Tuesday 20 April 2021

Murders of women at the hands of boyfriends and exes will also be femicides

Legislators approved, in final debate, the extension of the term of femicide

QCOSTARICA – With 40 votes in favor and none against, Legislators approved on Wednesday a bill that expands the definition that constitutes the crime of femicide.

With the new definition, the murders of women by boyfriends or former partners, for example, will also be considered femicide.

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This bill modifies both the Law on Criminalization of Violence against Women and the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Currently, femicide, which carries between 20 and 35 years in prison, only applies when the murder is committed by someone who had a marriage or de facto union relationship with the woman.

With the modification approved by Congress, the legal figure will be used even if the murderer did not live under the same roof as the victim, either because they had a dating relationship or because they were ex-partners, whether due to divorce, separation and if not married, a breakup.

The reform also expands, in the same terms, the crime of abuse.

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Apart from mistreatment, the scenarios are also expanded, in the same way, for the crimes of restriction of freedom of movement, offenses to dignity, restriction of self-determination and threats against a woman, rape and sexual behaviors, as well as sexual exploitation.

The same occurs with patrimonial damage (a reduction in a person’s financial position), limitation to the exercise of property rights, fraud of simulation on joint assets, the distraction of family economic profits and the economic exploitation of women.

The bill was promoted by Partido Liberacion Nacional (PLN) legislator, Aida Montiel.

The bill now requires the signature of President Carlos Alvarado and published in the official government newsletter, La Gaceta, to become law.

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