March 13, 2014 - 15:05 AMT
English journalist visits Mexican embassy in London to tell facts about Khojalu
He turned to me with a serious expression and asked me if I felt concerned for my safety or had received personal threats from Azerbaijan.
After writing to the Mexican Ambassador in the UK on a number of occasions plus many follow-up phone calls on their “recognition” of Khojalu last year, I was finally invited to discuss the subject, in person, at their London office, on March 12, 2014.

Having also written to the Colombian, Czech, and Peruvian embassies, Mexico was the only Embassy that expressed genuine concern about this subject, and particularly the way that their name was being used by Azerbaijan for propaganda purposes. In addition to expressing support for Azerbaijan on Khojalu, Mexico City had also erected a statue of Aliyev in their main public park. This was subsequently removed which resulted in political tension with Azerbaijan.

My meeting with Ambassador Alejandro Estivill was an opportunity to take him through the detail of my article Khojalu: The Deception of Azerbaijan and to explain more of the contextual background to the events as well as ensuring that he fully understood all of the implications. I presented the sequence of events, and the objective source facts. He understood very quickly the issues I was explaining, and saw the questions that this raised with the Azeri propaganda. I asked him to accept that there was significant ambiguity and that perhaps Azeri officials should be invited to answer the questions that he had raised.

Following my original communication he had done his own research in to how Azerbaijan was using the name of Mexico for their own publicity. This was a matter of concern to him. I also highlighted that, externally, it was seen that Mexico was “recognizing” Khojalu in return for investment from Azerbaijan. He assured me that this was not true.

He confirmed that his next action would be to send all of my documentation to Ambassador Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo (Foreign Ministry of Mexico – Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights) in Mexico.

Meeting the Ambassador and communicating the real facts behind Khojalu, highlighting the questions that need to be asked, and so creating a major sense of concern with key officials in the Mexican Government exceeded my initial expectations. Now, Mexico’s unconditional withdrawal of their previous statement on Khojalu is the only final outcome that I will be truly satisfied with.

As I was about to leave his office at the end of the meeting, he turned to me with a serious expression and asked me if I felt concerned for my safety or had received personal threats from Azerbaijan. I smiled, as I knew, for certain, that he had genuinely understood the magnitude of the information I’d just given him.

Russell Pollard, an English journalist and photographer, has visited Nagorno Karabakh 9 times over the last 4 years. He is the founder of the website www.Artsakh.Org.UK and writes regularly on issues relating to Artsakh. He is active in promoting recognition of the current situation from an Armenian perspective and also in influencing an understanding of the truth about the events in and around Khojalu in 1992.

Russell Pollard