The Inter-American Commission on Human rights has claimed that Mexico has insufficiently investigated the sexual abuse of women detained in police custody following protests in 2006. Reports of the women indicate that they were raped, beaten and repeatedly humiliated. Following the abuse, five of the women were unlawfully prosecuted for unrelated events. In the last 10 years, they have faced threats and intimidation.


The women, however, have continued to fight and have brought the case to the international level. They refused to settle in the past, pushing for full accountability of the crimes and the role of the state in covering them up.

President Enrique Pena Nieto’s role is also being questioned as he was the governor at the time of the abuse.  Mexico may have to investigate its own president if the Inter-American Court agrees with the commission.


Until now, all of the perpetrators, including doctors who ignored evidence of sexual abuse, have escaped with impunity.

The stories of these women show how they still suffer – many immensely – from the abuse to this day, illustrating the need for quality services and justice. The fact that the abusers have not been punished also has an extremely negative impact on their well-being. Consequences that even now linger on include suicidal thoughts, immense fear, anger, dropping out of school and the weakening of relationships with friends and family members.  Prosecution at the international level, a result of their own power, will be a significant step in their recovery.

The Mukwege Foundation encourages, admires and supports the survivors for not giving up and for demanding their rights.


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