Women’s rights | Mexico

A burning issue in Mexico City

Mexican perpetrators of acid attacks, in particular against women, are often punished with light sentences or released on bail. A new draft law wants to change all that 

In Mexico’s capital right now, many people are talking about a new draft law that aims to toughen the punishment for acid attacks.

The issue has been in the headlines following an attack on a young saxophonist in 2019, when María Elena Ríos was attacked by several men and showered with acid, presumably on behalf of her ex-boyfriend, a politician.

Her face and arms were seriously injured. Together with MP Marcela Fuente Castillo and other victims, Ríos has been fighting for the “Malena” law (named after María Elena) ever since.

“In 2022 alone, there were more than a hundred acid attacks in Mexico”

Currently, acid attacks in Mexico are only punishable by up to four years in prison and the perpetrators are often released on bail.

Under the new law, however, such crimes would be classified as attempted femicide and would be punishable by prison sentences of up to forty years.

People’s desire for harsher consequences is partly due to the sheer number of incidents: In 2022 alone, there were more than a hundred acid attacks in Mexico.