Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Woman sought help 16 times before ex-husband ran her down and killed her

A Jalisco woman went to the state’s Center for Women’s Justice 16 times to ask for protection from her abusive husband before he stabbed her to death in front of the governor’s mansion last April.

The state’s Human Rights Commission (CEDHJ) revealed in a report that Vanesa Gaytán Ochoa, 25, first sought help on September 21, 2017. Her last attempt for protection was on April 13, 2019; she was killed 12 days later.

On April 25, Gaytán was going to work when she realized her ex-husband, Irwin Emmanuel Ramírez Barajas, was following her in a vehicle despite three orders that he refrain from making contact with her. When she phoned relatives and her lawyer to relate what was happening, they advised her to go to Casa Jalisco for aid.

Gaytán took a taxi to the mansion but Ramírez caught up with her there and struck her and a government official with his vehicle before stabbing her to death. He was then shot by a security detail.

Ramírez died later in hospital.

An investigation by the rights commission found deficiencies in the way Gaytán’s case was handled by the Center for Women’s Justice. Although she took witnesses with her each time to corroborate the threat against her, the department passed its responsibilities on to other public institutions “despite being aware of the risk” and isolation in which she lived.

“The efforts to prove the degree of participation of the killer were null and void and [the CEDHJ] didn’t even try to locate or inhibit him from carrying out illegal activities,” said the commission in a petition to state authorities.

“Without a doubt this constituted a cause for the aggressions against the victim not only to go unpunished, but also led to [Ramírez] taking her life.”

The commission stated that the three protection orders issued for Gaytán were inadequate, ineffective and imprecise, and did not take into account the previous incidents of gender violence she had suffered at the hands of her husband.

“From the evidence in the case file, it is not observed that the staff of the public prosecutor’s office followed a clear and serious line of investigation aimed at verifying the crime and sanctioning the man responsible,” said the CEDHJ.

The commission requested that state authorities begin inquiries into 12 public officials for negligence.

It also requested support for Gaytán’s mother and son so they could obtain their own housing, receive psychological help and rebuild their lives.

Lastly, the CEDHJ requested that the Jalisco legislature make the reforms necessary to standardize the definition of orders and protective measures in the state.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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