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Sex in public places: Guadalajara changes laws governing relations in public

In a bid to stop extortion, police can no longer act unless there's a public complaint

Making love without paying extortion is the theme of a new municipal law in Guadalajara that means public displays of affection, including having sex and committing acts of exhibitionism, will only be prosecuted if a formal complaint is filed before authorities.

Municipal council approved reforms that establish that “having sexual relations or [committing] acts of exhibitionism of a sexual nature” in public places, vacant lots, inside vehicles or in private locations in public view will be considered administrative offenses, “as long as a citizen requests” police intervention.

But rather than promoting what some might describe as a loose lifestyle, the new rule was created to prevent municipal police officers from acting upon such acts of their own volition.

Council member Guadalupe Morfín Otero presented the modification to the regulations, explaining that the new rule will keep police from committing extortion against people “giving each other love” in a consensual manner, especially young people.

Morfín, a member of the Citizen’s Movement (MC) party, referred to a survey of university students that showed that 90% of respondents had been victims of extortion by police under threat of overnight arrest for committing immoral or exhibitionist acts.

The cases never reached the justice system, she said, because the police took extortion money from the offenders, “and that’s all that rule was good for.”

Now, municipal police will have to show there was a citizen’s complaint and cases will be decided by a judge.

The measure faced opposition from members of the National Action (PAN) and Institutional Revolutionary (PRI) parties, who considered that the corruption of the police force should be addressed before approving such a modification.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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