The Government Of Pedro Castillo Proposes To Apply Chemical Castration To Rapists Of Minors In Peru

The Government of Pedro Castillo has put on the table in Peru a controversial proposal to punish rapists of minors: chemical castration. The announcement was made a few days ago as a result of the outrage generated in the population by a case of kidnapping and rape of a three-year-old girl in the city of Chiclayo, in the north of the country.

“Enough of so much violence, crimes of sexual violence against children will not be tolerated by this government, nor will they go unpunished,” said the Peruvian president. “Chemical castration is an option, we cannot wait any longer,” he said.

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The proposal has materialized through the Council of Ministers in a bill sent to the Peruvian Congress for debate and approval. At a press conference, FĂ©lix Chero, Minister of Justice and Human Rights, pointed out that chemical castration has been proposed as an accessory penalty for aggressors who are not sentenced to life imprisonment. “The measure will be applied after the sentence has been served. Once the custodial sentence is served, the accessory sentence is applied or executed,” he said.

It is not the first time that a sanction of this type has been proposed. In 2018, the Peruvian Congress evaluated a bill that included chemical castration as a complementary measure to prison sentences in cases of crimes of rape against minors. However, life imprisonment was only approved for rapists of minors under 14 years of age, the imprescriptibility of the crime and the elimination of benefits for those convicted.

For the lawyer and researcher in Human Rights and Criminal Justice, Josefina MirĂł-Quesada, the measure proposed by Castillo is demagogic and populist, since “it has been presented countless times before Congress and has not been approved.”

“You want to eradicate the problem with this type of apparent solutions that do not prevent because they are post-crime,” he explains to elDiario.es. “This type of painful case is often instrumentalized in order to bring forth proposals that seek to alleviate a collective feeling of indignation through proposals that are unfeasible, but that give the appearance of attacking the problem.”

What is chemical castration?

Chemical castration is a process that consists of administering drugs that “inhibit the production of testosterone, which is the male hormone responsible for stimulating libido, sexuality,” explains Óscar Ugarte, former Minister of Health of Peru. Ugarte tells this newspaper that Castillo’s proposal is “useless” because it must be applied “every month continuously.”

The Peruvian doctor and politician questions the meaning of the initiative by arguing that rapists have a “serious behavior problem”, so that “even if their libido is inhibited” they could commit acts of sexual violence “with their hands or with objects” . “Chemical castration does not solve anything, what you have to do is apply what the law already establishes as jail and in extreme cases, life imprisonment,” he says.

Currently, there are already several countries in the world that allow this procedure, including Russia, Poland, South Korea, Indonesia, Moldova, Estonia and half a dozen states in the US. “It has been implemented in other countries, but it is not a reference to maintain that it is a suitable, effective and even less legitimate measure,” says MirĂł-Quesada.

“It is not as simple as saying that rapists are motivated by libido, that is false,” says MirĂł Quesada. “By presenting this proposal as an apparent solution, what you are doing is ignoring the universe of acts of rape that are not motivated by the desire for sexual satisfaction -the majority-, and that rape is not only committed through penetration.”

More than 40 daily cases of rape of minors

From January to February 2022, the Women’s Emergency Centers (CEM) of the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations have attended to 7,794 cases of violence against children and adolescents. Of this number, 31.7% is equivalent to situations of sexual violence, that is, 2,468 cases in two months, which is 42 each day.

Liurka Otuska, director of Policies for a Life Free of Violence of the Ministry of Women, tells this newspaper that 49.5% of cases of violence against minors are committed by a family member, while in 47.3% there is no link between the aggressor and the partner or the family and in 3.2% there is no link with the partner.

“What is known is that sexual violence in children and adolescents is located in the family environment. If it’s not inside the home, it’s located in the closest environment,” she says. The specialist explains that “sexual violence does not occur for a physical reason, but rather it is a power relationship that places you, whether you are an adult woman or a girl, in a situation of vulnerability.” Otuska highlights the need to address actions related to prevention and strengthening “skills or the course of gender stereotypes.”

The case that has shocked Peruvian society and that has led to President Castillo’s announcement is that of the kidnapping and rape of a three-year-old girl in Chiclayo by Juan Antonio EnrĂ­quez GarcĂ­a, 48.

The man admitted his guilt after being captured by the Police and is serving nine months in preventive detention for the crimes of rape and kidnapping to the detriment of the minor.

Since March, the justice bodies have imposed 20 life sentences for crimes of rape against minors in nine regions, according to a preliminary report from the Peruvian Judiciary.

“After aggravated robbery, the most serious crime is the rape of minors. We have more than 10,000 prisoners, but this [la castraciĂłn quĂ­mica] not only is it not the solution because it is expensive, but we cannot stay at the juncture of indignation,” says Gloria Montenegro, former Minister for Women’s Affairs and former congressman, who assures that “public policies, the laws given and change must be complied with.” the macho chip that is the cause of these problems”.

Carrying out legislation on sexual aggressors, which includes a registry with the names of those who have committed this crime, is an alternative proposed by Montenegro to care for “the minors of this type of aggressor.” The former minister calls for joint work between the Ministries of Women, Health, the Police and the Peruvian justice agencies.

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