Fall is my favorite time of year: the air is cooler, the leaves are pretty, Amnesty International student groups are back together again, and people start signing up for the Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon.
In this—the world’s largest human rights event—we use letters, cards and more to demand the human rights of individuals are respected, protected and fulfilled. We show solidarity with those suffering abuses and work to improve people’s lives.
Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú were raped by soldiers in the Mexican Army in 2002, and have been fighting for their right to hold their perpetrators accountable for their actions. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights just issued a ruling that greatly aids both women in their fight for justice.
On October 1 the Court issued a ruling recognizing that gross human rights violations were committed against both women and their relatives. These violations include impunity for those responsible for the abuses as well the harassment of both the people who have supported the women in their search for justice. The decision categorically stated that both women were raped, and identified serious flaws in the treatment of Inés and Valentina in the investigation of their abuses.
The Court also criticized the State’s attitude towards both women and demanded that certain measures be taken to re-open the criminal investigation, investigate the officials who undermined the investigations, strengthen procedures for investigating rape cases, improve medical care provided to the direct victims and provide redress for both the women, their relatives and community. The Court also emphasized Mexico’s obligation to stop applying military justice when investigating and prosecuting members of the army for human rights violations.
Amnesty International urges the Mexican federal and state authorities to immediately implement all necessary measures to comply with the new judgments made against Mexico by the Inter-American Court with regard to violence against women. It is time to bring justice for Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú!
Claire Lesikar, Campaign for Individuals at Risk, contributed to this post.
Action for Human Rights. Hope for Humanity.