Las17 El Salvador

Justice and freedom for Imelda: a victim of sexual violence in El Salvador

Imelda Isabel Cortez Palacios suffered an unattended out-of- hospital delivery which her daughter survived, and yet the Public Ministry accuses her of attempted aggravated homicide. She has been imprisoned since April 2017.

Imelda is 20 years old and lives in poverty in Jiquilisco, a rural municipality located in the department of Usulután. From the age of 12 she was continuously raped by her now 70-year-old stepfather. In 2016, while she was in ninth grade and had started her distance-learning education, she became pregnant with his child.

Imelda has a mild cognitive disability. She is a victim of exclusion and poverty, but the Salvadoran State has not protected her, nor has it guaranteed her rights, but rather criminalized her and aggravated the violations of her human rights.


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Imelda needs everyone to raise their voices for her and other women’s lives. We need you to urge all relevant authorities to free women who have been thrown in jail in El Salvador for miscarrying or having other obstetric emergencies.

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