Emotional Damage in “Special Real Estate” Fraud

Ra’al Ki Victorieux

„And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” Matthew 16:26

In this world many people are involved in fraud, however, the great spiritual teachers claim that humans lose their souls when they give too much importance to the world of physical and form. All life is animated by a deep light, that of the higher soul, without that soul, things quickly fade. Unfortunately, it is very common for there to be real estate fraud and unfair dispossession of property to individuals, both in Mexico City and in other states of the country. On average there are 9 evictions a day in Mexico City, more than 3,000 a year, and without a doubt more than 6,000 in the country. There seems to be complicity in the media, which generally keeps silent regarding this terrible situation that leaves thousands of families homeless, and the authorities; who have not been able to establish an efficient response to this situation of great social injustice.

My mother and I have been victims of fraud in a special real estate trial in the 57th civil court, with Judge Prisciliano Odilón Centeno Rendón. These experience has caused us emotional and psychological damage, by facing a prolonged situation of severe uncertainty, stress, great anguish due to the state of emergency that you live when facing possible eviction. We have done our best to accept the situation, seek defense, and remain hopeful despite adversity.

Psychological damage is an argument that is used in legal proceedings to demand compensation for the damage. This usually requires the accompaniment of a supportive attorney to prove losses. It is important to be able to test how one has been emotionally affected. The emotional damage includes fear, anxiety, crying, lack of sleep, depression, and humiliation, it could also be considered moral damage, caused by the negative impact on the public image due to the fraud suffered. Both personal testimony and testimony from family, friends, and/or neighbors are useful, as well as keeping a diary of symptoms over time to show the emotional impact of the situation.

There is intentional and negligent damage. When the damage has been caused by the legal defenselessness in which the lawyers left us, that is, by the fraud they perpetrated against us, this causes intentional emotional damage. The action carried out by fraud, -a crime we claim was committed by lawyers Munir and Mauricio Tanous-, and their legal team caused us emotional damage.

Emotional and psychological damage is a serious thing; this has sequelae that last many times longer than a physical problem. Mainly, because it has not been only a traumatic event, but a sum of difficult moments in the face of legal defenselessness, injustice, and the threat of dispossession, this generates a state of “survival”, which puts people on the defensive, in a reactive process of “attacking, fleeing, negotiating or paralyzing”, and because this has lasted several years, it has generated a situation of generalized depression. For most of the time that this “Special Real Estate” trial has lasted, I have felt insecure, I first went through a process in which I blamed myself, or even went so far as to blame my mother for being victims of this situation. After understanding that those who committed the fraud were the lawyers Munir and Mauricio Tanous and Amin Cholac, and the financial company “Su Casita”, and this was not our fault, then I experienced great sadness, a process of mourning, for the fear of losing my home. The processes of depression manifested in that I lost the motivation to do things that I enjoyed before this situation, such as having a greater social life, and sometimes I even had a hard time getting up to do my work at home. I lived in a constant state of alert, anxiety, and concern thinking that something bad could happen at any moment, time was going by in search of a defense attorney, awaiting the next legal resolution, or the announced or unexpected arrival of José Luis Ramos and Fusther de Flota, who had bought the debt, either alone, or accompanied by policemen, to claim the property.

I had many nightmares where I was dreaming about packing and packing, and suddenly I was in a house that was falling apart from an earthquake, or that was invaded by unknown people, and scenes like that. Sometimes I had a hard time sleeping, for fear that something bad would happen while I was unconscious, so I would cry even if I was doing something as simple as dinner or watching television, and I felt my heart very fast. The psychologist told me that these were symptoms of a panic disorder, she suggested that I try to breathe slowly and meditate to stay calm. I have also experienced post-traumatic stress, some things cause me a lot of anxiety, the “triggers” can be the deadlines for a legal process, seeing José Luis Ramos and Fusther pass in front of the house in their car, or the day of 2016 when I received one of his visits, sometimes even receiving messages from friends who send me related news… Sometimes I don’t want to eat or do anything, I think that “everything is lost”, that if Ramos and Fusther is a politician with years of political career, with public positions in Puebla and Mexico City, if he and his lawyer Etienne Salinas are people with many influences, both linked to the PRI, it will be very difficult to obtain support from the judges, but we still make an effort for continuing to seek alternative solutions. Also, due to fear of possible eviction, I developed a great fear of leaving home, a condition known as agoraphobia. Another of the painful and unpleasant experiences has been to go through mourning for the loss, first the denial, not believing what is happening, and not even having the ability to react. Then deep anger, against oneself and against others, as a process of guilt, too. I tried not to let myself be overcome by anger or resentment, because I know very well that hatred is what makes people sicker. Later in the negotiation, we look for hope, for a defense lawyer, and we hear many times that “nothing can be done”, and yet continue to insist, and regrettably fall into the hands of professionals who do not put their client as a priority. Then a deep depression from widespread legal corruption, and personal loss. Currently, we are still looking for legal defense, we try to face the pandemic as best as possible, and to accept “stoically” that whatever happens, it is best to remain calm and move forward.

