The family of an American woman who mysteriously died while on vacation with her friends in Mexico has travelled to Washington DC to call for “diplomatic intervention.”
Relatives of Shanquella Robinson and civil rights attorney Ben Crump asked for the White House to escalate the investigation into her death during a press conference in Washington on Friday. Robinson, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was killed after travelling to Puerto Los Cabos in late October with friends, Mexican prosecutors said.
A video circulating online appeared to show Robinson being beaten by one of the women in the group at the luxury rental property where they were staying. The travelling party was allowed to return to the US days following Robinson’s death and no arrests have been made four months into the investigation.
“I’m here in Washington DC, to get answers about what happened to my daughter,” Robinson’s mother, Sallamondra Robinson, said on Friday, per WUSA9. “I don’t wish this nightmare on anybody … There were many people who could have helped her and instead laughed and joked about it.”
“I’m here to ask the President and anyone with the power to get justice for my daughter to help me, please help me.”
“Mexican authorities have confirmed that they have completed their investigations. We’ve had the opportunity to review some of the package and it has been sent [the FBI and Interpol]”, attorney Sue Ann Robinson, who is also representing the family, said. “The ball is clearly in the United States court. The State Department, the Department of Justice, the ball is in your court.”
The attorney said that she travelled to Mexico, where she visited the resort where Robinson died, the local police department and the Attorney General’s Office. She demanded that American officials now take jurisdiction. She alleged that while visiting the US Consulate in Mexico, the legal team obtained no information from US officials.
On 24 November, Baja California Sur Attorney General Daniel de la Rosa Anaya issued a warrant for the arrest of one of Robinson’s “friends”, and said her death was the result of “direct aggression”. Last month, Mr de la Rosa Anaya said there would be “no impunity in this case” during a press conference, according to a translation by WSOC.
He said they were working with authorities in the US to extradite a suspect named in the arrest warrant, who has not been officially named. They had also requested permission to interview potential accomplices in Robinson’s death.
But the family’s legal team said that when they inquired about the state of the investigation, US officials turned down their questions.
“In fact, we were almost impeded and advised that if the family needed more information, they should talk with the six travel mates who went to Cabo with Shanquella,” Sue Ann Robinson added. “The level of disrespect to Shanquella Robinson’s dignity, even in death, is unreal.”
She also said the family had tried to follow protocol but grew frustrated after receiving no answers. The Independent has reached out to the FBI and the Department of Justice for comment.
Ms Robinson decried that the people allegedly involved in her daughter’s death have been allowed to go on with their lives while her family continues to grieve.
She told The Independent in December that her daughter left the US on 28 October with a group of six people, who she believed were her friends. On 29 October, the Robinsons were first informed by those individuals that Shanquella Robinson was sick with “alcohol poisoning.”
The friends’ story was discredited when an autopsy released on 10 November revealed that Robinson had suffered a “severe spinal cord injury” and broken neck 15 minutes before her death (the death certificate was obtained by The Independent).
“I couldn’t confront them really, because they were gone,” Ms Robinson told The Independent on Thursday. “I did talk to police. I didn’t talk to the other ones [again] because I didn’t see them anymore. They came [to our home] before the autopsy came. “
Mexican authorities said in a statement that they investigated her death as a feminicide, a term used by local police to describe the homicide of a woman on account of her gender.
Robinson was an entrepreneur and had two businesses — Exquisite Babies and Exquisite Boutique — where she braided children’s hair and sold clothes. She was a student at Winston-Salem State University.
“She was a good person, loved people, loved life,” Ms Robinson said. “You know, she had harder goals. She didn’t mess with nobody.”