Mexican authorities finally drop charges against mother who strangled rapist, say she acted in self-defense

Mexican prosecutors have dropped a murder case against a 23-year-old Mexican mother who had been sentenced to six years in prison and fined $16,000 for strangling her rapist with a t-shirt.

According to the New York Post, the case sparked protests and outrage across the country.

The Mexico State Court had previously ruled that even though Roxana Ruiz had been raped, she used excessive force to defend herself, with Mexican authorities suggesting that striking the perpetrator in the head would have been enough to defend herself.

The court had also previously ordered Ruiz to pay $16,000 in restitution to the family of the man who sexually violated her.

On Saturday, the state Prosecutor's Office announced that Ruiz was protecting herself and therefore “exempt from guilt" and considers that she acted in legitimate defense.

Ruiz's attorney Ángel Carrera praised the latest decision clearing the young mother and told the Associated Press, “It means that they're recognizing her innocence. It's a recognition that she simply defended herself.” Carrera added her hope that the case being dropped sets a precedent for other gender-based violence cases to be more thoroughly investigated.

The decision to drop the charges against Ruiz came the day following President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stating that his office was going to investigate the case and grant the young mother a presidential pardon.

However, Ruiz’s legal team was not interested in López Obrador proceeding with the pardon because it would have meant that the rape victim had committed a crime.

Almost half of women in Mexico have been victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. In 2018, the country had approximately 346.15 rape cases per 100,000 people, a 198.15 percent increase from the previous year, according to MacroTrends. In 2022, 10 women a day were murdered.

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