October 1, 2023

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The use of chemical castration for rapists divides Peru

Mothers of girls who have been sexually abused consider it “ridiculous”.

“My daughter’s character was so painful, she did not eat, she did not get out of bed, she wanted to cut her nerves,” says Peruvian Maria Empratris Fernandez, who thinks rapists are being punished by chemical castration. That’s a mockery.

“I do not think the government has put itself in the shoes of abused victims,” ​​the 30-year-old woman told AFP about a bill sent to Congress by President Pedro Castillo.

Following the announcement of the plan on April 16, following the rape of a three-year-old girl, the left-wing president declared that child sexual abuse “will not be tolerated or punished.”

Although the plan has not yet been debated in parliament, it faces rejection from the victims’ mothers, lawyers, doctors and activists. However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Lukashenko’s presidential candidate, one of Castillo’s rivals in the 2021 election.

“We must be very strict and abolish their sexual abilities while these rapists are in prison. This plan must be approved by Congress because not doing so is turning the country on its back,” the center-right politician told AFP.

Frustrated attempts

Chemical castration is the administration of drugs that suppress sexual desire. It is used as a preventive and punitive measure against perpetrators of sexual violence. It is used in Russia, Poland, South Korea, Indonesia and Moldova, as well as in some states of the United States.

In Peru, Castillo did not propose this at first. In 2005, an influential Catholic bishop, Jesuit Louis Bombaren, did just that.

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“Just as a criminal is deprived of his liberty, so child molesters must be deprived. There may be chemical castration. Why are you constantly going to rape? ”Said the now-deceased clergyman.

In the same way, in 2018 Lescano presented a chemical castration plan to Congress. It was approved by the Judicial Commission but rejected by the entire forum.

“They said it would do no good. How do they know the move would be futile if it was not approved? Since 2018, rape has continued to be so aggressive that, taking into account the prevailing arrogant mentality in Peru, it will have a more positive effect than other countries,” the politician said.

In Peru, those who rape children under the age of 14 face life imprisonment.

In 2006, President Alan Garcia sent a bill to impose the death penalty on child abusers, but Congress shelved it.

More than 10,000 prisoners

“Chemical castration is a joke for all children and adolescents who have been abused,” says Fernandez.

He assures that it would be better to expedite the investigation and deny parole to those accused of rape. The lawyer who raped your daughter escaped a life sentence a year ago.

“We disagree because it’s really another cost to the government and really [el abusador] She is still being raped, and there is no change, “said Maggie Aguilar, president of the Mothers’ Association for the Struggle for Justice. His daughter Sheila was raped and murdered in 2018 at the age of 19.

“The issue is not down [en los órganos sexuales]If it’s not in their head, they’re crazy, “says Patricia Acosta, her daughter Estefani, who has been missing since 2016, 23 years old.

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There are 10,104 inmates for raping minors in Peruvian prisons (3,005 cases and 7,099 convictions). According to the National Penitentiary Institute, this is the crime with the highest number of inmates after a bad robbery.

According to the Federal Ministry of Women, more than 21,000 children have been raped in the last four years. In 2021 there were 6,929 cases, an average of 19 per day.

Expert rejection

Ral Urquiso, president of the Peruvian Medical Association, believes that chemical castration “does not solve the underlying problem.”

“The mental health of these people is deteriorating. The prevention and education of the community must work, “he told the AFP.

For his part, legal expert Diego Garcia Zion, a former head of the Inter-American Court for Human Rights, sees this as a “populist solution” that “by injecting all of these patients, the impact of this crime can be reversed.”

“It simply came to our notice then […] And there is no criminal sanction for the slow pace of judicial proceedings, so there must be a real solution, “he told AFP.

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