LA PRENSA (Nicaragua)
MANAGUA A leading womens rights organization is calling on Nicaraguan authorities to declare a yellow alert over the countrys growing sexual abuse epidemic, La Prensa reports.
Martha María Blandón, the Central American director of the international rights group Ipas, cites official court statistics to suggest that abuse cases are on the rise. Nicaraguas Legal Medicine Institute (IML) receives an average of about 5,000 such reports per year.
Whats even more alarming is that 80% [of the victims], according to IML data, are girls under the age of 17, said Blandón. Were talking about an epidemic. The authorities ought to declare a yellow alert. Thats what theyd do if there were 5,000 cases of dengue, or 5,000 cases of swine flu.
Blandóns comments coincide with the recent release of Amnesty Internationals 2012 annual report, which included a chapter on Nicaragua. Rape and sexual abuse remained a concern, the Amnesty reports Nicaragua section reads. Despite this, in July the Supreme Court of Justice reduced the sentence imposed on Farinton Reyes for the rape in 2009 of his co-worker, Fátima Hernández, to four years imprisonment.
To justify its decision, the court claimed that Reyes committed the crime while under the influence of alcohol and in a state of sexual excitement he couldnt control. The judges also argued that Fátima Hernández had acted permissively and co-operated in the rape, the report reads.