On 21 April, the plenary of the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) began a discussion regarding the sentence provided by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in August 2010 which condemned the Mexican State for the violation of the human rights of Valentina Rosendo Cantú and Inés Fernández Ortega, indigenous women who were sexually assaulted by soldiers in Guerrero state in 2002.
Valentina and Inés have requested that the SCJN treat their case as it did the Radilla case (a forcible disappearance, also from Guerrero state) to determine the obligations of the judiciary amidst the sentences emitted by the IACHR. They believe that the discussion within the Supreme Court is critically important, as this could lead to penal processes against soldiers with a focus on sexual torture and the administration of justice with a sensitivity to matters of gender and ethnicity, among other questions.
The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, which has provided counsel for the two indigenous women, has declared that the process of debate “opens the possibility that the SCJN would recognize the symbolic struggle for justice that both women have undertaken, and to hand down criteria that would help indigenous women experience better conditions in their search for justice. Above all, it would contribute to the cause of having sexual torture by investigated and adequately judged in Mexico.”
However, during one of the initial sessions, the SCJN decided to exclude from consideration the constitutionality of part II of the new article 57 of the Military Justice Code, which has to do with military tribunals. Civil-society organizations present at the session expressed their concern due to this evident lack of concern for a deep analysis of the question.
For more information (in Spanish):
COMUNICADO “Inicia la SCJN discusión sobre las obligaciones del Poder Judicial de la Federación frente a las sentencias dictadas por la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos en los casos de Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo” (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 21 de abril de 2015)
Discute SCJN sentencia de CIDH por violación a indígenas en 2002 (La Jornada, 21 de abril de 2015)
Resoluciones de COIDH son obligatorias (El Universal, 21 de abril de 2015)
SCJN no revisará ley militar en caso de Valentina Rosendo e Inés Fernández (La Jornada, 23 de abril de 2015)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):