Mexican Woman Jailed for Strangling Her Rapist to Death

BARRIO (Mirror) – A woman who strangled her rapist to death with a T-shirt has been handed a prison sentence for trying to defend herself – sparking protests in Mexico.

Roxana Ruiz was sentenced to six years and two months in prison for “excessive use of self-defence” after she strangled the man who broke into her home, threatened and raped her.

The State of Mexico court said that while they recognize she was a victim of rape, they believed “a blow on the head” would have been enough to defend the 23-year-old.

In May 2021, the mother-of-one was arrested by police after she was spotted trying to drag a bag containing the chopped-up body parts of her attacker.

She ended up in the terrifying situation after she saw the man stranded on the street and offered him a place to stay.

The court heard how she woke up in the night and found the man in her bed raping her.

She hit him in the face and gave him a nosebleed.

While he was distracted she grabbed a T-shirt and used it to strangle him to death.

“I feel sad, disappointed in justice. If I had not defended myself, I would be dead,” Ruiz told the media outside the court in the municipality of Nezahualcóyotl — one of the most dangerous places to be a woman in Mexico.

Nezahualcoyotl is the second municipality in the state of Mexico with the highest number of femicides, intentional homicides of women and the third in disappearances, according to the National Citizen Observatory of Feminicide and RNPED [National Registry of Data on Missing Persons].

Roxana told El País Newspaper that she lives in fear for herself and her five-year-old son’s future.

“I feel tight in my chest because I don’t want to go back to jail,” she said last year.

Nos Queremos Vivas (We Want to Stay Alive), a Mexican organization that campaigns against male violence, condemned the verdict.

The NGO said: “No woman should be jailed for defending lives that the state does not protect.

“Roxana Ruiz’s life, as well as that of hundreds of poor women who are imprisoned today, will not improve by denying her the right to freedom; on the contrary, it perpetuates the existence of structural and cultural violence.”

Ruiz’s lawyer told reporters that his client would be appealing the verdict, which also ordered her to pay damages and compensation of 286,000 pesos to the man’s family.

According to government statistics, 3,755 women were murdered in Mexico last year.

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