Police on Monday arrested former Mexican diplomat Andres Roemer in Tel Aviv ahead of his extradition to his home country to face rape charges.
Mexico filed an extraction request last year and the international department in the State’s Attorney’s Office ruled recently that he could be sent back to Mexico.
In 2021, a Financial Times report cited accusations made by 11 women that Roemer had sexually assaulted them at his home after inviting them there for work meetings.
Roemer had been widely lauded in Israel after was fired as Mexico’s UNESCO ambassador for refusing to vote in favor of a 2016 resolution that effectively denied Jewish ties to Jerusalem.
In October 2016 — two months after Roemer arrived at UNESCO — the envoy walked out during a vote on a resolution about the Old City of Jerusalem because he did not want to follow the instructions from his capital to vote in favor. He was later dismissed from his position.
Since then, the Mexican-Jewish diplomat met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has been recognized by the American Sephardic Federation, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and other Jewish groups for challenging the UN resolution.
He even had a street in Ramat Gan named for him. The city has so far refused calls to remove his name over the sexual assault allegations, saying that nothing had been proven.
Roemer, who is also a lawyer, economist and playwright, is the grandson of Viennese orchestra conductor Ernesto Roemer, who fled Europe before World War II. A self-described “atheist Jew,” he grew up in Mexico City, and had previously served as Mexico’s consul-general in San Francisco.