Woman Defending Herself Against Rapist Sentenced To 6 Years In Mexican Prison
A woman defending herself against rapist sentenced to 6 years in Mexican prison. Roxana Ruiz, who fought back and killed a man while defending herself against a brutal rape in 2021, has been sentenced to more than six years in prison.
The decision has sparked outrage among experts and feminist groups, who view it as a reflection of the deep-rooted gender-based violence in Mexico and the country's inadequate record of holding perpetrators of sexual violence accountable.
The ruling against Ruiz has been labeled as "discriminatory" by her legal defense team, who have vowed to appeal the decision.
Ángel Carrera, her defense lawyer, expressed concerns about the message being sent to women.
It would be a bad precedent if this sentence were to hold. It's sending the message to women that, you know what, the law says you can defend yourself, but only to a point. He raped you, but you don't have the right to do anything.- Ángel Carrera, Defense lawyer
Ruiz, who has given permission to be identified and has actively participated in public demonstrations led by supportive activists, has become a symbol for the fightagainst gender-based violence in Mexico.
While the Mexico State court acknowledged that Ruiz had been raped, it still found her guilty of homicide with "excessive use of legitimate defense." The court claimed that hitting the man in the head would have been sufficient for self-defense. Additionally, Ruiz has been ordered to pay over $16,000 in reparations to the family of her attacker.
The incident occurred in Nezahualcoyotl, a municipality in Mexico State known for its alarming rates of femicides and forced disappearances of women. Ruiz, an Indigenous Mixteca woman and a single mother from the state of Oaxaca, encountered the man while working and later allowed him to spend the night at her place.
Roxana Ruiz sentenced to 6 years in prison for eliminating the grapist| Alexee Trevino charged!
However, during the night, he violated her trust by assaulting and raping her. In a desperate attempt to free herself from his grasp, Ruiz fought back, striking him in the nose. As the struggle escalated, she ended up killing him in self-defense.
Ruiz's ordeal continued after the incident when she was arrested by passing police officers after she disposed of the attacker's body. Despite informing the police that she had been raped, crucial forensic evidence was never collected, according to Carrera. Instead, an officer suggested that Ruiz had initially consented to sexual activity but then changed her mind.
I regret what I did, but if I hadn't done it I would be dead today. It's evident that the state wants to shut us up, wants us to be submissive, wants us closed up inside, wants us dead.- Roxana Ruiz in an interview last year
This case sheds light on the pervasive issue of gender-based violence in Mexico. Government data indicates that nearly half of Mexican women have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives.