The Church in Mexico has expressed its support for several bills to eliminate the statute of limitations for the sexual abuse of minors, which stands now at ten years. The bills were introduced in the country’s Federal Congress and would only apply to future, not past cases.
The Mexican bishops do not anticipate that reported abuse cases will be comparable in number to those seen by the Church in the United States, and the Church in Mexico has not seen lawsuits filed on a comparable level.
Speaking to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language news partner, Bishop Alfonso Miranda Guardiola, secretary-general of the Mexican bishops’ conference, said the country’s bishops support lawmakers’ efforts to eliminate the statute of limitations for the sexual abuse of minors and have been “respectfully proposing to members of the House and Senate to introduce this kind of proposal.”
“These new legislative proposals are a good thing for the nation,” he said, since “they are legal instruments to take actions, correct, eradicate the evil, care for the victims and prosecute the perpetrators,” Miranda said.
Mexico’s House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill Feb. 6. That bill would the Federal Criminal Code to sanction public officials who “cover-up” the sexual abuse of minors. Anyone found guilty would be expelled from office and barred from holding public office in the future.
The bill also eliminates the statute of limitations for public officials and has been sent on to the Senate for approval.
Various legislators have also filed bills to eliminate the statute of limitations for pedophilia, including pro-life senator Lilly Téllez, a member of President López Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement Party (Morena).
Téllez posted on Twitter that her proposal also seeks to double the sentence for child abusers with a close relationship to the victim.
The senator’s bill also states that abusers “lose any legal rights he or she has with the victim” and that “local legislatures would have to adjust their laws to comply with the aims of the initiative.” CNA