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News Archive 2005

Photo of JeanChristmas Message from Jean MacColl

19 December 2005

Dear Friends

The hardest day of the year has just come to an end and now we all start on the sixth year in our fight for justice for my daughter Kirsty. Messages have come from Japan, Germany. Australia, Brazil and Cozumel apart from the UK.

I want you to know how the family is heartened by your love and continuing support. I have no doubt that we shall win the battle. It's rather like climbing a mountain. The lower slopes are relatively simple but as one gets nearer the summit, it gets more difficult: the goal is in sight but still not within reach. Yet, if you look back, you can see how far we have progressed.

Since that lovely Sunday in October when we celebrated Kirsty's birthday, we have heard that subpoenas have been served on Gonzalez Nova, one of his sons and his daughter in law. They have opted not to give verbal evidence but will provide written evidence. It may take longer but we will be very interested in their defence. The prosecutor in Cancun seems to have been replaced by another one who must acquaint himself with the case.

You will have heard that the Pogues are reissuing Fairy Tale of New York (available now) and a percentage of the proceeds will go to our fund. Do get everyone to buy it. It may even reach Number 1! But whatever it does, I am so grateful to the Pogues for their fantastic support and also to Philip Rambow, our committee member, who has organised bucket collections at all their concerts with great success.

When you don't see an update for a while, don't think everything has come to a halt. Maybe we will have a resolution in 2006 but, rest assured, I will never give up. More and more people are joining the campaign and asking what they can do.

I wish you all a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thank you again for all your support and messages of love and encouragement, and particularly for the beautiful bouquet of flowers sent by the fans on Saturday.

Jean MacColl

5 December 2005: Pogues reissue "Fairytale of New York"

The Pogues are to re-issue the classic Fairytale of New York on WEA in time for Christmas - OUT NOW. The three formats of the reissue - 7" vinyl (backed with Battle March Medley), CD (with an instrumental singalong version) and DVD (including the video and a live Top Of The Pops performance) - all feature the Pogues/Kirsty original recording with Kirsty from 1987.

The band is splitting royalties from this release to charities for the homeless and to the Justice For Kirsty Campaign. There is also a special download version of the song featuring Katie Melua in tribute to Kirsty's original, recorded earlier this month. Buy it from iTunes.com

There is also a BBC3 documentary screening over Christmas - "The story of Fairytale of New York" which includes footage from the October Soho Square get together. 

10 October 2005: JFK Campaign Update

Dear Friends,

Our apologies for the lack of information in recent months, we are fully aware of your continued interest and concern, for which we thank you.

Due to the highly sensitive nature of our ongoing legal work we have not been able to provide regular updates for fear of compromising our legal position, which although frustrating, is very necessary.

In June this year Jean, Louis and Fred returned to México City to formally lodge two new legal appeals and meet with key Ministers at the Attorney General's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Méxican Home Office and the Ministry of Tourism.

Jean & Louis at the Attorney General's Office in México City with the Minister Miguel Angel Gonzalez responsible for International Legal Affairs. Photo - Fred Shortland

The visit was coordinated by the British Foreign Office & British Embassy in México City who has taken a far more proactive and supportive role since our meeting with Sir Michael Jay, Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Richard Morris (Consul General) at British Embassy in México. The support we have had and continue to have from the FCO has been exemplary.

Prior to leaving we met with the Méxican Ambassador to the UK at his invitation to review the objectives of our visit. A very different scenario from our initial visit in March 2004 when we departed for México with a wish list, no firm appointments and obstruction from the Méxican authorities.

It was very clear that our lobbying and campaigning activities had paved the way thanks to all our supporters.

The objectives of our visit were:

  • To concentrate on the legal aspects of the case and to lobby the Attorney General for high level intervention into the numerous failings of the Federal Prosecutors actions and to reopen a criminal investigation.
  • To hold follow up meetings with the officials and ministries who we met in March 2004 where we made two very specific requests:
    • Enforcement of existing regulations and laws to protect all divers & tourists that were clearly not being implemented as we experienced first hand from our visit to Cozumel.
    • Monitor ongoing proceedings at the Federal Prosecutors office in Cozumel with regard to our requests to open a new case and to ensure no more irregularities occurred.

It was very clear that that the Méxican authorities had failed to monitor the ongoing proceedings at the Federal Prosecutor’s office in Cozumel which was the basis of the two legal appeals filed by Jean & Louis during this visit.


The Outcome – What was achieved?

