to psychological and medical examinations, day or night, whenever summoned; and she could be re-arrested at any time. If Lydia Cacho loses this case, if she is found guilty of having defamed Kamel Nacif, – she will be sent to prison. Puebla Attorney General Blanca Laura Villeda Martinez, who arranged for female prisoners to rape Lydia Cacho in jail, told reporters that should Lydia Cacho be found not guilty, she would then ‘see to it personally’ that Lydia Cacho be ‘locked away.’

Meanwhile, the Puebla defense team which had been assigned Lydia Cacho’s case – before even meeting her – quit. – Given the death threats and all. Now Lydia Cacho had to find a lawyer: “The first such expert to agree to work with me never showed up at the Court on the day of the hearing, claiming to have been afflicted with a bout of diarrhea that rendered him unable to leave the house. The person who had recommended his services later admitted to me that the lawyer had in fact spent all night going over my book and the evidence for the case and simply didn’t have the courage to tell us that he was scared…” The Anti-Drug Czar gave Lydia Cacho an armored vehicle and assigned six new special agents to guard her.

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Lydia Cacho reporting to Puebla’s Jail as required by the terms of her release, followed by a special federal agent acting as her bodyguard

*

Lydia Cacho: “The idea that practically the whole of the Puebla justice system as well as the State’s Governor were conspiring against me seemed absurd, and I for one refused for a time to believe it was true. But the reality of the matter turned out to be unfathomably shocking.”

*

It will be learned that – yes, – the whole of the Puebla justice system as well as the Governor of Puebla were conspiring against Lydia Cacho, – as well as 30 Mexican leaders, – including five Governors, two Senators and the Federal Police Bureau Undersecretary. Even possibly the President of Mexico himself. The President of Mexico will publicly call Lydia Cacho: “The enemy of the people.” (For those unfamiliar with this grisly historical reference, Josef Stalin, the lunatic totalitarian who killed more people than Hitler, publicly denounced a person as “The enemy of the people” before they ended up dead).

*

Irma Benavides, luego de presentar la denuncia contra su esposo Kamel Nacif, ofreció una conferencia en la cual hace responsable al empresario de su integridad
Kamel Nacif’s wife

An unbelievable thing then happened. Kamel Nacif beat his wife so viciously, she almost died. Though she fled their home, she feared her husband would hire a hitman to kill her. Trying to stay alive, trying to be one step ahead of any hired hitman, Kamel Nacif’s wife was taping her husband’s phone calls. On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2006, Kamel Nacif’s wife anonymously surrendered these tapes to the media. In one Kamel Nacif conversation, while Lydia Cacho is being abducted and tortured by the goons in the car, Kamel Nacif thanks Puebla Governor Marin for “smacking” Lydia Cacho. Kamel Nacif tells the Governor he is sending him two bottles of cognac in thanks. These men call each other “Daddy,” “Precious,” and “Hero;” they are jubilant. In another phone conversation, Kamel Nacif is talking with his sweatshop-owning associate who is at the Puebla Attorney General building as Lydia Cacho is brought in by the two women agents. The associate suggests to Kamel Nacif that women prisoners should rape Lydia Cacho. Kamel Nacif tells the associate that that has already been arranged. In another call between the same men, they discuss the Judge, the associate telling Kamel Nacif: ‘She is a true brother to us, a thousand times over.’ Kamel Nacif arranges a thank you pay-off for the Judge – an all-expense-paid trip to Las Vegas. In another recording, an older recording, Kamel Nacif talks to Succar Kuri himself, from whom he orders two girl-children “to fuck.” One of the girls Kamel Nacif orders from Succar Kuri was the Salvadoran girl who later disappeared and who Succar Kuri later told his lawyer he killed. Kamel Nacif’s wife will later seek safety in Lydia Cacho’s shelter, where shelter staff will help this woman escape from Kamel Nacif and out of Mexico.

The media played these phone messages over and over again. Sales of The Demons of Eden kamelwent through the roof. And then another unbelievable thing happened: 40,000 people took to the streets, bravely calling for Puebla Governor Marin’s impeachment. Other protests followed, in support of Lydia Cacho. A democracy protest of this scale had not taken place in the State of Puebla in over a century.

 

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Protesters give Governor Marin a bottle of cognac

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*

Lydia Cacho: “My case had taken a step forward, and the consequences were almost immediate: My telephone started ringing off the hook…the Puebla State Attorney General (Blanca Laura Villeda Martinez) stepped up her attacks against me in the press…the death threats multiplied…and I received communications from third parties operating on the Governor’s behalf wanting to know ‘how much money’ I would need ‘to let the whole thing drop’… People were stopping me on the street to take photos with me, to ask for my autograph, or to tell me what a big impact my book had on them. My three person security detail – (now) two men and one woman – found they had to step up their vigilance; we couldn’t be sure whether one of these people approaching me with a smiling face might not also be carrying a gun.”

*

At a later point, the United Nations Human Rights Council will advise Lydia Cacho to leave Mexico. They will recommend she seek political asylum. Consequently, Lydia Cacho will be offered political asylum by several countries, including the United States under the Obama administration. But Lydia Cacho will refuse: “I think  if somebody has to leave my country, it should be the mobsters,” she will say. “Why me? — I love Mexico.”

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