Mexico: Women face risks at home and at school (Part 2)

By Sara Lovera

Mexico, April (SEMlac). – Women face risks at home and school, and
 administrative/criminal proceedings are usually cumbersome for victims.

 Two administrative proceedings were undertaken by students and professors at
 the Autonomous University of Mexico City (UACM) in 2013. The cases were
 taken by law experts at the same university, and the final decision was to
 fire the abusers.

 One of them, Enrique González, filed suit at the Conciliation and
 Arbitration Board and is likely to be back to work, despite the opposition
 of most faculty members.

 Jurist Medina regretted that some human-rights specialists do not seem to
 recognize that sexual harassment is extremely serious.

 The university rector has implemented no damage reparation action and has
 instead allowed the professor in question in.

 Harassers everywhere

 “Martha” reported her case to the Office of the Government Attorney in
 October 2014, shortly after she was raped by a colleague at the UNAM
 Institute of Nuclear Sciences.

 The rapist was Víctor H. Flores, a post-graduate student. After 15 months of
 litigation, he had a committal order issued against him.

 Last January 10, Martha learnt that the Honor and Justice Commission had
 decided not to impose any sanction on Flores, because the event had occurred
 outside the institute’s premises.

 Another case

 Last April 10, a press release by the Office on Human Rights, Crime
 Prevention and Community Services indicated that a former UNAM employee had
 been sentenced to nine years in prison for having sexually abused an
 administrative assistant at the city council.

 Explosive data

 Around 600,000 sexual crimes are committed every year in Mexico, according
 to a report of the Executive Commission on Victims Care (CEAV).

 Over 2.9 million crimes of such a nature were committed in the 2010-2015
 period alone, it also revealed.

 Out of 20,000 reports, 5,000 have involved students.

 Only at UNAM, 49.3 percent of students (34,000) said they have endured some
 form of harassment at the university, according to a survey conducted by the
 Gender Equity Program (PUEG).

 Protocols

 A research work by Arturo Ilizaliturri showed that UNAM and the University
 of Guanajuato have draft protocols under review and approval, while UACM has
 a procedure already in place.

 No major private university has an appropriate protocol under
 implementation, while some others have rules and regulations that stipulate
 that sexual harassment is considered an offense against discipline.

 In 2014, the Institute of Technology in Monterrey developed a procedure to
 deal with sexual harassment situations, but local authorities told
 Ilizaliturri that it is no longer being implemented.

 The rules at the Pan American and Iberian American universities impose
 sanctions on sexual harassers, but those at Anáhuac do not even mention the
 issue.

 At the other end of the spectrum, the Autonomous University of Guadalajara,
 which is privately owned and Christian, expressly bans women from wearing
 transparent blouses and short skirts.

 According to the General Law on Women’s Access to Violence-Free Settings,
 educational centers should formulate and implement programs for the early
 detection of acts of violence against women. However, this law has for 11
 years been dead letter at higher education facilities.

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