'The Rodent,' new book exposes 20 years of abuses committed by Mexican journalist Andrés Roemer
The famous Mexican writer, producer and former UNESCO Ambassador has been accused of rape and sexual harassment by at least 61 women
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In February 2021, dancer Itzel Schnaas published a video on Youtube revealing that she suffered sexual harassment at the hands of Andrés Roemer, a prominent Mexican intellectual and ex-diplomat, known for being the co-founder of La Ciudad de las Ideas, a prestigious annual conference in the Mexico.
After that video's release, dozens of women — mostly journalists and aspiring collaborators — found the courage to denounce Roemer for having abused power and money to sexually exploit them.
Among those who found the courage to denounce Roemer was Heidi Putscher, the author of El Roedor (The Rodent), a collection of stories, including Putscher's own, detailing 61 cases of sexual aggression perpetrated by the academic and ex-diplomat, who took advantage of his work and fame on television to harass several young women, mostly with the promise of a job.
"I too was invited to the theater, I too was offered a chauffeur, I too was able to socialize with him and they were always inappropriate interactions. But when I was 22 years old I could not identify that this was harassment and could lead to abuse, rape or femicide," the author explained EFE during the presentation of her book last week.
El Roedor (The Rodent) also reviews Roemer's non-sexual scandals, including his terrible management of the San Francisco consulate, awful stint as Mexico's UNESCO representative — where he once agreed to abstain in a vote under pressure from Israel — and the business he used to commit his exploits: La Ciudad de las Ideas. The book tells of his profligacy in Paris, where he ordered to move his car and piano from one continent to another.
Finally, the book contains an extensive chronology of events, a story the author wrote when she was beginning to process the barrage of accusations against her Roemer, and two documents that show Roemer's mismanagement during his time at UNESCO.
The first public allegations against Roemer appeared on social media through the #MeToo movement in Mexico during 2019.
As of July 2021, the Mexico City Attorney General's Office obtained four arrest warrants against the writer. Being a diplomat, Roeder has so far enjoyed immunity and remains in Israel, pending extradition to Mexico.
"With this book I hope that things will change and although it is not written in English or Hebrew, it is a way of telling the Israeli authorities that the allegations exist and that Andrés is an abuser and deserves punishment," said Putscher, confident that her book will help stop the normalization of abuse.