Saturday, January 28, 2023

IACHR court condemns Bolivia for rape without justice

SAN JOSE ( Associated Press) — The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica on Thursday held the Bolivian state internationally responsible for failing to do justice in an investigation into sexual violence committed 20 years ago by plaintiff Brisa Angulo Losada. ,

Angulo Losada decided to take his case before the Inter-American Court after pleading his case in the Bolivian courts and not receiving a judicial response after being re-victimized in those processes for more than 20 years.

At the age of 16, Brisa was the victim of multiple rapes by one of her cousins ​​(10 years older) and filed a complaint in 2002 after a psychologist determined that “she was a minor sexually assaulted by an adult”. Seduced for the purpose of sexually exploiting her.

In the first trial, the rapist was sentenced to seven years in prison for the offense of rape which was later revoked. In a second trial, in 2005, the perpetrator was acquitted but the process was canceled again.

A new trial was set in 2008 in which the accused rapist did not appear because he had fled his country of origin to Colombia. It was not until May 2019 that an extradition request against him was accepted, but the order was canceled and he was released in 2022 due to the “statutory prescription of criminal action in light of Colombian regulations”.

Given these facts, the Inter-American Court points out the State of Bolivia for not addressing the rape of a minor from the point of view of “the intersection between gender and childhood”.

It is also claimed that Brisa had a traumatic experience during the first forensic gynecological examination and was subjected to a second examination in 2008 without any justification.

Furthermore, the Court considered the duration of criminal proceedings excessive and stressed the need for Bolivia to adopt measures so that it would not be necessary to repeat interviews that could lead to re-victimization.

In sentencing, the Inter-American Court ordered several measures of restitution in favor of Angulo Losada and required Bolivia to keep open the criminal proceedings against his attacker, in addition to investigating and finding responsibilities among those officials. who contributed to his re-victimization and irregularities in the legal process

Bolivia must make a public act of acceptance of its responsibility and adjust its laws so that lack of consent is “central and constitutional” to the crime of rape.

The Bolivian state must also implement an awareness and sensitization campaign that confronts socio-cultural patterns that normalize or trivialize adultery in that country.

Nation World News Desk
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