National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape
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Internet victory: Sweet thanks for sweet justice!

Greetings to all 20th-century abolitionists, and any 19th-century ones who may be listening (whose legacy we honor) :) !  Please share this with all your contacts. We are especially pleased that the article below credits our international Internet campaign to overturn the human rights violation made by the Supreme Court of Mexico against women's human rights.  Our meeting face-to-face in October with 7 Congressmembers visiting from Mexico to Berkeley also helped!

The blow-by-blow appears on our web site for the National Clearinghouse On Marital And Date Rape, Berkeley, Ca. USA <>, an astonishing story of a case much like the Dred Scott decision by our own Supreme Court 140 years ago -- husbands granted rights to their wives' bodies which wives can not refuse.

To the best of our knowledge (from six months of media campaigns and searches), no one in the US has covered the actual case though there was an AP story (12/3/97) about the legislators arguing when the lower house of the Congress moved to overturn it -- i.e. the case and its enormous international significance were never mentioned-- so you will have a scoop, should you be interested.

Thanks to all our Mexican, media, campus ministers and international violence against women contacts, keep up the grand work!

Laura X, Director, NCMDR

(Summarized from La Jornada)

MEXICO CITY: With the unanimous vote of the lower house at the end of November and with last week's unanimous vote in the senate, Mexico's congress sent to president Ernesto Zedillo for publication in the "Offical Diary" Article 267 of the Civil Code, the law which overturns intrafamily rape impunity, taking effect on January 1, 1998. Carolina O'Farrill working in the chamber of deputies and Amalia Garcia-Medina in the senate made the following comments to the press on Saturday 13, 1997:

"It is not possible to advance in our new society project, where democracy, respect and justice constitute the axis of living together if the basic unit of our social organization permits -- and attempts to justify -- rape."

"[This law] against intrafamily rape, promoted by president Ernesto Zedillo, set to rebuild family relations once that the emotional and psychological damage to victims had been recognized."


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 for the unanimous votes in both houses of the Mexican congress in the past 15 days.

Mexican supreme court decisions that justified intrafamilial spousal rape were sent out from Mexico to internet organizations; the response being obviously so strong against the previous legal framework that the solidarity of the global village was felt in the legislative sessions for the past four months.

Summary and comments by R. M. Chandler-Burns, Monterrey, Mexico