National: Olimpia Law against Digital Violence Approved at Federal Level

@Karen Castillo

On April 29th, the Chamber of Deputies approved with 446 votes in favor and one against the ruling adding various provisions to the General Law of Access for Women and a Life Free of Violence, as well as the Federal Criminal Code, to sanction digital violence. The so-called ‘Olimpia Law’ establishes as digital violence “any malicious action carried out through the use of technologies… by which images, audios or videos of sexual content of a person are exposed, distributed, disseminated, exhibited or commercialized without their consent and that cause harm.” Also included were those malicious acts that cause harm to the intimacy, privacy and/or dignity of women, committed through information and communication technologies.

Regarding the sanctions, the crime of violation of sexual intimacy will be punished with a penalty of three to six years in prison and a fine of between 44,810 and 89,620 pesos.

The Olimpia Law is an initiative promoted by the Mexican activist Olimpia Coral Melo, who, since 2014 after the dissemination on the internet of a sexual video not authorized by her, has dedicated herself to the visibility and recognition of digital violence in Mexico. The young activist formed the organization Women against Gender Violence and later she founded, together with other women, the National Front for Sorority, whose objective is to prevent online violence and support women who have experienced it.

The Olimpia Law will oblige the authorities to eliminate the content disseminated without the consent of the victims, this through blocking the spaces where the content was published, or, where appropriate, the removal of the content. However, sexting (exchange of intimate material with another person) is not considered a crime, but a sexual right.

Feminist groups from at least ten states in the country, present outside the venue, burst into jubilation when they heard the vote in favor of the Law.

For more information in Spanish:

La Cámara de Diputados aprueba Ley Olimpia y la envía al Ejecutivo (Proceso, 29 de abril de 2021)

Diputados aprueban la ‘Ley Olimpia’, que castiga la violencia digital con hasta 6 años de cárcel (Animal Político, 29 de abril de 2021)

Avala la Cámara de diputados ley Olimpia a nivel nacional (El Universal, 29 de abril de 2021)

La Ley Olimpia, ¿Qué es? Y ¿Cómo surgió? (Somos el Medio, 27 de abril de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Olimpia Law Used for First Time (February 17, 2020)

Oaxaca: Aprueban la ley contra la violencia digital de género (July 12, 2019)

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