  • We succeeded in obtaining a commitment from the Attorney General that a new criminal investigation would be formally re-opened at the Federal level, this has now happened and is proceeding, although very slowly and with continued difficulty.
  • The Federal Authorities as a direct consequence of the Justice For Kirsty Campaign have implemented a new law improving nautical / navigation safety standards that came into effect in November 2004 this law is to be known as “Kirsty’s Law”. It establishes new rules of procedure for dive boats and regulates marking of dive areas throughout México. In Cozumel illuminated marker buoys have been installed at the main dive / marine parks at a cost of £184,000 and a nation wide campaign initiated to promote safety in diving.
  • In response to our complaints regarding lack of follow up and feed back, the Méxican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conjunction with the Méxican Ministry of the Interior undertook to have regular monthly meetings with the Attorney Generals Office to which our Lawyer was to be invited and to provide us with a regular report. To date we have received only one report dated 1st August and our lawyer is pushing for the first meeting to take place.

Two down, one to go !

Jean & Louis signing the legal appeals with our Lawyer Demetrio Guerra
Photo - Fred Shortland

We have successfully fulfilled two campaign objectives. ……Raising awareness at the highest levels in both Governments and improving safety standards for divers in México…… all that remains is our key objective…. Justice for Kirsty!

Whilst we are satisfied that the British and Méxican Governments have eventually done what has been asked of them we are extremely concerned at the very slow progress and obstacles being encountered with the re opened criminal investigation.

The matter now clearly rests with the Attorney General's Office and whilst we take some comfort from the fact that the case is being continually monitored we fear Gonzalez Nova’s influence prevails.

Justice for Kirsty has become a test of the Méxican Judiciary effectiveness .We trust that Justice will prevail but if it does not we will continue our fight for Justice by taking a case against México at the Inter American Commission for Human Rights in Washington.

How can you help?

  • Continue to send the appeal letters to the México Authorities (NEW LETTER HERE!)
  • Distribute them to as many people as possible
  • Help build our fighting fund by hosting a fundraising event
  • Make a donation
  • Volunteer – we need more people to help us in the areas of Méxican Media, advocacy support Fred and Fundraisers. If you are interested please contact us.

Two down, one to go …….the big one

Justice for Kirsty!

With our sincere thanks for your continued support - Justice for Kirsty Campaign

10 October 2005

Various items of Kirsty related worth were auctioned during the day on Sunday 9th October as part of the annual Kirsty fan reunion in and around Soho Square.

The most exciting of these items was a mirror donated by Philip Hardacre, typical of his mosaic art style, featuring creatures of the sea. It went for auction at £375, and was chased to the line by a personalised gold disk for around £300 and an acetate of "Sun on the water" for around £200. In total around £2,000 was raised to assist the Justice Campaign. Pictures: Jean with Cuban musician Omar Puente and with Fred, Louis, Alan, Philip and John from the JFK team.

13 September 2005

The Pogues will be doing another Christmas tour and after the success of last year's fundraising we hope to once again be present at these shows to raise awareness and collect funds. If you have fund raising experience with shoogling buckets, or just if you think you have the enthusiasm (and forceful personality!) needed please get in touch. You would be asked to collect both inside and outside the venues (before and after really).

The tour dates are as follows:

  • 13 & 14 December: Glasgow Academy
  • 16 December: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
  • 17 December: Manchester MEN Arena
  • 18 December: Birmingham NIA Arena
  • 20 & 21 December: London Brixton Academy

3 August 2005

.Croydon singer Pete Baldwin performed some of Kirsty's best-known work including Fairytale of New York, accompanied by Garry Davis on harmonica, in front of a rain-sodden crowd at the local Ruskin House 15th annual folk and blues festival.

Organiser Garry Davis said: "There has never been a concert in this town to celebrate the music of Kirsty and we wanted to put that right. We are also showing our support for the campaign of Jean MacColl to seek justice for her daughter."

The weather did not stop more than 200 people including Kirsty's mum Jean MacColl from attending the event. Ms MacColl spoke about her campaign to discover the truth about her daughter's death and her renewed optimism following talks with Government officials in México last month.

Jean said her campaign to discover the truth about her daughter's death has made progress following top-level talks with Méxican government officials. "The Méxican Government are trying very hard to put things right and they hope to have a resolution by October," she said.

Ms MacColl is demanding that motorboat owner Guillermo Gonzalez Nova, who was on board, be brought before the court to answer questions. Gonzalez Nova is one of México's most prominent businessmen. "I am not asking for any money. I just want him to stand up and speak the truth," she said. "That is the reason why I have been doing this for five years and I will go on until the end."

A £450 donation was made to the Justice for Kirsty campaign, and the dancers from McPartland School of Irish Dancing donated their £100 fee to the charity. Money was also given to Ruskin House in Coombe Road.

Stories: Croydon Guardian on 3 August and 27 July

07 June 2005

Jean, Fred and Louis have been visiting México for a second time over the past week, good progress was made.

06 April 2005

Jean will be interviewed on GM-TV on Thursday 7th April.

21 March 2005

Jean & Fred Shortland will be interviewed on the following programme tonight.

