Mexico moves to prevent unauthorized sharing of sexual images

Mexico City (AP)-Activist Olympia Coral experienced hell in 2013 when a former boyfriend posted a sexual image of a round in her conservative town in Mexico. Things got worse-shamefully, cyberbullying-she hid in a taxi trunk when she went to her grandmother’s house a few blocks away.

Seven years later, she submitted a federal bill named after her. The Mexican Senate has approved a large sentence for taking or distributing sexually explicit images, either without the consent of a person or through deception.

Proponents of “Olympia’s Law” state that it guarantees the right to personal and sexual privacy and protects the integrity of women.

This was the result of a long-standing struggle by a group of women who were already confident that about 29 of Mexico’s 32 states would adapt existing legislation or pass new legislation against that practice.

But in 2013, Coral was alone in the socially conservative and indigenous town of Huauchinango in central Puebla. Local newspapers even published screenshots of videos showing men having sex with Coral. Only she was identifiable.

“My photo was naked and under the red-letter heading,” Coral recalls months of trials. “I prayed to God to die and went to bed.”

Under new federal law, which now has to be approved by the House of Representatives, her ex-boyfriend could be sentenced to up to six years in prison for posting a video without her consent. The law also covers media publications and allows legal orders to remove such materials.

But when she went to a local prosecutor in 2013, they refused to act, despite the threatening and pornographic messages she flooded.

“Every” like “(the video got) was another blow, like being stabbed with a knife, as if you were raped without being invaded,” she recalls. I will.

The key to her ability to fight back-and to make her proceedings a national cause-was the unwavering support of her illiterate mother and grandmother. According to her mother, sex isn’t shameful and everyone does, but it can steal. Given that her ex stole everything from her-her peace of mind, her ability to roam freely-Olympia began to act.

She connected with other women who had similar experiences. At that time, only Sinaloa had special laws against such crimes.

The National Census Bureau estimates that 9.4 million women in Mexico are affected by online harassment.

However, the law does not necessarily mean that crimes will be punished.

In this week’s survey, activist group “Luchadoras” (or “Fighters”) said women account for 84% of victims of online harassment. According to the report, more than 2,000 investigations have been initiated in the last three years due to fraudulent image sharing, with only 17% having some legal consequences, only 24 being tried and four convicted. was.

“We can admire the fact that we almost have’Olympia’s Law’, but we still have a lot to do,” said Adina Barrera, a gender policy researcher and adviser. I did.

“We have to find out where this violence is happening, how to investigate it, and how to deal with it,” Barrera said.

There are some signs that the problem may have worsened during the pandemic. According to the United Nations Women’s Agency, Internet use increased by 50% to 70% during the pandemic, accompanied by online violence such as pornographic intrusions on Zoom Call.

However, according to Candy Rodríguez, head of the online platform, the surge in Internet use helped “we organized, shed light on quiet violence, and began conversations.”

“Without preventive work, putting people in jail doesn’t help,” she said.

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Mexico moves to prevent unauthorized sharing of sexual images

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