A girl who refused to contract a forced marriage for money in Mexico is imprisoned for 14 hours

A 14-year-old girl was imprisoned for several hours by community police in a town in the state of Guerrero, in Mexico after escaping to avoid marrying an underage boy for money, defenders of human rights.

The youngest had escaped to avoid being sold and married to a 16-year-old in exchange for about $ 10,000, that would be paid to his family that lives in the indigenous community of Joya Real, in the municipality of Cochoapa el Grande, one of the poorest in Mexico.

Abel Barrera Hernandez Director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, explained that the minor was imprisoned for 14 hours after being captured on Monday night by community police from Joya Real.

“For resisting forced marriage, she was detained by the community police at the request of the child’s family” with whom they wanted to marry her, detailed a statement from the center.

Another minor who agreed to receive the girl at his home after she escaped to avoid getting married was also imprisoned and later released.

The release came after a dialogue began between community authorities and lawyers from the Tlachinollan Center, supported by staff from the state prosecutor’s office, elements of the national guard and the local defense attorney.

Although marriage between minors in Mexico was prohibited by law in 2019, in indigenous communities of the Latin American country, which are governed by uses and customs, these unions continue to occur.

Just last October 9, another 15-year-old girl from the state of Guerrero was arrested because she fled because her father-in-law tried to rape her. This minor was forced to marry a man who lives in the United States in exchange for about $ 6,000.

Guerrero is one of the states where these ancestral practices of marrying minors are still presented in exchange for a payment, which can be the same with money as with animals and even alcoholic beverages.

During a visit to Guerrero last October, the leftist president Andrés Manuel López Obrador rejected requests to intervene in this problem on the grounds that it is not generalized.

“The sale of girls, the prostitution of girls (…) is not the rule. In the communities there are many cultural, moral and spiritual values, that may be the exception, but it is not the rule ”, he pointed out.

According to official figures, some 3,000 girls and adolescents between the ages of 9 and 17 were forced to carry a pregnancy in Guerrero in 2020, some of them within these arranged marriages.