BBC Radio London 94.9FM

The Late Show with JoAnne Good

10 - 10.30 pm

18 March 2005

JFK Campaign Update

Dear Friends

Since returning from México in March last year we have continued to lobby and campaign at the highest levels of government both in the UK and México and thanks to your invaluable support managed to achieve one of our key campaign objectives; to raise awareness at the highest levels in both governments.

Raising awareness is one thing, obtaining justice sadly continues to evade us!

Before we left México we had meetings with the Office of the President of México. The Minister of Tourism, Minister of Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Human Rights and the Méxican Attorney Generals Office plus the British Embassy in México.

At each meeting we made two very specific requests:

  • Monitor ongoing proceedings at the Federal Prosecutors office in Cozumel with regard to our requests to open a new case- and to ensure no more irregularities occurred.
  • Enforcement of existing regulations and laws to protect all divers & tourists which was clearly not being implemented as we experienced first hand from our visit to Cozumel.

Without fail all the officials we met treated us with dignity and respect and agreed to our requests. We left México quite optimistic that having made our concerns to the highest levels of Government that matters would be resolved.

Sadly this has not been the case and regrettably we have experienced yet more obstacles, violations in legal proceedings, highly questionable rulings and our lawyers have been denied certified copies of the resolutions in an effort to impede our progress.

The Federal Prosecutor in Cozumel has clearly failed to do their duty and have closed the case based on highly questionable rulings that have once again brought the Méxican Judicial system into question. Whilst we cannot disclose details at this stage for legal reasons it concerns us greatly that Subpoenas delivered through the Federal Police could not be served upon key witnesses Sr. Guillermo Gonzàlez Nova and his daughter- in- law Norma Haggas it was stated “they could not be found?”

Sr Guillermo Gonzalez Nova is one of the most prominent businessmen in México, his company, a quoted company, yet the authorities could not find him? As a key witness, captain of the speedboat that killed Kirsty how could they possibly close the case without interviewing him and his daughter- in- law who were on the boat when Kirsty was killed?

It is clear that the MacColl family have once again experienced a further gross miscarriage of justice whilst Gonzelez Nova and his family enjoy impunity from investigation and prosecution!

Since June last year we have been making very strong representation to the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Méxican Embassy in the UK and the Attorney Generals Office in México.

In November last year we met with Sir Michael Jay, Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service at the FCO who advised, the case was at the very centre of British and Méxican relations”. The FCO Consular division in London and the British Embassy in México have been helpful and supportive and continue to monitor proceedings on an ongoing basis.

On February 15 th our lawyer met with the Office of the Attorney General in México City and filed a brief requesting the intervention of this office to issue an instruction to the Federal Prosecutors Office in Cozumel to resolve the matter. To date we have not had any response and have instructed our lawyer to proceed with a

Constitutional lawsuit of Amparo against the Federal Prosecutors Office.

More delays, costs, and frustrations in dealing with a corrupt and ineffective judicial system!

Having little faith in the Méxican Judicial system we successfully applied to the FCO Pro Bono Lawyers Panel to assist us with the next stage of our legal battle to take a case against the State of México at the Inter American Commission of Human Rights. Ms Parosha Chandran, a leading human rights barrister based in London, has been appointed to the Justice for Kirsty Campaign team. Her appointment is a significant development.

Ms Chandran has worked at the European Commission for Human Rights (Strasbourg), The UNHCR (London) and the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (The Hague), she is Trustee of the British Institute of Human Rights and a member of the legal team of the Kurdish Human Rights Project. Further details of Ms Chandran’s expertise can be found at http://www.10-11gis.co.uk.

Next month we return to México with renewed vigour and stronger team including Louis, Kirsty’s youngest son who was diving with his mother and brother Jamie when Kirsty was killed………..our quest for Justice for Kirsty continues!

Meanwhile the Méxican tourist industry had a record year in 2004 with visitor numbers up by 10% to 20.6 million spending £5.73 billion and in December President Fox proudly presented the National Human Rights Programme.

Expressing México’s continued commitment to uphold human rights. President Fox said, “ This programme has as it’s goal a state in which human rights will become the guiding axis for national policy; a state in which we are all jointly responsible for their respect, promotion, and protection, through dialog, action and social participation; a state in which together we will ensure the progressive reduction of inequalities”. I know that human rights belong to everybody, but I also know that we are all responsible for authorities guaranteeing them.” He went on to say, “We want to make México a country where freedom and dignity are fully respected but to do this we must all renew our commitment and implement precise actions”

Fine words Mr President ….How about making a start by delivering Justice for Kirsty and prosecuting those who make a mockery of your judicial system and bring shame on your wonderful country.

How you can help

Send the appeal letters and emails

Make a donation

Boycott Méxican tourist resorts ………they are not safe!

2 March 2005

JFK Documentary to be shown on BBC2 this month

The documentary, Who Killed Kirsty MacColl, is to be shown on BBC2 on Friday 18th March, at 23:40.

>>> Scan the news archive for older news items: 2003 : 2004 : 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008


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