Mexican Femicide Case to Be Heard by Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Monday, March 16, 2009 11:39 AM

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights submitted a case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in November 2007 against the United Mexican States on a series of femicides, rapes, abductions and other forms of violence against women that have proliferated in Ciudad Juarez along the Mexican-U.S. border since 1993. An estimated 379 women were murdered in Ciudad Juarez between 1993 and 2005. Most of the crimes go unpunished which allows the violence to continue. Most of the women were 15 to 25 years old and were kidnapped, sexually abused and tortured and then killed. Several cases (numbers 12.496, 12.497 and 12.498) have been compiled to form the Campo Algodonero (cotton field) case, named after an area where many murders have occurred.

Upon invitation by the Court, the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and The Center for Justice and International Law submitted an amicus brief to the Court regarding the Campo Algodonero case. The amicus brief notes that “[g]ender stereotyping is a root cause of gender-based violence against women” and that Mexico, as a state party to international instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the American Convention on Human Rights, and the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (also called the Convention of Belém do Pará), is obligated to afford women and men equal protection of and under the law, to end gender stereotyping, and to eradicate violence against women.

If the Inter-American Court makes a decision on the case, it is hoped that it will positively affect the lives of women in Latin America and around the world by upholding women’s rights to equality, freedom from violence and freedom from discrimination.

Compiled from: Campo Algodonero: Claudia Ivette González, Esmeralda Herrera Monreal and Laura Berenice Ramos Monárrez, Application Before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Amicus Brief, 3 December 2008; Amicus Curiae presentado por CEJIL, y Universidad de Toronto, caso algodonero en Cd. Juárez, CENCOS, 4 December 2008; A Case about Violence Against Women, Asociacion por los Derechos Civiles, 25 August 2008.