A front-page story by Mary Jordan in today’s Washington Post reminds us how well off women in the United States are, relative to many other parts of the world. “In Mexico, an unpunished crime” examines the astonishingly low rates of prosecution, conviction and punishment for rapists in that country. To wit:
Although the law calls for tough penalties for rape — up to 20 years in prison — only rarely is there an investigation into even the most barbaric of sexual violence. Women’s groups estimate that perhaps 1 percent of rapes are ever punished.
In the pueblos, it gets worse:
Town elders who act as judges in local criminal matters are invariably men. In one village in Guerrero state, elders were recently asked how they punish rape. The six men looked confused, as if they did not know what the term meant. When it was explained to them, they all laughed and said it sounded more like a courting ritual than a crime.
When they stopped laughing, they said a rapist would probably get a few hours in the local jail, or he might have to pay the victim’s family a $10 or $20 fine, but that all would be forgotten if he and the victim got married.
In the case of a cow thief, they said, the robber would be jailed. And, unlike the rapist, a cow thief would be brought before the elders for a lecture about the severity of the crime.
Once again, what could I add?