Saturday, December 2, 2023

Rape and murder of 3-year-old reignites chemical castration discussion

The rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl in Tepic, Nayarit, has revived debate in the state government on the merits of punishing sex offenders with chemical castration.

Michel Aylin was sexually abused and suffocated to death on Sunday while in the care of her stepfather, who took the girl’s lifeless body to the hospital. She was pronounced dead upon arrival, but medical staff noticed clear signs of repeated physical and sexual abuse on her body.

Both the stepfather and the child’s grandfather, who has a history of sexual abuse of a minor dating back to 2014, have been arrested as authorities investigate her molestation and death.

Nayarit Governor Antonio Echevarría García condemned the toddler’s death. 

“The loss of life hurts in any case, but it goes deep when it comes to girls or boys,” he wrote on social media. “As a citizen, I join the demand for clarification of the case, demanding that the Attorney General’s Office carry out the necessary investigations and that whoever is responsible for this brutal crime be punished with the full weight of the law.”

If Rodolfo Pedroza Ramírez has his way, in Nayarit that could soon include chemically castrating that person.

Since March 2019, the National Action Party (PAN) deputy has voiced his support for including chemical castration in the state penal code as a punishment for people who rape women and children. The measure had stalled out but is seeing new support as outrage grows over what happened to Michel. 

The topic has bounced around the halls of justice in Mexico for years, but no state has yet approved the practice.

Earlier this month Deputy José Juan Espinosa of Puebla proposed chemical castration for sex offenders in his state. “Enough of being lukewarm on combating perverse behaviors that hurt the children of our state,” the legislator posted to his Twitter account. “I understand the issue of human rights of criminals, but I think that we also have to think about the victims and try to control this type of behavior,” he said.

The human rights advocacy organization Human Rights Watch considers chemical castration, which uses hormones to lower testosterone levels and reduce men’s sex drive, a cruel and degrading form of corporal punishment, which the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights both prohibit.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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