On September 29, a group of community police officers from the Dos Ríos community, in the municipality of Cochoapa El Grande, in the Montaña de Guerrero (Mexico), arrived by Angelica, a 15-year-old teenager, at her aunt’s house.
The community members detained her and took her away along with her aunt, a 70-year-old woman, and her three sisters: one eight-year-old and the other two six.
All five were arrested, because Angelica ran away from the house of the father of the man she was forced to marry. If she did not return 210 thousand pesos, double what they paid for her, the community members warned her that she could not be released.
Angelica ran away because the father of the man they sold her to had already tried to rape her four times.
The minor lived in that house because the man she was forced to live with went to the United States to work due to the lack of employment in the Mountain.
Angelica and her three sisters spent 11 days in detention. Days before, the community members released the aunt. Angélica’s case was known until her mother, Concepción, reported it.
Concepción denounced him on October 9 at a hospital, hundreds of kilometers away in the municipality of Ometepec, on the Costa Chica. That day, Concepción arrived at the police station with food for her three daughters. She argued with the community members until one of them hit her.
Concepción was pregnant with triplets. The attack caused her to have an abortion: she bled out in the corridor of the police station.
After hearing about the Concepción case, officials from the State Human Rights Commission and the Secretariat for Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Affairs traveled to the Dos Ríos community to request the release of the four minors.
Sunday night, the State Human Rights Commission reported that Angelica and her three sisters had been released. The commission also reported that they are protected by the authorities and away from their attacker.
The case of Angélica, her sisters and their mothers has been condemned by dozens of social organizations, human and women’s rights defenders and the authorities themselves. Nevertheless, the sale of girls in the Mountain is recurrent and, in many cases, tolerated by local authorities.
Neil Arias, a lawyer from the Center for the Defense of Human Rights of the Mountain, Tlachinollan, has documented at least two cases of women who refused to marry who have decided to terminate the agreement and where the authorities intervened in favor of the family that paid for girls.
Arias documented the case of Esperanza, a 21-year-old girl from the municipality of Metlatónoc, who fled to Tlapa because her father wanted to sell her without her consent. Given the lack of work and money, he returned to his village. Her parents rejected her and she went to live with an aunt.
One day her father and municipal policemen entered her aunt’s house, subdued her, beat her, and then took her to the railings. They accused her of being a rebel. He was in jail for two days. Everything was authorized by the municipal trustee at the time, Felicitos Hernández Olea.
Arias also documented the case of Micaela, from Cochoapa El Grande, who was compromised when she was a minor; They paid 80 thousand pesos for her.
Within two years of the agreement, her son was born and the “husband” left for the United States. She stayed to live with her husband’s aunt, mistreated her and never gave her the money that her “husband” sent. Micaela decided to go to her parents’ house.
The “husband” and the aunt asked the then trustee of Cochoapa El Grande, Rutilio Ortega Maldonado, to summon her along with her parents. There, under pressure, they made her sign a document where she handed over custody of the child to the aunt and a promissory note for 55 thousand pesos, to cover part of the expenses of the wedding.
The child was taken from him and will be returned to him until he pays off the promissory note.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.