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Feminicide: TRIAL before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

15.05.2009 ( Last modified: 17.07.2017 )

TRIAL and OMCT submit an amicus curiae brief to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights on the Right to Personal Integrity and the Right to Dignity

In April 2009 TRIAL – through it’s Advocacy Center TRIAL (ACT) – and the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) submitted a joint amicus curiae brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case Campo Algodonero: Claudia Ivette González, Esmeralda Herrera Monreal and Laura Berenice Ramos Monárrez v. Mexico.

This case is of great importance as it is the first one concerning the feminicide in Ciudad Juárez (Mexico) to reach an international human rights court. Since 1993, almost 400 women were abducted, raped and murdered in Ciudad Juárez. Victims were usually young women, between 15 to 25 years of age, belonging to socially disadvantaged groups. Mexican authorities have not responded in a timely and effective manner and conducted inadequate and, in some cases, negligent investigations, thus fostering an ongoing climate of impunity.

A group of women hold a banner with pictures of victims during a demonstration against violence to women in Mexico City, on November 29, 2008. Last November 25 the "Stop Violence Against Women" day was celebrated in Mexico. According to NGO's reports, in the last 18 months 1,014 women have been killed --most of them in domestic violence cases. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo Estrella (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

On 6 and 7 November 2001 the mutilated bodies of Esmeralda Herrera Monreal (14 years old), Laura Berenice Ramos Monárrez (17 years old) and Claudia Ivette González (20 years old), were found abandoned in the city’s outskirts. Municipal, federal and State authorities discriminated the victims and their families, failed to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation, misidentified and mistreated the bodies, failed to gather reliable forensic evidence and resorted to irregularities, including torture to extract confessions. To date, those responsible for the abduction, torture and murder of the young girls have not been identified, judged and sanctioned.

The amicus curiae brief submitted by TRIAL and OMCT focuses on State’s obligations with regards to the right to personal integrity and to the right to dignity, in particular in cases of violence against women and children.

The Inter-American Court held two public hearings on the case on 28 and 29 April 2009 and it will rule in the following months on whether Mexico is responsible for failing to ensure a number of rights enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights, in the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women, and in the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture.

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