The favorite law of the Spanish government, the one that the PSOE and Unidas Podemos assured that they would move forward in the 2019 coalition agreement, thanks to which they govern Spain, only brought them headaches: its application caused disastrous consequences and "adjust" it to deal with of remedying the evils that it causes faces them, once again, with
more wear and tear as government partners
This is the Organic Law for the Comprehensive Guarantee of Sexual Freedom, known as "the law of only yes is yes": it
focuses on consent
, which becomes decisive when judging sexual crimes.
The new law establishes that any sexual act in which consent has not been mediated will be considered sexual assault.
It no longer distinguishes between abuse and aggression and
broadens punishable behaviors
by considering that aggression does not need violence or intimidation to be valued as such.
Those who have suffered any type of sexual assault will no longer have to prove that they were victims of violence or that they resisted.
The measure was celebrated as a crucial achievement of the Ministry of Equality, in the hands of Podemos through its minister, Irene Montero.
"Finally our country recognizes by law that consent is what has to be at the center of all our sexual relations," Minister Montero, the main spokesperson for the law that was born as a claim in controversial cases such as that of La Manada, the gang rape suffered by a 21-year-old girl during the Sanfermines in 2016.
The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez.
Benefit for rapists?
What the new law did not contemplate was that, by modifying the range of some penalties, the regulations benefited
rapists and sexual offenders who could request the review of their sentences and be favored
How it happened.
The crime of assault, for example, now corresponds to a sentence of four years in prison, while in the previous Penal Code it was a crime punishable by six years in prison.
Since the entry into force of the only yes is yes law, four months ago, in Spain there have been more than 300 sentence reductions that have caused panic among the victims and concern in society.
“Machismo can cause judges to apply a law defectively,” Minister Montero tried to defend herself when the trickle of people convicted of sexual crimes began asking to review their cases.
A protest in Pamplona, in 2018, after the controversial ruling against the rapists of a young woman.
Tough challenge for Pedro Sánchez
The leaders of Podemos insisted, from the outset, that it was not a problem of the norm, but of the
made by some provincial courts and hearings.
President Pedro Sánchez, who referred to the law as "a feminist conquest to reinforce women's security", resisted and tried to keep the new regulations intact until now.
But this 2023 will be
a huge challenge
for him and he is not willing to take false steps.
Starting in May there will be municipal, regional and general elections.
And the leader of the PSOE aspires to dilute the political cost that the contradictions of the law of the only yes is yes can cause him.
For this reason, for days, members of the government and senior party officials have been "leaking" that
they are working on a "correction"
of the norm.
"The best way to defend the law is to carry out the technical adjustments to prevent these (adverse) effects from occurring," said Isabel Rodríguez, Minister of Territorial Policy and government spokesperson, on Tuesday at the weekly press conference held takes place at the Palacio de la Moncloa after the cabinet meeting every Tuesday.
"The problem has been related to penalties and, therefore, where these technical works are taking place between (the ministries of) Justice and Equality is precisely in adjusting, from the legal and technical point of view, so that it does not occur this decrease in the sentence and, therefore, those advantages in those who have been convicted of sexual assaults”, added the spokeswoman.
The Ministry of Equality made public its willingness to increase some minimum sentences for the most serious crimes, but refuses to "touch or modify" the concept of consent.
They consider it the fundamental axis of the new law.
Podemos is also not willing to add clauses that imply the reintroduction into the Penal Code of violence and intimidation to assess penalties, as the previous law on sexual crimes did, a possibility that the PSOE does consider.
The leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, and Pedro Sánchez, in a 2020 image. The coalition is weakening.
"The PSOE liked this law, Pedro Sánchez liked this law and he said it publicly," added the former vice president and former leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias.
"A president of the government has to have enough political stature to keep his word despite the media pressure from the right and the extreme right," said Iglesias.
"Suggest to your government partner that either you accept what I do, which is to end the law of only yes is yes, which is to betray the women who demonstrated, or I agree with the PP (People's Party), well good Good luck. If Pedro Sánchez agrees to this with the PP, he will pay for it," warned the former vice president.
“The government has never considered touching even a comma when it comes to consent.
Consent is the essence of this standard.
It will not be touched.
Nor is it hidden that it is a complex reform to ensure that these undesired effects in its application continue to occur ”, the minister spokesperson for the Sánchez government remarked on Tuesday.
“This is a desired norm, which was inspired by the feminist movement after that sentence (that of La Manada) that froze our souls at all.
We protested in the streets and fortunately today it is in the BOE (Official State Gazette) to respond to these women, but once it has entered into force, it has been detected that these effects have been produced in its application that we did not even want it was the will of the norm”, insisted the minister.
The case of the Pack
In 2018, a first sentence sentenced the five friends who had violated the girl in the 2016 Sanfermines to 9 years in prison for sexual abuse.
The members of La Manada, however, continued on provisional release.
A year earlier, the victim's statement had been questioned because a private report commissioned by the defense of the defendants doubted that the young woman would have been able to "lead a normal life" again after the assault that she herself had denounced.
The government of Navarra, whose Court had sentenced La Manada, then appealed the sentence to the Supreme Court.
Demonstrations in favor of the victim and the video "Sister, I do believe you" in which dozens of voices supported what the young woman declared and which went viral triggered a public hearing in 2019 where
the Supreme Court sentenced her to 15 years in prison. for raping
the five members of La Manada who were immediately arrested.
The Court also found aggravating circumstances for vexatious treatment and for having acted in a group.
“This law was approved by the Council of Ministers, it spent another year in parliament and received the support of more than 200 deputies in Congress and the Senate.
I am convinced that none of those 200 deputies wanted the undesired defects that are taking place and that have generated a social concern that we, from the government, make our own," said the Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, Félix Bolaños, on Tuesday. .
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