Law of statute of limitations on sexual crimes against minors and the work of Fundación Para la Confianza  

April 3, 2019
Communications Colunga Foundation

We talked with José Andrés Murillo, Executive Director of Foundation for Trust, about the struggle they have made to push the bill that declares imprescriptible sexual crimes against minors.

This legal initiative It was presented in 2010 by the parliamentarians Jaime Quintana, Ximena Rincón, Patricio Walker and Fulvio Rossi, so that crimes of this nature can not cover their disability due to the passage of time. That same year, the Foundation for Trust, entity that fights against child sexual abuse, through guidance and accompaniment to people who have been victims of sexual abuse during childhood, and the generation of prevention tools and strategies.

On March 18 of this year, the Constitution and Special Commission for Children approved the bill and this passed to the Chamber of Deputies, but much time has passed to achieve this progress. In May of 2018 this law was reactivated for its processing, due to the commotion that generated the case of Amber, a girl of 1 year and 7 months who died as a result of a violation. Fundación Para la Confianza has been one of the organizations that have pushed the legislation of this law with various advocacy actions.

Incidence from civil society

"From the beginning of the project, along with other organizations, we started going to meetings in Congress to fight against the prescriptive. This concept seemed immovable and, nonetheless, ensured the impunity and reproduction of the abuse ", comments José Andrés Murillo, Executive Director of Fundación Para la Confianza.

In 2017 they held a seminar to think technically and politically about the questioning of the prescription of sexual abuse committed against children and adolescents. When the law was reactivated, the Executive Director of For the Trust recognizes that the social indignation was able to break with some prejudices installed on this topic: "It was not easy because they are prejudices that have been present in society and that have dictated, in many cases, the understanding of crimes and the understanding of the prescription. Nowadays, the prescription makes sense in the legal economy but does not have a real sense to be able to fight against the abuse ".

José Andrés Murillo, Executive Director of Fundación Para la Confianza.

It is not a silent decision

One of the strong points of the law is its ability to break cycles of abuse. "There is unanimity in scientific research about how difficult it is for victims to break with cycles of violence. People sometimes manage to speak after 15, 20, 30 years, because there is no decision to remain silent, they are silenced by the trauma of abuse, "highlights José Andrés Murillo.

What is missing for the law to come out? For the Executive Director, one of the things that the law has most obstructed is the issue of retroactivity: "We propose that it is fair that the prescription be limited from here to now and backwards. This thinking that it is not about lowering the standards of the test or increasing the penalties of the crimes. Here the important thing is that the people who were victims have a longer period to investigate. "

From Fundación Para la Confianza, they hope that by 2019 the law will finally become a reality, and people who have experienced sexual abuse in their childhood can denounce when they feel prepared to do so, not when the law can respond to their complaint.

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