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  • According to official statistics, 63 percent of Mexican women over 15 years of age have experienced some form of gender violence.

    According to official statistics, 63 percent of Mexican women over 15 years of age have experienced some form of gender violence. | Photo: teleSUR / Clayton Conn

Women's rights advocates have pointed out that the cases are emblematic of a systemic problem of victim blaming and impunity for sexual abuse.

Mexican courts let off two rapists this week who abused underaged girls in the state of Veracruz, ruling in one case that the perpetrator wasn’t guilty because he didn’t personally “enjoy” the abuse and in the second instance that the victim didn’t resist her rapist enough, even though she was likely drunk.

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A judge acquitted 21-year-old Diego Cruz Alonso Monday, saying that when he groped and penetrated a 17-year-old girl with his fingers he had not had “carnal intent” and did not “enjoy” it. Rather than a sexual act, the judge ruled, Cruz’s behaviour constituted “incidental touching or rubbing.”

Cruz was one of four wealthy young men, nicknamed “Los Porkys,” who snatched their teenage girl classmate and abused her in the back of a car after a party in 2015. The victim reported that Cruz, 19 at the time, and Jorge Coahuila groped under her skirt and shorts in the car and another one of the young men, Enrique Capitaine Marin, later raped her.

The case attracted national attention, and the slow investigation garnered heavy criticism, becoming a hallmark of the lack of justice for women victims of sexual abuse and violence, especially when members Mexico’s wealthy elite are the perpetrators.

Now, the judge’s decision to acquit Cruz has again sparked outrage with many slamming the ruling on social media.

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In a separate case in Veracruz, a judge ruled that Jose Francisco Pereda Ceballos did not have to go to trial for raping a girl, even after a video of the incident was circulated online, Mexico’s Animal Politico reported Thursday.

According to court documents to which the local media outlet had access, the judge ruled that there was not “sufficient evidence” that the victim was raped against her will, dismissing experts opinions that have said that the girl was intoxicated and in a lethargic state, as shown in the video.

Advocates have argued that the acquittals are emblematic of the systematic problem of victim blaming

“It hasn’t been understood that sexual violence is not always an issue of uncontrollable instinct but of power, domination and abuse,” human rights lawyer Karla Michelle Salas told Animal Politico, adding that if women don’t fit the “stereotype” of victims then they are seen as consenting to their rapists.

“Unfortunately sexual violence in this country is the only crime where the victims are the main suspects,” she added.

According to Mexico’s National Institute for Women, more than 80 percent of sexual assaults in the country are not reported, partly because injustice and impunity is the norm for most cases that make it to court.

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