NGOs want legal provisions targeting women’s killings in MexicoMarch 10th, 2011 - 11:31 am ICT by IANS
Mexico City, March 10 (IANS/EFE) More than 100 civic groups have called on Mexico’s Congress and state governments to classify slaying of women under a separate category that recognises them as “crimes against gender equality”.
In a notice published in the Mexico City daily El Universal Wednesday, the coordinator of the National Citizens’ Observatory for Femicide, or OCNF, Maria de la Luz Estrada, said that killings of women should be defined in the Mexican Criminal Code as “privation of a woman’s life for reasons of gender”.
A proposal being studied by the non-governmental organizations, experts and the Mexican lower house’s Special Committee on Femicides is based on an Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruling known as the “Cotton Field” case.
The Mexican government has said it will abide by that San Jose, Costa Rica-based court’s decision.
In the IACHR’s Nov 16, 2009, ruling, the court found that Mexico violated the rights to life, personal safety and personal liberty, as well as rights of the child and access to justice and legal protection, in the slayings of Claudia Ivette Gonzalez, Esmeralda Herrera and Laura Berenice Ramos Monarrez.
The bodies of the victims, two of them minors, were found in a cotton field outside Ciudad Juarez - Mexico’s murder capital - in 2001.
The government did not fulfill its duty to investigate, and therefore also failed in its duty to guarantee the victims’ rights to life, personal safety and personal freedom, the IACHR’s ruling said.
In its notice published Wednesday, the NGOs called for the creation of the “autonomous crime” of femicide.
It says murders can be classified as committed for “reasons of gender” based on objective circumstances, including sexual violence against the victim, couple or trust relationships, degrading injuries, threats or harassment, among others.
They also said other circumstances could include instances in which a female victim has been cut off from contact with others or when a woman’s body was dumped in a public place.
In addition to modifications to the federal Criminal Code, the NGOs said legal changes should be made to the Federal Code for Criminal Procedures and the General Law on Women’s Access to a Life Free of Violence to specify procedures regarding preservation of unidentified corpses and the correct means of performing autopsies.
The message was signed by the OCNF and was also endorsed by 49 organizations from the Federal District (Mexico City) and 18 of Mexico’s 31 states, as well as the National Network of Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for Everyone”, which is composed of 70 NGOs.
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Tags: ciudad juarez mexico, cotton field, female victim, femicide, field case, gender equality, inter american court of human rights, ivette gonzalez, legal provisions, maria de la luz, mexico mexico, murder capital, national citizens, ocnf, personal freedom, san jose costa rica, sexual violence, state governments, targeting women, trust relationships