MEXICO LEGISLATURE APPROVES ‘OLIMPIA’ REVENGE PORN LAW3 min read

By- Neha Chaudhary

Mexico Chamber of Deputies on Thursday, by a vote of 446 in favor and 1 against, has approved the revenge porn law that would prescribe the punishment for those who cause digital violence by sharing non-consensual images, audio, and video of sexual conduct. This law is known as “Olimpia’s Law” or “Ley Olimpia”.

Digital violence is not something new in Mexico. there has been a continued fight for women’s rights. The rights of women have been downplayed by police, the judiciary system, and even women also who delude themselves in the toxic environment and do not raise their voices. It came into the limelight when many of the activists started campaigning against the ban of cyberviolence. With the pandemic situation all over the world, the abusive partners or former partners took the advantage of being stuck at home in front of computer screens and extracted the intimate images and videos from their partners by breaking them down emotionally. The coronavirus lockdown showed an upsurge in digital violence across Europe.

This federal law is named after a woman, Olimpia CoralMelo Cruz, who campaigned against revenge porn to prosecute its offenders in Mexico. In 2013, her then-boyfriend posted a video, in which both were having sex when she was 18, on the internet. The video went viral. She was devastated. She locked herself in her home for months and attempted suicide three times but was saved every time.

“Digital violence hurts,” Olimpia stated during a talk at a high school.

She then started a campaign against digital violence in Mexico. Her campaign led to the implementation of revenge porn laws in nearly 32 regional states of Mexico. In November 2020, the Senate approved the “Ley Olimpia” measures by 87 – 0 votes. These measures were introduced into the Federal Criminal Code and General Law on Women’s Access to a Life Free of Violence that calls for harsher punishment for cyber harassment by a spouse, common-law partners, or any person with whom the victim has or has had a sentimental, effective or trust relationship. These measures put a ban on the sharing of sexual content on the internet without the prior consent of the subjects thereof and a ban on promoting sexist stereotypes and hate messages online.

The digital perpetrator will be liable for 3 to 6 years of imprisonment along with a fine of up to 90 thousand pesos. It was an important step as it led to the federal ban on cyber violence. A Senate Martha Lucia Micher, also the president of the Government’s Gender Equality Commission, herself had been a victim of cyberviolence. She said that this law was one of the debts that the government had with all women, girls, and teenagers.

According to this law, digital violence is “any malicious action carried out through information and communication technologies by which real or simulated images, audios or videos of the intimate sexual content of a person are exposed or shared without their consent, without their approval or without their authorization and that causes psychological, emotional damage, or in any area of their private life or in their image; as well as those malicious acts that cause damage to the intimacy, privacy and/or dignity of women, that are committed through the technology of the information or communication.”

Ley Olimpia will come into force when it will be signed by the Mexican President Andrez Manuel Lopez Obrador into law.

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