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Mexico Bars Lawyer After Suit

An American who said a cardinal protected an abusive priest is escorted to an airport.

October 15, 2006|John Spano | Times Staff Writer

An American lawyer was barred from entering Mexico after he sued the country's Roman Catholic archbishop, saying that he had conspired to protect a pedophile priest.

The five-year exclusion order was issued in Mexico City against Jeffrey Anderson, known for his many lawsuits against the Catholic Church on behalf of alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Last month, Anderson alleged that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles and Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico conspired to protect a priest who had molested a Mexican youth.

Anderson had been briefly detained in his hotel in Mexico City, where he announced the lawsuit.

"I will not be silenced, I will not be intimidated and I will continue to speak out and do what needs to be done to protect those kids," Anderson said Friday.

"I don't know anything about diplomacy. I know I was there lawfully to speak the truth," he added.

The entry ban, issued late last week, also applies to a second American lawyer and David Clohessy, the national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

The three allegedly violated the terms of their tourist visas Sept. 20 when they traveled to Mexico City to publicize their case against Rivera.

In a statement, Mexico's national Immigration Institute said the three Americans had acted as legal advisors, when their tourist entry visas did not give them "the proper authorization to carry out professional or lucrative activities."

The three Americans appeared with Joaquin Aguilar Mendez, who said he was abused as a teenager in 1994 by Father Nicolas Aguilar.

The allegations have been denied by Rivera's office.

"Rivera did a press conference attacking me, protesting his innocence," Anderson said, calling Rivera "arrogant and insulated" and "the most powerful man in Mexico."

Anderson said that after being detained, he was escorted to an airport under the protection of officials from the U.S. embassy.

john.spano@latimes.com

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