In order to defend his two unconditional supporters who have been formally or informally denounced as sexual criminals –the senator from Guerrero Félix Salgado Macedonio and the historian Pedro Salmerón–, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says, and rightly so, that both should be considered innocent while their guilt is not proven and that the alleged victims must formally report them to the authorities.
He said so again on Monday of this week when answering a question he was asked at his press conference about the fact that the Guerrero Attorney General’s Office (FGG) did not report the situation of a rape complaint made in 2017 against Senator Morenista Félix Salgado Macedonio: “I would tell you that all those affected, in this case female colleagues, should go to file a complaint because there are no longer any retaliations, it is not the time of past administrations.”
The reporter insisted on the case of the FGG and the president said that “we must ask the state prosecutor’s office, the federal prosecutor’s office, to report”, and then change the subject and blame the conservatives for using the accusations against Salgado and Salmerón “to bring water to their mill”.
Andrés Manuel, by insisting that women file a criminal complaint against stalkers, harassers, rapists and other sexual offenders who have victimized them, is either naive or unaware of the dimensions of the problem or knows very well that few women dare to denounce these criminals.
As far as the dimensions of the problem are concerned, the National Urban Public Security Survey (ENSU) carried out by Inegi in December 2021 and released on the 19th of this month, indicates that during the second half of 2021, of the total number of women 18 years and older, 20% were victims of personal harassment and/or sexual violence, from listening to rude or sexual compliments, to being forced to have sex against their will.
That 20% represents at least 9,814,328 women, which is 20% of those 18 years of age or older who were registered in the INE Electoral Register until the 14th of this month.
The vast majority of them do not report the crime of which they were victims. According to the ENSU of December 2019, 99.7% of crimes of harassment, sexual abuse and rape in Mexico are not reported.
And they are not reported because the victims do not trust that the authorities will do something about it and because those who dare to do so are often re-victimized by insensitive or sexist public officials.
In addition, researchers on the matter have documented that most victims do not report because they feel helpless, betrayed, stigmatized or ashamed, or because they are convinced that no one will believe them or that they will be blamed for having provoked the aggressor. or because they will be discriminated against by their families and society. Many victims try to avoid thinking, remembering, or talking about the sexual assault because it is emotionally painful.
For AMLO it is easy and convenient to ask the alleged victims of Salgado and Salmerón to denounce them because he knows very well that, for the reasons stated above, very few, if any, will do so.
Facebook: Eduardo J Ruiz-Healy
Journalist and producer
Opinionist, columnist, lecturer, media trainer, 35 years of experience in the media, microentrepreneur.