Source: El Proceso (Patricia Chandomí)
On 10 February 2012 was released the Tsotsil indigenous woman Margarita López Gómez who had been held in prison for seven years, accused unjustly of homicide for the death of her husband.
“In October, 2004, MARGARITA and her eldest daughter of 15 years denounced before the indigenous judge for peace and conciliation in San Miguel Mitontic, Chiapas, the acts of domestic violence and sexual assault to which her daughter had been subjected by her father JUAN VELASCO LOPEZ, from whom she had also borne two sons. As the authorities did not follow up with the denunciation JUAN continued to violate his family in impunity. On 24 January 2005, the eldest daughter discovered that her father meant to abuse his daughter of 5 years and then hit him him with a branch until he died. In light of the acts, Margarita and her daughter are found guilty by the judge who knows of the event. The daughter was released in 2008 after three years.”
By means of a translator Margarita told in press conference that it was when she was 12 years old that she became partner to Velasco López. Shortly therafter, they left to live in the Montecristo neighborhood, Venustiano Carranza municipality, in the center of the state, where the acts occurred. Margarita denounced that her husband caused domestic and sexual violence. Accompanied by members of the Center for the Rights of Women, she said she felt “very happy and content” following her release, and she also expressed her gratitude to those who contributed to her liberation.
For more information (in Spanish):
El calvario de Margarita López, una indígena tzotil, Proceso, 10 February 2012
Rechaza ayuda oficial la indígena tzotzil excarcelada ayer en Chiapas, La Jornada, 12 February 2012
Comunicado Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, Zapoteando, 10 February 2012
Mujeres indígenas sufren violencia y las encarcelan (CIMAC, 10 February)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: activities on the International Day against Violence against Women (28 November 2011)