Acid attack in Mexico punishable by 12 years in prison

Acid attack in Mexico punishable by 12 years in prison

Acid attacks whose main victims are women will be punished with prison sentences of between eight and 12 years in Mexico City after the capital's Congress on Thursday approved reforms making them a criminal offense.

• Also read: London: Woman and her daughters attacked with 'corrosive substance', suspect on the run

• Also read: Violence in Mexico: Five childhood friends are forced to kill each other

The capital's legislative assembly unanimously passed a bill amending the local penal code to punish “injuries caused by attacks with acid, chemical or corrosive substances.”

“The 'Malena Law' was passed with the aim of punishing acid violence and classifying it as attempted murder. For this reason, the Law on Women's Access to a Violent Life in Mexico City and the Penal Code have been amended,” Congress said on the social network

The criminal code reform also includes economic sanctions to compensate victims and enable them to access necessary care.

Similar laws have been passed in the states of Oaxaca (south), Baja California (northwest) and Puebla (centre). Puebla's penal code provides for the maximum penalty of 26 to 40 years in prison.

The laws were initiated by victims of these attacks, including María Elena Ríos, a saxophonist known as “Malena” who was the target of an acid attack in 2019.

The artist was injured over 80% of her body and her ex-partner, a businessman and then deputy in the state of Oaxaca, was arrested in 2020 as the alleged perpetrator of the attack.

In the absence of official figures, the Carmen Sanchez Foundation, which specializes in supporting victims of this violence, counted 42 acid attacks against women in the last 30 years, up to November last year.

Attacks on women have increased in the context of organized crime-related violence that has plagued Mexico for nearly two decades. According to official data, 2,300 femicides were registered in 2023.