Feminist demonstration in front of the National Palace in Mexico City Barcroft Media / Getty Images
Roxana Ruiz, 21, arrived seven years ago in Nezahualcóyotl, in the State of Mexico, from the municipality of Pinotepan, in Oaxaca. She settled in with her husband and son, who is now four years old; He finished high school and started working at a potato chip stand. But for three months she has been held in a preventive prison in Nezahualcóyotl for killing a man who allegedly raped her and later wanted to kill her. He "outraged" her, "humiliated" her and "hurt" her, according to a letter. This Monday is the second hearing for his case: "He had raped me and I just wanted to defend myself."
On May 8, Ruiz finished her working day and some women who worked in front of her potato stand invited her to have a few beers, reads the letter released by her mother and collected by feminist groups. “I have almost no friends and I agreed. That was the worst mistake, ”writes the woman, who soon after arriving in the State of Mexico separated from her husband. "I just had a beer and told them I was leaving," says the young woman. At that moment, she explains, a boy she knew by sight appeared and offered to accompany her home. “When we arrived he was stupid. He insisted that he lived very far away, that I let him sleep in my room ”. Out of fear, he says, he finally agreed.
Ruiz placed a mat on the floor, but the man climbed onto his bed.
“He began to take off my clothes, he beat me, he raped me.
I was in
I had horrible moments, I felt his breath, his hands, when he penetrated me ”, the woman writes.
She then hit her attacker on the nose, who started bleeding and threatened her.
"You're going to die," he said and kept hitting him.
In a moment of distraction, Ruiz says, he took a T-shirt and suffocated him.
“I didn't want him to hurt anyone else.
I felt alone, denigrated ”.
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Ruiz was detained by the police in Nezahualcóyotl, one of the most dangerous municipalities in the State of Mexico for women, with the corpse of the alleged assailant in a bag. “I told them that I had murdered him,” he says in the letter he wrote from the Bordo de Xochiaca penitentiary and continues: “I insisted that I was raped, but they never performed tests on me (…), they did not take photographs, they did not take into account my statement ”. Ruiz was sent to preventive prison accused of homicide and a crime against respect for the dead since, according to a statement from the Prosecutor's Office, the body was cut into different parts. The public prosecutor highlights in its letter that "both the victim and the woman were ingesting alcoholic beverages," but it does not mention Ruiz's statements.
"At no time has the authority investigated this process with a gender perspective," criticizes Elsa Arista, a member of the collective We want to live in Nezahualcóyotl.
In that municipality there has been an alert for femicides since 2015 and another for disappearances since 2018. "We are surprised that the authority continues to work in this way even though we have an alert," says Arista, who complains that the police do not apply the corresponding protocols. and continues: "We are concerned that those who are judging do not take into account the context in which women are living in the State of Mexico."
Image spread on social networks of the collective We want to live Neza.RR.
When the collective was founded four years ago, seven women were murdered every day by sexist violence in Mexico; currently, there are almost 11 femicides a day, according to official statistics. In the first five months of 2021, femicides have increased by 7.1% compared to the same period of the previous year, according to data from the Ministry of Public Security. Other crimes such as rapes have still grown more: 30% compared to the same months of 2020, according to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System. “We have not advanced because there is no political will from the governments. We are not a priority for them ”, assures Arista and adds:“ Defending life is a right that we exercise because the State is not guaranteeing us ”.
This Monday, Ruiz awaits the second hearing of his case.
His mother will travel from Oaxaca to be present.
The first lawyer the family hired "did not help the case," according to the young woman, who now has a public defender.
“If I had not defended myself, I would be one more on the list of disappeared or murdered.
My only crime was defending myself from the man who raped me ”, he laments.
As she writes, she is not optimistic about the outcome of her case: “I know that I will be condemned for defending my body, for defending myself as a woman, for having punished my attacker, for not keeping quiet and for having acted (…) Maybe I should have letting my attacker get away with it so I don't have to live what I'm living ”.
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