Sandra Peniche Quintal
Humanitarian Services in Sexual and Reproductive Health
Defense of sexual and reproductive rights
Attempted homicide; violation of the right to truth, justice and reparation
THE FACTS – On March 13, 2018, Sandra Peniche was the target of attempted homicide by an assailant who attacked her with a knife. The Second Supervisory Court of the First Judicial District of the Oral Acusatory Criminal Justice System of the State of Yucatan recently convicted the perpetrator of “aggravated assault,” thereby reducing the severity of the attack and disregarding international standards regarding the protection of human rights defenders.
In the current context of impunity and aggression against women defenders, especially those who defend sexual and reproductive rights, this sentence constitutes a normalization of impunity, and in keeping with the observations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders after his visit to Mexico in 2017: “sends a dangerous message that there are no consequences for committing such crimes. It creates an environment conducive to the repetition of violations.”
Throughout her extensive, widely recognized experience as a sexual and reproductive rights defender in Yucatan, Sandra Peniche has been subjected to many different attacks involving harassment, threats, disparagement and defamation as well as this attempted homicide. The light sentence given to her assailant not only violates her right to justice and reparation of damages, but also places her in an extremely vulnerable risk situation.
We of IM-Defensoras and the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Mexico demand that the Mexican government grant protective measures that guarantee the safety and security of Sandra Peniche and her right to pursue her defense work; furthermore, we demand reparations for the damages incurred by the offenses committed against her, both by the person who directly attacked her and by those who failed to guarantee her access to justice.