National Clearinghouse on
Marital and Date Rape
mirror site: http://members.aol.com/ncmdr
Mexican Supreme Court's women's human rights violation overridden!
See index below to our web pages covering our successful campaign helping to overturn the spousal rape decision in Mexico
" 'What happens if a man ends up with a prostitute because he doesn't want to rape his wife and catches a disease?' -- PAN deputy Jorge Humberto Zamarripa, during the ferocious debate in the lower house of the Mexican Congress." San Francisco Chronicle, Dec.4, 1997
In June 1997 the Supreme Court of Mexico ruled that forcing a spouse to have sex is not rape but a mere ''undue exercise of a right"! (InterPress Service, 16 June 1997.) The wife could not refuse her husband's demands unless he was intoxicated, had VD/AIDS, or others were present.
This was not only a violation of women's human rights according to several international treaties, but also a contradiction of the unanimous resolution on this very issue at the UN conference in Beijing, September '95, which Mexico signed along with every other UN country. The resolution guarantees every woman's right to say no to sex as she wishes, specifically wives (NY Times, 10 Sept. 1995.)
The Mexican Supreme Court had condemned women to sexual slavery in marriage. The definition of involuntary servitude in the U.S. Constitution (13th amendment against slavery and involuntary servitude) is if you can require a specific service of someone and back it up by force. In this situation of cohabitation, the threat of the force is omnipresent. The women of Mexico became political prisoners, victims of repellent, unconscionable government abrogation of individual rights.
It is a crime in all fifty states to rape one's wife in the USA (in most situations), but more importantly, in New York in 1984, the highest court, in the LIBERTA decision, struck down the marital rape exemption as an unconstitutional denial of equal protection and of a wife's right to privacy and bodily integrity. The judge who wrote this opinion believes the Mexican Supreme Court had violated the human rights of women and has supported our demands of the US government to suspend trade and aid to Mexico.
We began an Internet campaign using our email lists and web site, publicizing the Mexico Supreme Court's actions and their email address -- and calling upon groups and individuals to protest at every level including not visiting Mexico and demanding suspension of trade by the US with Mexico until the Mexican government did right by the entire human race.
As the US is supposed to have learned from the Civil War, it is not good even for the master's soul to own another person! Indeed, one of the precipitating factors in that war was our own Supreme Court's disgraceful decision that one person did have a property right in another person, i.e. Dred Scott.
In October we staged a nonviolent protest at a forum ("Mexico at A Crossroads: The Role of the New Congress and The Search for National Consensus") at U.C. Berkeley at which several members of the Mexican Congress participated. We passed out informational fliers about the Mexican Supreme Court ruling and engaged them in discussions regarding this human rights violation. Many of them were unaware of this court ruling and showed concern, promising to take some form of action.
After our global campaign achieved victory when the Law against Domestic Violence passed in the Mexico Congress in December, overriding the Supreme Court's decision, we received this comment from Professor Chandler-Burns of Monterrey, Mexico:
"It would be an understatement to think that the pressure put on the Mexican legislators from outside the country via Internet was minimal. Feminist organizations from Mexico and abroad were in no small way responsible . . . the response [was] obviously so strong against the previous legal framework that the solidarity of the global village was felt in the legislative sessions for the past 4 months."
The courageous Mexican women's groups whom we supported, e.g. Plural Pro-Victims, are reachable through Patricia Mercado at firstname.lastname@example.org. Congratulate her, and please cc Laurax@gte.net. They had a very difficult time because 2 of the 3 authors of the court decision are women, one of whom was a Mexican delegate to the Nairobi UN Conference on Women. Therefore she was quite likely to have known of the international disaster she was creating by breaking the consensus from Beijing, as well as what she was doing to Mexico!
Index To Mexico Campaign Pages
News article, 17 Nov 2005 - Mexican Court Says Sex Attack By a Husband Is Still a Rape
Press release, 27 Dec 1997 - A report from Mexico
Press release, 18 Dec 1997 - Spousal rape decision overturned in Mexico legislation
News article, 4 Dec. 1997 - Lower house in Mexico Legislature votes against spousal rape
Press release, 23 Nov 1997 - Mexico to vote on spousal rape
Protest at UC Berkeley, 24 Oct 1997 - Students protest to Mexico Congress members
Press release, 20 Jul 1997 - Act globally! Mexico says spousal rape is "Undue exercise of a right"
IPS News Story, 16 June 1997 - Mexico says spousal rape is not rape