Unfortunately, we know that women, the elderly, are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse and property fraud. That was the case with my mother, who was the one who bought the property and was the victim of abuse by her lawyers. Because she is a few years older, this process that began in 2013 has caused her so much anxiety that in addition to high stress and anxiety, she suffered two strokes with facial paralysis. During 2020 she looked quite bad physically, she lost a lot of weight, the family members were concerned and an aunt recommended that she speak with a priest. For several weeks they spoke on the phone daily to pray that she would recover. She still has very fragile health, and that adds to my concerns since due to the fact that the situation of the property located in the Miguel Hidalgo mayoralty is still in legal proceedings in Mexico City, of which we need to be aware, I have not been able to go visit her, because she lives in the state of Chiapas. Also, due to this situation, despite the fact that because of my work many times I may need to travel, cos I dedicate myself to arts education and personal development, I have restrained myself. That is, I have not applied to residences, and I have stopped my activities of giving workshops or creating cultural events in some state of the republic. This has negatively affected me in the professional area.

We do not wish anyone to go through a similar situation, it breaks our hearts to know that it is a common situation, it is horrible to feel the helplessness that the authorities do not listen to you, it is shameful, at times you want to die. Finding out about suffering a fraud perpetrated by the lawyers who one supposes defend her; it’s something unexpected, like watching your safety get lost in a fire. The intensity of the emotions that fraud victims experience is a gruesome reality in the face of white-collar criminals. We have put our effort and attention into trying to achieve justice, but we are still not clear. In addition, because the situation has taken years, although when initially our family and friends approached to provide support, over time this is already tiring, and there are truly few people who continue to accompany us, despite that this also wears them down. As they say, in the setbacks of fate and in illness, you know who truly appreciates you.

We are sure that although the prosecution reports 9 daily evictions in Mexico City, there are many more, precisely because of the emotional damage, many people who experience it, the last thing they want is to revive it by denouncing or reporting fraud. Some people, even unconsciously, as a form of self-defense of their self-esteem, choose to pay more attention to things that make them feel good and avoid those that make them feel threatened. Many people are reluctant to accept that they have been the victim of fraud and may even be embarrassed to talk about it. Fraud can cause a person’s self-esteem to fall into a negative spiral; Not only have they lost money, but they feel their dignity and security have been stolen. In addition, during the moment in which one receives the news, one enters a state of shock, of emergency, in which it is difficult to think clearly, and if in addition, those who were supposedly defending him, are the lawyers who committed the fraud and abuse of trust, as it is more difficult to find a way to have the advice to make the correct financial and legal decisions at that time. There is a feeling that life is out of control, even hope for a better future can be lost. The confidence that one can have in lawyers and in the legal system suffers a severe blow, you lose confidence in the system, and also in yourself. Some victims of fraud claim that they feel as if they have been raped, or as in a “psychological assault”, they experience the same loss of confidence as victims of violent crimes. Because there is a possibility that restitution of the loss can not be achieved, and a judgment be won against those who carried out the fraud, victims find themselves in the need to liquidate their properties or even declare bankruptcy to face the fraud. They lose faith in the financial and legal system that was supposed to protect them, they feel that there is a risk of being victims of a similar situation again because their personal information has been compromised, also, due to impotence in the absence of a diligent and prompt defense of the legal system, which makes them feel re-victimized because their complaints are not investigated and taken to due process.

According to the Aftermath 2018 del Identity Theft Center some of the impacts of financial fraud due to identity theft -which, although it is another type of fraud, generates psychological damage similar to that caused by fraud real estate-, included that the victims fight and argue more, they do not feel capable of trusting family and friends; they feel that most have not provided support or closeness.

We make this information public because we want to help raise awareness of the situation and invite the authorities to give a better and more efficient response. We need a new and better Patrimony Law that protects Mexican families. It is also important that basic notions of legal defense are taught at basic education. In addition; it is essential that the fight against corruption be done with real actions and programs, and not just in words. We want to promote housing rights. Find more information in this link https://atmaunum.com/justicia/

We thank you if you support us with your signature in the Help Letter that we publish in change.org

If you are creative and wish to collaborate with a text or image, we invite you to download the .pdf of the call that we have created in (English – Spanish version) “Conceptual Manifesto for a Patrimony Law”, at the following link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wM4YKWYdq0j5OC7y4eVrIupQOwyKpEG0/view?usp=sharing

Thank you.

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