Wednesday, January 19

I / A Court ruling against the Salvadoran State “cleans” Manuela’s name, according to her son

The son of Manuela, a Salvadoran woman who died serving a 30-year sentence for an out-of-hospital delivery classified as aggravated homicide, celebrated this Wednesday a ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Inter-American Court of Human Rights) which, when condemning the State, considers ” cleared “his mother’s name.

“My mother’s name has been cleared and I feel very proud of that,” said Jesús, a 22-year-old young man, after hearing the Court’s ruling on the case that was closely followed by feminist groups.

“For being the son of Manuela I feel very happy because justice has been given,” Jesus exclaimed during a press conference with leaders of feminist groups.

After a long process, on Tuesday the Inter-American Court, based in Costa Rica, sentenced the Salvadoran State for violating several rights of women such as personal liberty, life, presumption of innocence and fair trial, among others.

Manuela could not read or write and suffered from undiagnosed lymphatic cancer, which caused an obstetric emergency on February 26, 2008 when she was in a latrine a few meters from her home where she expelled the fetus and passed out.

When she was taken to a hospital, medical personnel accused her of abortion and in August 2008 she was sentenced to 30 years in prison. On April 30, 2010, when she was 33 years old, she died handcuffed to a bed in the inmate area of ​​the Rosales National Hospital.

Since 2008, the Salvadoran justice argued that Manuela had killed her newborn son.

“We are celebrating with an immense feeling of gratitude to all the people and all the institutions (…) that have accompanied this path of justice and hope with Manuela,” declared the director of the Feminist Collective, Morena Herrera.

In the sentence, “unappealable” for Herrera, the Court, in addition to ordering reparation measures, also recognized that since the law that absolutely penalizes abortion in El Salvador came into force, “women who suffer spontaneous abortions and other obstetric emergencies “.

The sentence, according to Carmen Cecilia Martínez, from the Center for Reproductive Rights, is “important” for the entire region because the Court for the first time took a step forward contemplating that “obstetric emergencies can never be decided (settled) by criminal means” .

The Salvadoran penal code prohibits abortion in all cases and establishes penalties of up to 8 years. However, prosecutors and judges classify abortion cases, including involuntary ones, as “aggravated homicide”, punishable by up to 50 years in prison.