At a slow pace, the Mexican Church begins to react to the avalanche of accusations of pedophilia. In March, after being spurred by the historic summit on child abuse in the Vatican, the Mexican episcopate made public the first results of the only record on its internal investigations. This Tuesday, in the traditional New Year's meeting with the press, the ecclesiastical leadership updated the data of their inquiries -426 priests have been investigated in the last decade for crimes related to child abuse- and sent a message to the Mexican earthly power: “ the bishops speak in favor of lifting the prescription of the crime of sexual abuse. ”
With the macabre stigma of the cover-up for decades of predators such as Marcial Maciel, Mexican founder of the Legionaries of Christ, the episcopate of the second largest Catholic community in the world after Brazil, adds to the historical claims of the victims. The silence that usually involves sexual abuse, which sometimes turns into decades, is at the center of the demands for elimination or extension of the period of prescription of these crimes.
In Mexico, the term is 10 years. "It is unfair because evil endures throughout the life of the one who has been a victim," said Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera López, president of the episcopate. The extension of the prescription period has already been contemplated in several initiatives of law at federal and state level in Mexico, in line with other proposals from countries such as Spain, France or Germany. In the United Kingdom, in some entities of the United States or, as Chile proposes to apply, they never prescribe.
Organizations such as Save the Children argue that laws should provide that crimes against sexual freedom and indemnity begin to prescribe when the victim reaches 50 years of age. According to their estimates, the majority of victims begin to speak after the age of 35.
Of the 426 priests investigated for child abuse, more than half, 271 correspond directly to crimes of sexual abuse, according to updated figures. The other 155 are related to child pornography, revelation of sacramental stealth (confession) and other derived infractions. Of the total number, 173 priests have an ongoing process, 253 have already completed them and 217 priests have been expelled from the clerical order.
Shortly before the summit shake in the Vatican, four days of brainstorming among 190 religious leaders to close the wound of sexual abuse of minors for which the Church is bleeding, the Mexican episcopate had already accelerated the pace. In January he announced the installation of a commission to investigate pedophilia and break the silence. He met with victims, announced the suspension of the 152 priests and extended his hand to the Attorney General of Mexico to collaborate with the opening and transparency of his own investigations.
Alfonso Miranda Guardiola, secretary general of the ecclesial organization, announced Tuesday that 155 cases of child abuse have already been notified to the prosecutors and that there are already 14 diocesan commissions for the protection of the child. But for now, they do not have a record of the number of victims.
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