Wednesday, July 17, 2024

LATIN AMERICA | 25-07-2023 16:48

Panamanian diplomat in Argentina sacked after his wife assaults concierge

Assaulted woman reported being the victim of threats and physical aggression from the couple. Panamanian ambassador and his family set to return to home nation.

The wife of a diplomat was accused of threats and physical aggression by the concierge of the building where she has been living since March in the Recoleta area. The conflict between the two, which occurred last May, reportedly started when the porter scolded the woman's daughter for leaving the elevator door open. As a result of this incident, the Panamanian government ordered the withdrawal of the diplomat César Lawson from Argentina.

"I fear for my life," declared the employee in an interview with Todo Noticias (TN),  a media outlet that released footage showing the aggression that took place in the hall of the building.

The worker suffered two broken ribs and is under medical treatment. Additionally, she reported receiving intimidations and threats.

The woman who filed the complaint after being assaulted was Juliana Gómez, of Paraguayan nationality. According to her, after the violent episode she began to receive legal letters and threats not to involve the woman who attacked her, Jessica Giovana Pineda Quinteros, or her husband César Lawson, the business attaché of the Panamanian embassy.

As mentioned, the conflict began after the couple's daughter left the elevator door open, which prevented its use. The building's porter reprimanded the girl, leading to a confrontation between the woman and the girl's mother, who then turned to physical aggression, pulling her hair and hitting her until she fell to the ground.

"When the woman grabbed me by the hair and punched me in the forehead, I lost consciousness," recounted about the brutal assault she endured and added: "I don't remember when I fell. I have a bruise on my forehead.”

Gómez clarified that after the argument with Lawson's wife, in the minutes before the assault, he apologised for "speaking to the minor." However, when she had ended the conversation, the girl's mother returned and told her that they would continue to leave the elevator door open.

The manager then asked for respect for the rest of the neighbours in the building, a comment that triggered an excessive reaction from the woman and led to the brutal attack.

Later, the business attaché of the Panamanian embassy, who was present during the conflict, expressed solidarity with the concierge who was assaulted by his wife. However, the woman who filed the complaint claimed that the harassment she receives comes from both of them.

"He put a legal muzzle on me, that's why I can't name him," Gómez said, adding: "He sent me a letter. When the conflict happened, he phoned and spoke to a policeman for 20 minutes. The policeman tricked me and told me that if I wanted to continue with the criminal complaint he was going to put me and the woman in jail. I was forced to sign the report as it was written because I needed medical attention.

At the moment, as TN clarified, the case is in process and is at the stage of taking evidence. According to the report of the City Police of that day, the officers who arrived at the scene referred to "a mutual aggression between two women," without specifying if the aggression was only from the diplomat's wife.

"I feel alone and very scared. I fear for my life. My daughter lives abroad, she is married and has a baby, so she can't come back here. It's a nightmare for me; there are places without cameras and I'm afraid that these people might attack me", concluded the assaulted manager.


Diplomat sacked

After the complaint was filed against his wife, the Panamanian government ordered the removal of the diplomat César Lawson from Argentina and informed that they will arrange for the couple's return to their home country.

In a statement, the Panamanian Foreign Ministry described the events as "regrettable" and stated that "the conditions do not exist to maintain him" in his current position at the Panamanian embassy. The Panamanian government also confirmed the decision to withdraw the diplomat and his family after contacting the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"This Ministry rejects all act of violence and reaffirms that the conduct of accredited officials in the Foreign Service must reflect, at all times and in each of their actions, the respect and consideration that Panama assigns to its relations with the Host State where they are accredited," the Panamanian Foreign Ministry said.




More in (in spanish)