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Archive for January, 2012

You don’t know what parental alienation and parental alienation syndrom are? Take a look at what follows:

On December 19, on Camille’s birthday, I sent my girls two watches – one for Camille, one for Chloé- and a card. On Tuesday January 24, I received – in the very envelope I had used- the two watches – unwrapped- and my card with the following line on the lower right corner:

We want nothing from you except the return of our privacy, starting with the removal of your disgusting website.

What’s the intention of these words?  To hurt, to rubb hate to my face. Touché.

This line is not signed. Camille? Chloé? Mom?  A “we” wrote to me. At this stage, the alienating parent has won. The brainwashing has been completed. Mom does not need anymore to tell her victims their father is to be hated, for mom’s hate  has been appropriated by the victims. At this stage, why would mom feel she is doing anything wrong, if she has ever?  Two seemingly rational girls reflect back her own hate. The privacy my girls say they want back?  Although they live in New York City, it is as if they were living in a bunker to me. I have no contact with them except through mom’s email, through mom’s phone, under mom’s control. But mom wants the removal of “my website,” which is the only thing that keeps her from evicting me in peace from the universe of the girls. The victims take side with the executioner, that’s the beauty of parental alienation.  The request to remove my blog is a starting point without any end. In fact, I am deep fried in eternal hate: Mom’s.

Girls, I love you no matter what.

But this blog will go on. For a long time now, it ‘s not just been about you. It has been about preserving the privacy of other children like you with their dads; And to try to keep the irresponsible amateurs of Manhattan Family Court -the Sturms, the Octobres, the Spitzers, the Berrils – to give a free pass to parental alienation.

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Israel News Agency

The new year starts very well for fathers rights in Israel.  On January 19, Justice Minister Yakoov Neeman announced that article 25 of the Israel Capacity and Guardianship Law -the Tender Years Presumption Law- was gone. The law was automatically granting sole custody to the mother if the children were under 6, allowing mothers to alienate the kids at will and getting rid of the father from their life. The new Israeli law will now order joint custody even in cases of divorces involving young children.

The Israelis did not go half way on the path to reforms.  More scrutiny will be applied to the examination of charges of abuses brought against men and it seems that child support laws will be made fairer to fathers.

The process that led to these sweeping changes is also quite interesting. Fathers rights organizations had the brillant idea to involve the United Nations. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights urged the Israeli government to amend its laws so that were discriminating against fathers seeking partial or full custody. That  is an example for fathers rights organizations to follow in the US, where the media and the politicians are totally deaf to the rights of divorced fathers to see and live with their children.

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On Sunday January 8, 2012, I met Florence Cassez, the French women who has been sentenced to serve sixty years in prison by the

Florence (filou.fr)

Mexican justice for the crimes of  kidnapping and organized crime she did not commit.  As I was carrying the  grilled chicken Florence had asked me to bring for lunch, heading toward the Centro Feminil de Readaptacion Social de Tepepan (South of Mexico City) where she is incarcerated, I was still struggling with the thought that had started to bug me since Florence had accepted my request to visit her, three days before: I am no journalist, no lawyer, and therefore I could not be of much help to her.

I know I will not sleep much until she is set free, but I also know now she does not need my help that much. The first thing I found out last Sunday is that she has been helping herself amazingly well given what she has gone through. Before meeting her, I had in mind the image of Florence in shock during the AFI (Agencia Federal de Investigacíon, the Mexican FBI) ‘s remake of her arrestation for the Mexican TV, on December 9 2005. The Florence Cassez I see after passing security, as I step into the large room where a crowd of inmates is meeting and eating with its visitors, has nothing to do with that.  She is a rather tall women with an intense and reflective gaze. She graciously introduces me to her two other visitors, among whom David Bertet, who manages the Canadian Committee in Support of Florence. I quickly discover she has guts. Indeed, as I am telling her I did not understand why the Mexican government  (Mexico is a signatory of the 1983 Strasbourg convention on the transfer of sentenced persons) has been dragging its feet to repatriate Florence to France while invoking the incompatibility of the French thirty-year maximum jail sentence with Florence’s, she brushes away this option. Repatriation? No Sir. She did not want that. Doing time in France meant acknowledging she was guilty. She is innocent. Florence wants the Cassez’s case to be cleared in Mexico. She is fully aware that if it were to happen, it would have wide implications for the working of the Mexican justice system, and for the lot of those Mexican whose rights are violated and who, like her, rot in jail thanks to flawed or made-up accusations of kidnapping.

As the discussion unfolds around lunch, I cannot but notice with immense pleasure that it is interrupted many times. Florence is not at all ostracized as I was fearing. On the contrary, she is a popular figure here. Folks want to chat with her. She keeps getting up, keeps leaving the table to shake hands or hug people. David Bertet told me aside that her humility, her acceptance of the rules of the jail, have earned her the respect of the inmates and that of the prison’s authorities. According to Florence, it has not always been like that; President Sarkozy’s intervention with the Senate and the Mexican government was key to the inmates’change of mind about her. As they saw the French President himself pulling up his sleeves for Florence, people started to question the way most of the Mexican media had depicted her, as the secuestradora, the Francesa diabolica. I gladly admit I was off the mark in an earlier criticism of Sarkozy’s intervention on this blog. Yet I think that Florence is perhaps too modest. Her audacious resilience in claiming her innocence must have something to do with people’s empathy for her.

Also, Florence Cassez is beautiful. She is a beautiful woman, but what I mean here, she is beautiful on the inside.  For instance, when I asked her how come she did not know anything about Israel Vallarta (he ex)’s deeds, she first pauses and slowly, simply, refraining from crying, she states she has so often reproached herself for and been haunted by not having seen anything suspicious with Vallarta; It just never was a serious relation for her. At this moment, I feel like a total idiot for having asked this question. When you are unfairly accused of something, you feel there must be something wrong with you, and people too think that there must be something wrong with you that justifies your situation. I have been there, and I have never been sentenced to jail. As upon my return from the visit, I was moving ahead in my reading of Florence’s book –  A La Sombra de Mi Vida- her answer would appear blatantly true.  Florence only lived two months with Vallarta and then, their relation had ended.  After all, Rosemarie Fritzl, the cellar monster’s wife, lived her life next to Joseph Fritzl and she did not no have a clue about what he was doing in his bunker under his house.

The next step? The decision of the Mexican Supreme Court that Florence’s lawyer has appealed to. It should come in the first half of 2012. I used to think that the best thing for the Mexican democracy was a Lopes Obrador’s victory in 2006. There was one, but it was stolen from him. Florence’s story made me think that out of the three pillars of a democracy, the judiciary – a sound and independent one- is the most important. Clearing Florence Cassez from the accusations that were brought against her would put an end to a six-year violation of her basic human rights. But also, it would prompt the beginning of the end of “la ley de Herodes” (“o te chingas o te jodes”) that has marked the Mexican political life since the Mexican revolution.

A few links and addresses to learn more about Florence Cassez:

comite_florence_cassez_montreal@live.com
twitter :  Florence_Casse1
twitter (esp) : MXporFCassez

www.mexicoporflorencecassez.wordpress.com (Mx)

www.liberezflorencecassez.com (Fr)

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