Domestic violence in the State of Jalisco, particularly in the capital Guadalajara, including state protection and support services available (2007-2009) [MEX103207.FE]

According to an article published in 2009 in the Guadalajara newspaper, El Occidental, there has been an apparent increase in family violence in the State of Jalisco (5 Oct. 2009). An article published by a news agency in the State of Mexico, Notimex, indicated that two out of five women are affected by family violence (6 Mar. 2009). An article published in March 2008 by El Occidental indicates that 78.5 percent of women aged 15 years and older have been victims of domestic violence (7 Mar. 2008). The article states that for every 100 women, 47 have been victims of emotional violence, 31 of economic violence, 20 of physical violence and 12 of sexual violence (El Occidental 7 Mar. 2008). Some women report being subjected to more than one kind of violence (ibid.).

According to complaints received in 2007 by the office of the National Network of Family Development Agencies [also known as the National System for the Comprehensive Development of the Family] (Sisteme Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, DIF), family violence in the city of Guadalajara has increased by 25 percent (El Occidental 2 July 2007). According to the Office of the Family Social Prosecutor (Procuraduría Social de la Familia), 529 complaints were filed between 1 January and 2 July 2007 (ibid.). Among them, 58 percent involved the ill treatment of women (ibid.). According to the same source, the hamlets of Obrero, Lomas del Gallo, Zoológico, Federalismo y Ferrocarril, San Juan de Dios y Morelos and San Andrés are considered to have a high risk of family violence (ibid.).

Protection and support services available

According to an article published in the Guadalajara newspaper, El Informador, the General Law on Women's Access to a Life Free of Violence (Ley General de Acceso de las Mujeres a una Vida Libre de Violencia) came into effect in the State of Jalisco on 27 June 2008 (25 Aug. 2008). According to the source, the law’s main objective is to [translation] “establish coordination among the federal government, the states and the municipalities in order to prevent, punish and eradicate violence against women” (El Informador 25 Aug. 2008). The State of Jalisco is the twentieth state to pass the law; homicides are punishable by a sentence of 18 to 24 years in prison, up from the previous sentence of 12 to 16 years (ibid.). Information on the enforcement of the law could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

According to Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009, published by the United States (US) Department of State, the law criminalizes spousal rape, proscribing a prison sentence of up to 20 years (US 11 Mar. 2010, Sec. 6). The same source also indicates, however, that few complaints are filed by victims, in part because of “the authorities' ineffective and unsupportive responses to victims” (ibid.).

An article published in 2009 by El Occidental stated that government agencies ignore [translation] “the aspects related to helping victims, prevention, filing complaints, and the assessment and follow-up of the family violence cases that are reported” (El Occidental 5 Oct. 2009). According to the article, there is also a lack of qualified personnel in this field (ibid.).

Cited in an article in La Jornada, the coordinator of the International Convention on Family Therapy (Congreso Internacional de Terapia Familiar) stated that family violence is due to many factors and that measures to [translation] “provide police officers with training, to increase public awareness and to develop the ability to recognize this kind of violence” are needed (La Jornada 17 June 2008). The objective of the convention, held at the University of Guadalajara (Universidad de Guadalajara, UDEG) from 19 to 21 June 2008 (ibid.), was to share ways in which family therapy can be used to deal with situations of violence and thereby improve the intervention of professionals in such cases (UDEG n.d.).

An information bulletin published in 2009 by the Jalisco Institute for Women (Instituto Jaliscience de las Mujeres, IJM), a public organization responsible for creating, promoting and evaluating public policies to foster equality between men and women (Jalisco n.d.a), indicates that, in the State of Jalisco, there are 23 municipal organizations for women (Institutos Municipales de las Mujeres) and 73 help centres (Centros de Atención, CE Mujer) that provide assistance to women in the form of information and education about their rights, among other things (Jalisco 24 Nov. 2009). Among other services, the IJM offers personalized legal aid (Asesoría Jurídica en Persona) to provide women with information about various topics, such as divorce, alimony and violence (Jalisco n.d.b).

According to an article published in January 2008 by the Council for the Prevention and Monitoring of Family Violence (Consejo Estatal para la Prevención y Atención a la Violencia Intrafamiliar, CEPAVI), a new family violence task force (Unidad de Atención a la Violencia Intrafamilia, UAVI), was established in December 2007 in Guadalajara, bringing the total number of police units to 22 in 22 municipalities of the State of Jalisco (Jalisco 15 Jan. 2008). According to the article, these units provide legal and psychological help to victims of violence and to perpetrators (ibid.).

