Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Guerrero community rejects victim of forced marriage and abuse

A 15-year-old girl who was sold into marriage at the age of 11 and jailed after fleeing the home of her allegedly abusive father-in-law cannot live in her hometown in Guerrero due to the hostility of residents.

Angélica, who has accused her father-in-law Rutillo Julián Moreno of attempting to rape her on repeated occasions, returned Monday with her parents to Joya Real, a community in Cochoapa el Grande, with the intention of moving back into their home.

But doing so proved impossible due to residents’ harassment of Angélica, the newspaper Reforma reported.

The sale of girls for marriage is common in the Montaña region of Guerrero, where young wives and would-be wives are stigmatized if they push back against the practice.

The Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center said that Angélica and her family couldn’t stay in Joya Real due to safety concerns.

Rutillo Julián Moreno
Rutillo Julián Moreno allegedly raped his daughter-in-law.

Neil Arias Vitinio, a lawyer with the rights center, said the wooden door of the family’s home had been damaged with a machete.

“The girl’s parents were happy because they had the expectation of [being able] to return to their community, but due to the risky conditions they decided not to stay,” he said.

The youth, who was sold into marriage for 120,000 pesos (US $5,650 at today’s exchange rate), was living with Moreno because her husband had emigrated to the United States in search of work.

She was jailed for 10 days after fleeing his home, and her three little sisters and grandmother were also detained. Angélica’s mother, who was pregnant with triplets, suffered a miscarriage after allegedly being punched by one of the officers at the police lockup where her daughters were being held.

Moreno is currently in prison facing charges of raping Angélica.

Another teenage girl who had been sold into marriage was jailed in Cochoapa el Grande last month after she disappeared on the day of her planned wedding.

With reports from Reforma 

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