Congressman Tim Ryan – “Brazil Revokes Claudia Hoerig’s Citizenship”

Jul 31, 2013 Issues: Justice for Karl Hoerig

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan announced today that the Brazilian government has revoked Claudia Hoerig’s Brazilian citizenship—the first step in the process of extraditing her to the United States to stand trial for the 2007 murder of her husband, U.S. Air Force Reserve Major Karl Hoerig. The announcement comes shortly after legislative efforts by Congressman Ryan garnered international attention to the case. Until now, Brazil’s refusal to extradite any of its own citizens has been the main barrier towards extraditing Claudia. Congressman Ryan had petitioned Brazil to revoke Claudia’s citizenship so the extradition could move forward.

Major Karl Hoerig was found shot to death in his Newton Falls home on March 15, 2007. Claudia Hoerig fled to her native Brazil to evade arrest and trial by taking advantage of Brazil’s constitutional provision prohibiting the extradition of its citizens. She became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in September 1999 but continued to claim her Brazilian citizenship.

For over six years, Claudia Hoerig has lived as a free citizen in Brazil despite being accused of murdering her husband, Major Karl Hoerig, in cold blood,” said Congressman Ryan. “With the help of Karl’s family, a dedicated group of his supporters and Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins and his team, I have worked hard to bring Claudia Hoerig back to the United States to face prosecution for murder. Karl Hoerig flew nearly 200 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now it is our duty to honor his memory and service to our country by seeking justice for him and his family members.”

Since the time Claudia fled to Brazil, Congressman Ryan has been relentless in pursuing justice for Karl Hoerig’s family. Ryan has introduced a bill and a companion amendment to this year’s Homeland Security Appropriations bill to suspend visas for Brazilian nationals and he also introduced legislation that suspends foreign aid to Brazil until Claudia is returned. Ryan’s measure to suspend visas made headlines across the U.S. and Brazil—bringing significant attention to the case in Claudia’s native country. In addition, Congressman Ryan has written many letters over the years to both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama Administrations and multiple Brazilian officials.

“I am very encouraged to see such progress finally being made in this case,” added Congressman Ryan, “and I will continue to monitor the cooperation of the Brazilian government until justice is served. While I remain hopeful that we are one step nearer to achieving some measure of closure for family of Karl Hoerig, we must be mindful that no matter the fate of Claudia Hoerig, our community and the Hoerig family has lost a hero and a model citizen.”

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