CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s been five months since 25-year-old Shanquella Robinson traveled to Cabo with a group of friends. The next day, on Oct. 29, she was dead, with a broken neck and a severed spinal cord according to an autopsy report.
Mexican authorities are investigating the case as a homicide after a video surfaced showing Robinson being brutally beaten during the trip.
They have since filed an arrest warrant and have requested extradition for one American citizen, identified as the aggressor.
So far, no arrests have been made.
Robinson’s family's legal team is asking for the United States government to intervene.
The legal team said they are meeting with White House officials this week, saying it is about time the U.S. steps in so the family can get the justice they deserve.
“Our concern and the urgency, in this case, is that justice delayed could become justice denied because every day that dissipates, every moment that dissipates… witness memories fade, physical evidence dissipates,” Sue-Ann Robinson, the family’s attorney, said.
She traveled to Mexico herself for answers, even visiting the same villa Shanquella Robinson stayed at.
“Just driving there, I was going through all the emotions of, 'Wow, Shanquella was on her way to this vacation, probably just imagining what an amazing time she was going to have,'" Sue-Ann Robinson said. "What a beautiful place she was in and what a celebratory mood she was probably in, never knowing ironically that she would meet her death there.”
She said Mexican authorities told her this case is a priority for them. They started looking into the femicide case once they found out about the video.
“That's when they transition their investigation from an alcohol poisoning death case to a criminal investigation," she said. "And then at that point, they had a witness come in to review the video that had gone viral and identified the aggressor in the video and that person is the main suspect that Mexican authorities have identified during their investigation.”
No other charges have been filed.
“We have located all of the other travel mates, we have not reached out to them, but we are aware that none of them are in custody," Sue-Ann Robinson said. "They are all sleeping in their beds at night. They're not in custody anywhere.”
Sue-Ann Robinson said they want the U.S. government to intervene to either extradite the person identified or ask for a concurrent jurisdiction to do their own investigation.
“Only the United States, the highest office, the president, the department of state really has the authority to do those things, and has the authority to say to the department of justice to say to the head of the FBI, you need to prioritize this case," she said.
The legal team is hoping to find out the status of the case next week.
“The purpose of the meeting is essentially to find out where the United States administration is in the protocol," Sue-Ann Robinson said. "The protocol dictates that the state department has to have communication with Mexican authorities in order to either initiate an extradition process, which would then generate a federal case in the United States."
Sue-Ann Robinson said they do not plan on backing down.
“Our government does not want to set a precedent that you can murder citizens overseas, and then flee back home and get away with it,” Sue-Ann Robinson said. “We are asking for a high level of diplomatic intervention. And if we don't get it by the 200 days, then we'll have to demand louder.”
Sue-Ann Robinson said if there is no action taken by the U.S. within 200 days of Shanquella Robinson’s death, they plan to apply even more pressure and hold a bigger demonstration at the capital.
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