Hiding Under the Bed Is Not the Answer

Judge in Mexico Overturns 23-Year Prison Sentence of Mother Accused of “Murdering” her Fetus

This is a post about good news. On Thursday an appeal judge in Mexicali, Baja California released Lesly Karina Díaz Zamora, 21, who had been sentenced to a 23 year prison term in January on the charge of “murder by a relative” (homicidio por razón de parentesco) after suffering a spontaneous miscarriage. Díaz Zamora had already spent two years in remand without bail prior to this. Details can be found about the charges and the campaign in favour of her release in my previous posts here and here. (An additional report in English from the online newspaper MexicoPerspective.com can be also found on their website). After considering the case for appeal the judge ruled that Díaz Zamora had no charges to answer and ordered her to be immediately exonerated and released. It can only be hoped that this young women, who already has a five-year old child, will be able to rebuild her life after such a traumatic ordeal and will not have to go on suffering the prejudices of a society which labelled her a murderer on the most flimsy of evidence.

Unfortunately, many more women are in Díaz Zamora’s situation in Baja California and other states in Mexico. As I have documented, it is a sadly common practise in Mexico to prosecute women for the charge of “murder by relative” if they are suspected of having an abortion. This is because the law does not allow prolonged custodial sentences for abortion, while the charge of murder can be punished with sentences of up to 25 years, as was the case for Díaz Zamora. Freeing these women must be our next priority.

Filed under: Feminism, Human Rights in Mexico, Women's Right to Choose, , , ,

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