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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Letters

Letter to Mexican President

 

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
P.O Box 20491
Long Beach, CA 90804
www.SNAPnetwork.org

 

December 1, 2005

President Vicente Fox
Mexican Consulate
2401 W. 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA

Estimado Senor Presidente!

We, the members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, write to you again today because we are deeply troubled that a known serial child molester, Father Nicolas Aguilar, has not been prosecuted for the crimes he committed against children both in Mexico and in the USA. Mexican authorities have failed to prosecute Aguilar's crimes or extradite him back to Los Angeles for prosecution. Aguilar is alleged to have molested over 60 children in Mexico and California. We believe that today, Fr. Aguilar may still be celebrating mass and administers the sacraments in the Archdiocese of Puebla and the Diocese of Cuernavaca in your country

On July 22, 2004, leaders from our support group personally delivered another similar letter to you about Fr. Aguilar and met with Salvador Jimenez Munoz, Alternate Consul for the Mexican Consulate here in Los Angeles. We were assured that you would receive our letter. We have not received a response to our letter.

Last week, a young Mexico City man, who was allegedly abused by Aguilar in 1996 contacted LA SNAP leaders seeking support and protection for kids in Mexico. In response, local SNAP leaders are going to Mexico City this week to support this brave survivor and reach out to others still suffering in guilt, shame and silence.

We are convinced that numerous children in Mexico and the USA have needlessly been put at risk and victimized by the presence of this priest and other known and suspected abusive priests in Mexico.

We are also convinced that you can help these victims come forward to police without fear of harm and take the necessary steps to bring Aguilar and other child predators to justice in Mexico and California.

Sadly, it is rare that Catholic priests have been prosecuted for sex crimes against minors, primarily because of their position of unquestionable trust and authority. This is overwhelmingly not the case with non-clergy who committed such crimes.

We know that child molesters rarely stop molesting, and we believe that Mexican and USA authorities know that, too.

It is no longer a secret, that previous pleas for protection from Aguilar were ignored or rebuffed.

It is also no secret that for decades Catholic Church officials have knowingly aided, abetted, and shielded known molesters from prosecution by transferring them to dioceses in other countries. Worse, Church officials sent these abusers to some of the most vulnerable countries where prosecution of child sexual abuse rarely occurs.

Fr. Nicolas Aguilar (also Augilar) fled the USA to Mexico in 1988 to escape from criminal charges. Aguilar worked in California and was charged with 19 counts of child molestation. Church officials facilitated Aguilar's flight to Mexico to avoid prosecution for those crimes he allegedly committed here in Los Angeles.

In 1995, Mexican prosecutors finally took the case to a judge, who dismissed it as too old to prosecute. Detective Gonzales, who was involved in the investigation of Aguilar said, "I don't know what happened in Mexico." "I can't tell you if it was planned or if it just happened."

We are urging you again to take the following steps to bring Aguilar to justice, protect children from predatory priests, and help heal the victims and their families who are already hurt:

--Demand an investigation to explain why Aguilar has not been prosecuted.
--Publicly reach out to victims and urge anyone who was harmed by Aguilar, or who suspects or witnessed abuse, to contact criminal authorities.
--Seek further evidence of such abuse crimes and explore additional legal approaches to prosecution, including working with prosecutors in the USA.
--Treat priests like everyone else who commits heinous crimes.

If there is a will, there IS a way.

SNAP is a national self-help support group for men and women victimized by clergy. We don't want to see one more child suffer the horror of being sexually abused by a trusted religious figure.

Through persistence, prosecutors can find ways to put dangerous predators, like Aguilar, behind bars where they will never harm another child. It is what we believe the people of Mexico and the people of the USA want. But, more important, it ensures the protection ALL children deserve.

We look forward to your assistance in this matter and welcome a meeting to speak with you about it in greater detail.

Eric Barragan
SNAP Spokesperson (805) 207-7424 cell or SNAPMEXICO@aol.com

Mary Grant
SNAP Western Regional Director (626) 419-2930 cell or mgrantsnap@earthlink.net

Esther Miller
SNAP Spokesperson (562) 673-9442 or bruestmiller@juno.com

David Clohessy SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 or snapclohessy@aol.com






Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org