National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape
 mirror site:

Mexico Debates Spousal Rape!

3 Dec 1997: Victory in the House! See AP story below. Please send us others. All the background is on this web site:

Press release, 23 Nov 1997 - Mexico to vote on spousal rape
Protest at UC Berkeley, 24 Oct 1997 - Students protest to Mexico Congress members
Press release, 20 Jul 1997 - Act globally! Mexico says spousal rape is "Undue exercise of a right"
IPS News Story, 16 June 1997 - Mexico says spousal rape is not rape

Write ASAP letters of support for their next action re the Senate to: "Diversa, Asociacion Politica Feminista-PATY " (alternate email:, with a copy to us at the National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape, please, at (fax 510-524-7768).

Mailing address:

Patricia Mercado
Coatepec No. 1 Interior 5
Col. Roma Sur
TEL. 011 525 264-30-63
FAX 011 525 264-31-52

Patricia Mercado is one of the women most active in trying to get the legislature to overrule their Supreme Court decision last spring which said spousal rape was not rape, just a mere "undue exercise of a right", a right which can NOT be refused except if he has VD, AIDS, is drunk or other people are watching! (No joke, the report is at the top of our website home page.) At the request of the women in Mexico, we have been campaigning nationally and internationally to stop relations with Mexico until they right this wrong against women's human rights, and against their own signature on international laws and resolutions.

After 7 months of US media silence - despite our campaign, we are gratified to see the news breaking at last! The BBC was the first to call early this AM, wanting to know if our campaign to criminalize marital rape in all 50 US states was successful.

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Women legislators and activists were exuberant Wednesday over Congress' approval of a hotly debated bill that would make rape by a spouse a crime.

The Law against Domestic Violence outlines prison sentences of between eight and 14 years for those convicted.

"This bill is a victory that women have been looking for for many years," independent congresswoman Carolina O'Farril said.

The measure, which passed the lower house 254-90 on Tuesday, split the three major parties. Some members of the right-center National Action Party objected to treating husbands the same as strangers in rapes.

"Should a husband be given the same sentence as a rapist?" asked National Action congressman Emilio Gonzalez.

If approved by the Senate, the bill would go to Mexico's president to be signed into law.

Expert reports prepared for the debate indicate that domestic violence - including beatings, rape and psychological abuse - is on the rise but is seldom reported and even more rarely punished.

For years, women's groups, the Roman Catholic Church and other organizations have demanded stronger punishment to crack down on domestic violence. House and Senate committees have been lobbying for the bill for more than a year.

The campaign picked up momentum following July 6 elections in which the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party lost its absolute majority in Congress.