An article published by Notimex indicates that in April 2009, the Jalisco Health Department (Secretaría de Salud Jalisco, SSJ) was planning to open eight help centres for victims of family violence that would provide victims with, among other things, legal advice (Notimex 6 Mar. 2009). According to the article, those centres would be located in the cities of Colotlán, Lagos de Moreno, Tepatitlán, La Barca, Ciudad Guzmán, Puerto Vallarta, Ameca and Guadalajara (ibid.). The same article indicates that staff at these centres will be provided with training that will enable them to detect when women are being subjected to violence (ibid.). Information on the opening of those centres or on the services they offer could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

In Guadalajara, the office of the DIF in Tapatío has established a program called “Guadalajara is knocking on your door” (Guadalajara toca a tu puerta), under which home visits are carried out by the program’s social workers (La Jornada 10 Sept. 2007). Those social workers have visited the hamlets with the highest risk for victims of family violence in order to offer their services and distribute information pamphlets (ibid.). According to another article in La Jornada, more than 100,000 homes in Guadalajara have received visits from the social workers, which resulted in 288 cases of family violence and ill treatment being identified and reported to the Office of the Family Social Prosecutor for immediate attention (17 June 2008). Additional information on the program could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

In addition to these services, the Zapopan DIF’s Observatory on Social and Gender Violence (Observatorio de Violencia Social y de Género) provides a list of organizations-some of which are located in Guadalajara-that offer support and guidance to victims of ill treatment or family violence (Zapopan n.d.). Legal aid and psychological counselling are among the main services offered in Guadalajara (ibid.).

The Mujeres Hoy website, a Latino-American portal created by the non-governmental organization (NGO) Isis Internacional that addresses gender issues (Mujeres Hoy n.d.a), makes reference to an NGO called the Sexual Assault Prevention and Orientation Centre (Centro de Orientación y Prevención de la Agresión Sexual), which offers prevention programs, training, and psychological and legal assistance, among other things (ibid. n.d.b).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


El Informador [Guadalajara]. 25 August 2008. “Instalan Consejo estatal para erradicar la violencia contra las mujeres.” [Accessed 26 Jan. 2010]

Jalisco. 24 November 2009. Instituto Jalisciense de las Mujeres (IJM). “Exhortan a gobiernos municipales entrantes a continuar la lucha contra la violencia hacia las mujeres.” [Accessed 18 Jan. 2010]

_____. 15 January 2008. Consejo Estatal para la Prevención y Atención a la Violencia Intrafamiliar (CEPAVI). “Inauguran unidad de atención a la violencia intrafamiliar en ZMG.” [Accessed 18 Jan. 2010]

_____. N.d.a. Instituto Jalisciense de las Mujeres (IJM). “Quiénes Somos.” [Accessed 31 Mar. 2010]

_____. N.d.b. Instituto Jalisciense de las Mujeres (IJM). “Servicios.” [Accessed 31 Mar. 2010]

La Jornada [Jalisco]. 17 June 2008. Viridiana Saavedra Ponce. “Aumentó 50 por ciento la violencia contra mujeres y niños en los últimos cinco años.” < [Accessed 22 Jan. 2010]

_____. 10 September 2007. Juan Carlos G. Partida. “Alarmante, el aumento de suicidios y casos de violencia familiar en Jalisco.” < [Accessed 22 Jan. 2010]

Mujeres Hoy. N.d.a. “Quiénes somos.” [Accessed 26 Nov. 2009]

_____. N.d.b. “Violencia contra las mujeres en América Latina y El Caribe. Directorio de organizaciones e instituciones - México.” [Accessed 26 Nov. 2009]

Notimex [Mexico]. 6 March 2009. “Víctimas de violencia intrafamiliar 2 de cada 5 mujeres en Jalisco.” (Factiva) [Accessed 18 Jan. 2010]

El Occidental [Guadalajara]. 5 October 2009. “Violencia intrafamiliar, asignatura pendiente.” [Accessed 18 Jan. 2010]

_____. 7 March 2008. Maru García. “Crece tasa de violencia contra las mujeres.” [Accessed 9 Oct. 2008]

_____. 2 July 2007. “Aumenta en Guadalajara la violencia intrafamiliar.” [Accessed 2 July 2009]

United States (US). 11 March 2010. Department of State. “Mexico.” Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009. [Accessed 29 Mar. 2010]

Universidad de Guadalajara (UDEG). N.d. Centro Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud (CUCS). “Primer Congreso Internacional de Terapia Familiar.” [Accessed 31 Mar. 2010]

Zapopan [Jalisco]. N.d. Observatorio de Violencia Social y de Género del DIF Zapopan. “Directorio Instituciones de Apoyo y Orientación para Víctimas del Maltrato y/o Violencia Intrafamiliar.” [Accessed 22 Jan. 2010]

Additional sources consulted

Oral sources: Representatives of the Instituto Jaliscience de las Mujeres (IJM) and the DIF in Guadalajara could not provide information within the time constraints for this Response.

Internet sites, including: Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Mexico - Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH), Mexico - Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), Mexico - Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres (INMUJERES), Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Jalisco (PGJEJ), United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Database on Violence Against Women, United States (US) Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).