At the end of 2012 Mexico gets an A for trying, but a D for implementation.
First the A. There’s a new law in Mexico against animal abuse.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — “Mexico City lawmakers have approved prison terms for animal cruelty, previously considered a civil offense sanctioned with fines and detentions.
The capital’s legislative assembly unanimously agreed that people who intentionally abuse and cause animals harm will face up to two years in prison and pay up to $500. If the animal is killed, they can face up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine.”
So why am I not jumping for joy?
Here is a snippet from a 2008 report on domestic violence in Mexico compiled by Amnesty International for the Hauge’s Domestic Violence Convention, to which Mexico is a signatory.
- Domestic violence was pervasive and vastly under reported. The law prohibits domestic violence, including spousal abuse, and stipulates fines equal to 30 to 180 days’ pay and detention for up to 36 hours; however, actual sentences were normally lenient. On the state level, laws sanctioning domestic violence, if any, are weak. Seven states have not criminalized domestic violence, and 15 states sanction family violence only when it is a repeated offense.
[I gave up searching for additional information on Mexico’s criminal penalties over the net and will stand corrected if you have something more definitive, but readers should know that rape in Mexico is punishable with up to 20 years. Still, there’s the odd disconnect that animal abuse now ‘appears’ to draw a greater sanction than garden variety domestic abuse. Go figure.]
So why should you care what Mexico is doing, even if I do because I’m living in Mexico?
Because this is a global struggle.
Because for any nation, including yours, here’s the real deal,
and because until we recognize the linkage on abuse there is no hope for anything approaching human rights or an environmental movement in Mexico – or anywhere else.
For my peeps in the U.S., we can use Mexico’s new law as an example of where America should be heading.
For my peeps in San Miguel, we can double our support for the efforts being made to decrease violence.
For anyone interested, I just had a short article published in the bi-weekly rag “Atencion” on this subject.
Now you get my sincere wishes for a healthy, happy New Year – where we’ll all continue our compassionate work to change the world!