Karenzi Karake: Spain set a precedent on February 16, 2003

Cynthia McKinney, former US Congresswoman.

Cynthia McKinney, former US Congresswoman.

“We are here today, representing Africa, the United States of America and Europe, the first time in History that Europe, Africa, and America come together, to champion the biggest Human rights case of all time. Spain took a bold step forward when they decided to prosecute Pinochet. And the entire world was looking at Spain and all human rights activists all over the world celebrated Spain.

So Spain has set a precedent. I can guarantee you that when Spain undertakes and supports such an action all eyes of the World, particularly Africans and those of African descent all over the world, our eyes will be trained on Spain, ” Cynthia McKinney, the first African American Congresswoman from Georgia, USA told an audience packed press club in Barcelona, Spain on Friday, February 16, 2003.

Cynthia McKinney was in Spain for the official launch of investigations, soon to be followed by indictments in the murders of nine Spaniards, including 6 nuns and priests killed in Ruhengeri allegedly by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) led by the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame.

According to sources close to the legal team, the prosecution of the murders will be included in a more global case of crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army in the Great Lakes Region.

Independent reports from Human Rights organizations and the UN estimated the crimes against Humanity and genocide have so far resulted in the death of more than 2.5 million Rwandan civilians, 3.5 million Congolese, 1 million Burundese and others, leading to a total of more than 7 millions since the invasion of Rwanda from Uganda by the RPA in 1990.

The entire effort of prosecuting the crimes is led by Senior Juan Carrero Saralegui, the President of Fundacio S’Olivar based in Mallorca, Spain and Nobel Peace Prize nominee since 2000. Juan Carrero, known as the “warrior for justice” across Spain and among the diaspora of Great Lakes Region of Africa, has championed for peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, including a long march from Barcelona to Geneva, a 40 day fast, organization of peace initiatives, sit-ins, securing grants and funding for projects aimed a helping the weak inside and outside the Great Lakes Region of Africa, etc.

The delegation invited in Spain along with the former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney also included Rwandans, Elysee Ndayisaba of Belgium and Felicien Kanyamibwa from the United States of America. In their crusade for bringing the case to Spanish courts, the delegates met the President of Mallorca , Maria Antonia Munar, the Vice-President of Balears Islands (which include Mallorca), Pere Sampol and several local and national level officials in Madrid, Barcelona, Figuerres, and Palma de Mallorca.

“So far we did not decide yet who against whom the criminal charges will be pressed. But it will be the persons responsible, be they political leaders or heads of multinational companies. The case will be lodged in Spain, possibly the Court of Human Rights in Brussels and if necessary the United States of America, ” Juan Carrero told the Ultima Hora Press Club in La Palma de Mallorca.

Cynthia McKinney and Juan Carrero addressed the Ultima Hora Press Club, full to over capacity on Tuesday February 18, 2003. The Ultima Hora Group is a conglomerate controlling a network of news papers in four languages (Spanish, Catalan, English and French), a chain of televisions and Advertising agencies.

The CEO of the group Mr. Pere A. Serra, organized a special reception for Cynthia McKinney, Juan Carrero and other members of the delegation. The reception was also attended by Mr. Pere Sempol, the Vice-President of Balears Islands, Mallorcans and Spanish officials and members of the Press in Spain.

“The presence of Cynthia McKinney is definitely a catalysis for the Spanish people to put pressure on still hesitating officials to quickly join the large crowd who have pushed the case forward,” said a Majorca Daily Bulletin journalist.

Source: AfroAmerica Network February 2003.

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