Despite having been included since 2019 in the Penal Code of Yucatán as a crime, street sexual harassment persists in the entity, it is committed daily and mostly the victims are women.
One case was recounted by Friday, a 19-year-old girl living in the municipality of Hunucmá, in the west of the state, who last Sunday around 12:30 in the afternoon was walking alone on 22nd Street (between 17th and 19th) in the municipal capital.
At one point, a white pickup truck caught up with her and passed very close to where she was walking. The driver slowed down to go at her pace so he could look at her through the mirrors.
“He turned to look at me morbidly while driving very slowly, I was a few meters before the bus stop, and as the van continued to advance slowly I knew he was watching me through the rearview mirror,” she recounted through a publication of social networks.
The young woman added that not content with following her for a few meters, the driver of the vehicle stopped for a few seconds next to her, a situation that caused her fear and made her blood run cold.
“I started to back away while I took out my cell phone, I dialed my mom while I watched as the van continued to move slowly and stopped again near the next corner, it moved slowly again while it disappeared from my sight,” she wrote.
After seeing where the vehicle went, the victim turned around and ran to an open clothing store to feel safe. There she told the employees what had happened, and they offered her shelter until a family member arrived.
“I don’t want to imagine what could have happened if I had been further ahead where I was totally alone, thank you very much to the people who helped me”, said the young woman, who said that due to fear she could not see the license plates or the model of the vehicle that followed her for several meters.
Cases like this happen every day in different parts of the state, but few are formally reported to the Attorney General’s Office. During the first year that it was considered a misdemeanor, the Municipal Police of Merida reported 52 arrests for street harassment, of which only three were reported to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
However, although complaints for this type of crime against sexual freedom and security are few, the trend has been increasing over the last few years.
According to the Crime Incidence Report of the National Public Security System, during 2020 a total of four complaints for sexual harassment were registered, a figure that reached seven the following year and by 2022 increased to 15, representing an increase of over 200 in just two years.
So far in 2023 alone, the federal agency’s report indicates that in Yucatán one investigation file has already been opened for the crime of sexual harassment.