Listen to this article Prosecutors In Mexico Drop Case Against Woman Imprisoned For Killing Man In Self-Defense
Decision to Drop the Case Sparks Outrage
Mexican prosecutors have announced their decision to drop the case against a woman who was previously sentenced to six years in prison for killing a man while he was raping and attacking her. The ruling, delivered by a court in Mexico State, has caused public outcry and raised concerns about the criminalization of sexual violence survivors.
Feminist Groups Protest and Demand Justice
Feminist groups, staunch supporters of the woman, express their anger and protest against the ruling. They condemn the perpetuation of a system that protects perpetrators of gender-based violence while criminalizing survivors. In Mexico City, protesters take to the streets, holding signs that boldly declare, “Defending my life isn’t a crime.”
Roxana Ruiz’s Fight for Justice
Roxana Ruiz, an Indigenous woman and single mother, speaks out about the court’s decision. She shares her experience of receiving death threats and expresses concerns for the safety of her family, particularly her 4-year-old son. Ruiz firmly believes that the ruling is a miscarriage of justice, emphasizing that she acted in self-defense to protect her own life.
Presidential Pardon and Legal Defense
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador responds to the public outcry by announcing his intention to seek a pardon for Ruiz. However, her lawyers argue that accepting a pardon would imply admitting guilt, which contradicts Ruiz’s unwavering claim of innocence.
State Prosecutor’s Office Reverses Course
In a press release issued on Saturday night, the state Prosecutor’s Office declares that it has thoroughly reviewed the case, considering Ruiz’s vulnerable status. Consequently, they determine that she is “exempt from guilt” and affirm that her actions were acts of self-defense.
Celebration and Hope for Future Cases
Ruiz’s defense lawyer, Ángel Carrera, celebrates the decision to drop the charges, perceiving it as an acknowledgment of her innocence. Although he has yet to receive formal notification, Carrera considers this development a significant step towards justice. He hopes that this case sets a precedent for thorough investigation and sensitive treatment of gender-based violence cases in the future.
Background and Circumstances
The incident occurred in May 2021 when Ruiz was working as a french fry vendor in Nezahualcoyotl, a municipality in Mexico State known for femicides and forced disappearances of women. She had a drink with a friend and an acquaintance from the neighborhood, who later offered to stay the night due to the late hour. While sleeping in separate beds, the man attacked and raped Ruiz, prompting her to defend herself.
Disputes and Controversies
The court justifies Ruiz’s actions by claiming that the man was rendered unconscious after being struck on the head, thereby validating her self-defense. However, Carrera challenges this assertion, considering it unsubstantiated. He argues that there is no definitive evidence proving the attacker lost consciousness during the struggle.
Failures in Investigation and Forensic Examination
Despite Ruiz reporting the rape to the police, no forensic examination was conducted—a critical step in sexual violence cases. Instead, an officer responded dismissively, suggesting that Ruiz had initially consented to sexual activity and later changed her mind.
Alarming Statistics and the Fight for Gender-Based Violence Prevention
Government data reveals that almost half of Mexican women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. Additionally, in 2022, a staggering total of 3,754 women—averaging ten per day—were killed in Mexico, with only a third of the cases investigated as femicides.
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