On the 15th of April, in Lima, Perú, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights listened to the final oral testimonies of the case of Fernández Ortega vs. México (personal integrity and access to justice). Inés Fernández is an indigenous activist from Guerrero who reported being raped by Mexican military forces in 2002. Before the Court, representatives of the Mexican government responded to the allegations by stating that Fernández was lying. The director general of Human Rights and Democracy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alejandro Negrín, who represents the Mexican state, affirmed “we deny the accustation, since there is no evidence.”
Gisela de León, lawyer from the Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil), who is part of the legal defense team for Fernández, said it was “grave” that the government did not recognize the crime, ” despite all the evidence.” Council stressed that, in addition to the testimony of Fernández, there was that of her children, who were present during the events. Additionally, a medical test was done that confirmed the presence of semen in her body and a psychological examination that also showed Fernández had suffered a traumatic event. Council also recalled that they can confirm the military presence during the date and time of the crime.
The legal representatives of the state and of Fernández have until the 24th of May to present written closing arguments, after which the Inter-American Court will consider the case and issue its decision.
For more information (in Spanish):
Before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, authorities claim that indigenous woman who claimed to have been raped by soldiers is lying (La Jornada, 16 April)