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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Morelos Legalizes Use of Various Defensive Weapons For Women

"Morogris" for Borderland Beat

Prior to this legal reform, people in Morelos could spend up to 3 years in prison for simply possessing a nonlethal self-defense weapon. In contrast, the minimum prison sentence for sexual assault in Morelos was 2 years (Photo credit: Radio Huancavilca)

The Mexican state of Morelos has legalized the use of various nonlethal defensive weapons for women due to the rising femicides and violent attacks against women in recent years.

The weapons that can be used include retractable batons, pepper spray, and tasers. This law change is rare in Mexico, where the use of weapons (including those for self-defense) is generally illegal and punishable with prison time.

The law was first presented by National Regeneration Movement (Morena) deputy Ariadna Barrera Vazquez in February 2020. It was approved last December and is now in full effect.

She presented data since 2018 that showed that more than 82% of women felt unsafe in public. There were at least 84 femicides in Morelos in 2020, and at least 10 since the start of this year.

“Violence against women is a reality, … I dare to say that 10 out of 10 women have been victims of some kind of gender violence,” Barrera said in Congress.

Prior to the legal preform, possession of nonlethal weapons alone -- such as pepper spray and tasers -- was punishable by up to three years in prison. Only a few states in Mexico have passed laws to allow women to carry self-defense weapons, like Puebla, which approved it in 2018.

Barrera said that the minimum prison term of someone convicted of sexual assault in Mexico is two years, less than what women can get for simply carrying a nonlethal self-defense weapon to protect themselves. She said it was wrong for someone trying to defend themselves to theoretically go to prison for longer than the aggressor.

Earlier this month, several women protested in downtown Cuernavaca, Morelos, to bring attention to the growing number of femicides. On 21 April 2021, Ana Lilia, a 16-year-old teenager from Huitzilac municipality, went to have dinner with her friends. She was killed, and her body was found eight days later in an abandoned lot (photo: Aristegui Noticias).

The legalization of women's rights to carry self-defense weapons was not positively received by all women groups, however. One such group, the Huitzitzilin, said that this law was not a solution to the problem. She argued that the government should aim at reducing violence to society in general and that women would feel safer if police knew how to respond in cases of gender violence.

“I believe there are a lot of tools that we could use to build peace” instead of arming women, said Ana Carina Chumacero, the President of Huitzitzilin.

Mexico has strict laws prohibiting the use of most weapons, including firearms. Although the right to bear arms is granted in the Mexican Constitution, federal law stipulates that the government “will determine the cases, conditions, requirements and places” of gun ownership.

There is only one store in Mexico where people can legally purchase firearms. It is in a heavily guarded military base in Mexico City, and buyers must undergo long background checks and fill out loads of paperwork before they are even considered. Person-to-person firearm sales are illegal, and calibers are restricted to .380 or less.

Sources: El Debate; El Universal; MND; Borderland Beat archives


  1. It's just a cosmetic law a men who is going to attack a woman has already sized her up and probably knows her aswell. Even with a weapon if it's not leathal it only means some buying time to RUN and the man getting maced or struck with a baton won't be incapacitated, he can make chase.

    The usefullness of these things is incredibly niched. If a woman finds herself in a violent confrontation with a man she has pretty much lost already.

    The key is a good social network, trying to be accompanied, letting others know where you're going & who you're seeing. But most importantly act firmly on WARNING SIGNS instead of convincing yourself that someone "isn't really like that" or that "it's just a party". Many times things didn't just come out of the blue there were clear indications that something isn't alright.

    1. Um yes. But in any dangerous situation that involves me getting hurt or killed I rather have a weapon than not. And I’m sure most women who are about to get physically battered and possibly killed do, too.

    2. 3:30 pm...
      Are you serious with this comment?
      If non-lethal weapons only buy a potential rape victim a few seconds or minutes and only work some of the time it means women shouldn't have access to them? Shit, if non-lethal weapons only work 1 out of a 100 times women should absolutely have them. That means only 99 women got raped instead of 100. If one person doesn't have to suffer that horror then it is absolutely worth it. Women should have all the help they can get in Mexico. It's a dangerous place. Femicide is rampant. You want to dismiss someone's life because the odds aren't in their favor? Sounds kind of messed up to me. As far as the date rape/know the attacker statistics you mention I think you're off base here as well. This isn't Bee-spit Montana, USA we're talking about. Being kidnapped by a cartel to be used as a sex toy and then murdered is an actual threat in Mexico. During the years 2002–2010, the state of Chihuahua had the highest rate of female homicides in the world: 58.4 per 100,000. According to a stunning Fusion investigation, 80 percent of migrant women and girls crossing into the U.S. by way of Mexico are raped during their journey. That’s up from a previous estimate of 60 percent, according to an Amnesty International report. Migrant women are at the risk of sexual violence by gangs, human traffickers, other migrants, and corrupt officers. This isn't a situation where a loud firm "NO" is going to help any of these women. But maybe, just maybe a non-lethal weapon will. I think it's definitely worth the gamble. The odds be damned.

      -Solothurn la Arma ™️®️©️

    3. Cartels are usually local gangs who have women available and ready to get with them, even for free, but police agents and military who have spent their pay, have not been paid, don't know anybody local, they do kidnap and murder and disappear, they have better training and should not be unleashed on the cities they visit, at least not without chaperones, arrests should be witnessed by citizens with ID, who should go to testify k stead of carrying them in secret in the middle of the night with impunity.
      Women need to provide for their own security, form their own transport and police and watch for each other if the government can't do shit for them, defensive devices should be given to them for free!

  2. Hell Cartels have prohibited weapons, that have created many homicides, yet the enept government won't go after them, but when it comes to citizens arming themselves, oh no let's lock them up. Dumb stupid laws.

    1. I agree, there will be a time, when citizens of Mexico will arm themselves and ambush a cartel.

    2. When pigs can fly @6:42.
      Mexican citizens will continue to die in the thousands before anything is done.

  3. I know this opinion will be unpopular, but if I were a man living in Mexico, I would feel pretty unsafe. TBH, I would feel safer as a woman. I mean if you look at the stats, then I'd bet that the male homicide rate is at least 100 x that of women, and yet Mexico has coined the term 'femicide' when there is an almost literal genocide of young males taking place due to the drug wars. It seems almost an obscenity.

    The same is happening in the UK. Young boys (mainly black) are being hacked or stabbed to death every day in London, but it barely registers in the media. On the other hand, one young white woman was the victim of an incredibly rare sexual murder recently and there was nationwide demonstrations, soul searching, the blanket demonization of men, and new 'hate laws' to protect women (it's still open season for men though). Male lives do not matter, and never have.

    1. 11:51 men do have problems, but they run faster and can defend themselves better, do not try to compare apples and oringes and offer them to us loaded with BS.
      By the way, if they catch you impersonating a woman, your ass will suffer, so there.

  4. So many people forget that a weapon is just a tool to fight off predators....during the caveman times predators and other bigger cave man will kill rape and victimize the smaller ones including women kids smaller cave mans..during modern times is no different . until they figure out that a weapon gives equal grounds.


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