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Mexican Pastor accused of raping eight-year-old ordered to buy her father 2 cases of beer

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55-year-old man sexually assaults girl, 8, in remote Mexican area of Santiago Quetzalapa

Victim’s dad reports incident to local political leaders instead of police

Rapist, a man of the cloth, is ordered to settle his abuse of juvenile by purchasing two cases of beer for victim’s dad in stead of regular sanctions

Human rights activists react with anger as the rapist pastor merely gets a slap on the wrist with settling the heinous crime in the ‘traditional’ manner

Pedophile now under arrest

beer in lieu of sanctions.jpg

In situations of sexual violence ‘a lot of cases are settled this way: with a bottle of liquor’

Human rights activists in Mexico are beside themselves with fury after a middle aged man accused of sexually abusing an eight-year old girl was ordered to buy the victim’s father two crates of beer in place of incarceration.
The pedophile man of the cloth had been arrested for aggravated rape, but the matter was not reported to police. Rather it was escalated to local political leaders. Subsequently the accused was given punishment consistent with ‘traditions and customs’ in some indigenous communities. He was ordered to settle the case by purchasing alcohol for the juvenile’s father.

 The predator, a 55-year-old minister, was given the sanction after the victim’s parents complained to the municipal government in Santiago Quetzalapa, a remote indigenous community without road access or cellular phone coverage some 450km south-east of Mexico City.

He was only arrested after Local media coverage of the perpetrator being ‘slapped with loaves of bread’ in place of recognized sanctions led to a public outcry and widespread outrage in the state. The Oaxaca state attorney general’s office said that police arrested the man Friday morning on charges of aggravated rape.


Pro-choice protesters in Mexico City. when 13 year old rape victim was denied the right to abortion

The case has highlights Mexico’s poor record at prosecuting sex crimes, and a unique form of government in Oaxaca state, where many indigenous communities are ruled by an idiosyncratic system popularly known as usos y costumbres (“traditions and customs”).
The Ruta 135 website reports the Santiago Quetzalapa area has a history of abuses which have been handled locally and not attracted the attention of outside authorities.
“There are cases in which there was impunity, there’s no investigation and local prosecutors never receive a criminal complaint,” he said.
The system is supposed to enshrine the traditions of local populations in a state with diverse indigenous populations, but it has been criticized for allowing local leaders to settle disputes according to their own beliefs rather than the written law.
“The argument in these municipalities is that they are governed by their own traditions and customs, but they ultimately end up committing human rights abuses,” Ruta’s editorial director, Helder Palacios said.
Graciela Zabaleta, director of the Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Center in the city of Tuxtepec, points out that in situations of sexual violence “a lot of cases are settled this way: with a bottle of liquor”
Victims and their families, she says, rarely report sex crimes committed against them nor  do they bring their cases to the attention of judicial offices.
Of note is the fact that officials in usos y costumbres communities have previously hid behind the unique framework they operate to exclude women from local government.
In one case, an indigenous woman named Eufrosina Cruz Mendoza won the mayoral election, but was denied office by local leaders because of her gender. Cruz later went on to serve as speaker of the Oaxaca state legislature.
A constitutional amendment in 2015 mandated that women be given equal say in electing and participating in governments in indigenous communities, which have the right to run their own affairs. However for Zabaleta, whose human rights center works on gender equality issues in indigenous communities, there have been improvements over the last 25 years on rights issues.
“When I started, girls were sold for a piece of land or donkeys or for money,” she says. “Things have gotten better.”

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