MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – The goal this week was to mention Julian Assange’s name in a meeting between Mexico’s president and the head of US diplomacy. Next time, try the same thing when the Australian prime minister sees the head of the White House at the funeral of the Queen of England.
Put the WikiLeaks founder back on the political agenda – currently in a British prison awaiting extradition to the United States – and ask allies to try to persuade Washington to drop the espionage charges against him for a decade The day has come after more legal battles. The life of the Assange family begins with his father, John Shipton.
This septuagenarian Australian architect’s journey through half the world, accompanied by another of his son, Gabriel, brought him to Mexico, a country that has become his main ally in Latin America since President Andres Manuel López Obrador granted Assange political asylum. offered and after breaking off ties with Ecuador, which sheltered her for seven years at their London embassy.
“We say that López Obrador broke the ice” as other leaders of Chile, Colombia and Bolivia later also called for their independence, reiterated in various acts in the Mexican capital, Gabriel Shipton, who on Wednesday gave Assange the keys to the city. Assigned, an honorary town hall which provides the distinction to its distinguished visitors.
John Shipton praised another feature of the Mexican president in his interference in the Senate. “He has the courage to face the neighbor in the north,” he said.
Julian Assange starred via WikiLeaks in the largest leak of classified documents in history that exposed, among other things, American practices and the actions of dozens of governments during the Iraq War. That’s why the United States accuses him of 17 counts of espionage and endangering lives, while his defenders see him as a symbol of press freedom and the fight for justice.
The WikiLeaks producer was arrested in London in 2010 at the request of Sweden, which was looking for him for sex crimes, which he has always denied and attributed to political motivation. In 2012 he broke his probation to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy, where the world saw this mysterious long, white-haired Australian giving a speech from a balcony and skateboarding around the building.
Fed up with its guest, Ecuador removed him from the embassy in 2019. He was arrested and sent to jail as soon as he stepped on the road.
During his father’s visit in prison that year, the message from an Assange who was 16 kilos lighter and very mentally affected was clear: “Please help me!”
Shipton then began leading the campaign for his release in Gabriel’s company. If you reach people, Shipton explains, you reach politicians who want to get those people’s votes.
So they moved from Australia, where Assange is now “more popular than the Beatles”, his father joked, to Europe, the United States, and Mexico. He said that every political announcement, every title, is a breath of oxygen for the son imprisoned in the maximum security jail.
Speaking to the Associated Press at a Mexico City hotel, John Shipton and Gabriel listed the events of the day: protests at the US embassy, meetings with officials, answering mail, phone calls, one of them from Assange.
These conversations with prison automatically cut off after ten minutes, explained the old man who did not want to comment on his son’s condition. “Conversations between father and son are not public.”
John Shipton was away from Assange until he was in his twenties, as he described in the Gabriel-produced documentary “Ithaca”—which outlines the somewhat complicated relationship between the two that he doesn’t talk about. want to do
He smiles as he recalls his prison wedding with his lawyer, Stella Morris, last March. The couple’s two children were more interested in pressing the emergency button than in marriage, he said, on a day he described as “a flower in the desert”.
Uncomfortable with the media, but knowing he needs them, he constantly questions them, telling them that Assange’s case affects them directly because it is the basis for them to continue reporting independently and through the microphone. The front loudly repeats the phrases that affirm that the only way to freedom is knowledge..
The visit to Mexico will conclude with his participation in Independence Day events on Thursday night and Friday. López Obrador also invited relatives of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Che Guevara to the meeting, in what appears to be an attempt to expose symbolic figures of the 20th century in political moments of strong internal tension.
By 2023, with the hope that Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva will win the Brazilian election, Shipton plans to tour Latin America to continue calls to free Julian Assange.