Román Jaimes v. Mexico

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Systemic Practice | State/Non-State Agents | Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Obligation to Prevent | Women and Girls | Deprivation of Liberty

Themes: Characteristics of the Crime | Persons and Groups Affected | Prevention

The Committee reiterated that disappearances of women are one of the most brutal manifestations of gender-based violence, emphasising that disappeared women suffer particular types of harm because of their gender and are disproportionately subjected to sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence. In light of the pattern of disappearances of women and the prevailing impunity in the relevant area, and taking into account the information suggesting that persons linked to criminal organisations benefited from the authorisation, support, acquiescence or omissions of the State, the Committee found the State responsible for the victim's alleged enforced disappearance. This was due to the State's lack of due diligence in preventing the violation and addressing it in accordance with the requirements imposed by law. The Committee also reiterated that all entities responsible for searching for women victims of enforced disappearances have an obligation to incorporate a gender perspective when conducting searches, finding that the absence of such a perspective in the present case was an obstacle to a gender-responsive investigation of the enforced disappearance of the victim.

Judgment Date

October 24, 2022

Country

Mexico

Judicial Body

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Articles violated

Article 1 [CEDAW], Article 2(b) [CEDAW], Article 2(c) [CEDAW], Article 2(d) [CEDAW], Article 2(e) [CEDAW], Article 2(f) [CEDAW], Article 5(a) [CEDAW], Article 15(1) [CEDAW]

Facts of the Case

Ms. Ivette Melissa Flores Román was subjected to ill-treatment and held incommunicado for 40 days at the house of her partner's parents at the end of 2010. She then continued being subjected to threats and surveillance by her former partner’s family throughout 2011. Ms. Flores Román's former partner, an investigative police officer who had already been under investigation for a number of crimes, went to her mother's house regularly and, on several occasions, fired shots at the house. In June 2012, her former partner's father informed her that she was going to be killed and that she should leave while he “fixed the problem”. In October 2012, some armed men with their faces covered entered Ms. Flores Román's mother's house shooting and asking which of them was Ms. Flores Román. They took Ms. Flores Román and another woman to a vehicle with tinted windows. The family reported the incident and asked the police to search. A preliminary investigation was launched into the disappearance, but none of the search mechanisms for disappeared women were activated. A few days later, the other woman was released. On the same day, Ms. Flores Román's mother received messages on her mobile phone from her daughter, in which she said that the kidnappers were going to free her and that she should not inform the police or the armed forces because they were with the kidnappers. Ms. Flores Román was never released, and when her mother called the phone number from which she had received the messages, a man told her that her daughter had already been released. Over the following weeks, the victim's mother received several messages from the same number, asking whether her daughter had arrived. In May 2013, a federal investigation was launched by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes against Women. In March 2014, the Office declined jurisdiction, stating that the events under investigation could not be considered acts of violence against women or connected to the gender of the missing person. In June 2016, Ms. Flores Román was registered as a missing person. In July 2016, the woman who had been kidnapped with her described how they had been blindfolded, photographed and subjected to sexual violence, and how Ms. Flores Román had been interrogated and severely beaten. She also said that she had been able to identify the Ms. Flores Román's former partner's father and one of his sons among the men guarding them, and that Ms. Flores Román had not been released at any point. Her former partner's father was put under surveillance, but no subpoena was issued.

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