A 10-year-old girl was forced to give birth this Monday at the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes Maternity and Gynecology Institute, located in San Miguel de Tucumán. The abuser, Carlos Alberto Merlos, 54, is a fugitive. Of course, saying “childbirth” which is already a horror at that age, leaves out of question the previous 7 months that the gestation took -because it is not about miracles-, and those who have been in charge of the girl, not only her tutors (because there was a tenure dispute in between with the biological mother and because Merlos is a partner of Isolina, who had temporary custody), but the school the girl attended, the family justice that was handling the legal case, the Directorate for Children, which should be a party to the cause; all of them witnessed the growth of the girl’s body during pregnancy without a question mark being moved. Not only that. To close the tremendous case comparable to torture, the local press was informed that the ILE protocol had been complied with, but that due to the advanced gestational age, she was born alive. “This is wrong, since if the protocol had been activated that should not have happened,” he assured Page 12 the lawyer Soledad Deza, feminist, founder of Mujeres x mujeres.
According to public information, which began to circulate from the mouth of the mother’s legal representative, Patricio Char, the girl was left in the middle of a dispute over possession between the biological mother and the caregiver (Isolina), with a favorable ruling on the part of justice, first in favor of the guardian, and then the mother, but with a court order: “Although the biological mother obtained custody, the provincial justice determined that Isolina would be in charge, until then the mother could solve the situation of vulnerability in which he lives, “he told this newspaper.
Regardless of the situation, the girl’s life was traversed by a world of adults who looked the other way. Because the judicial intervention took several years. Currently, due to the irregular custody situation of the girl, the Family Court is intervening, headed by Dr. Rossana Martínez. There was no mention of her side. During the judicialization, the Directorate of Children and Family had to be an interested party, which also did not notice anything. On the other hand, the girl was in school and the establishment should have been aware of her situation or simply the State should have intervened if she was not in school.
According to the information that circulated in the local media, and confirmed by Char, the girl was admitted to the Eva Perón Hospital, which referred her without guaranteeing her ILE and then, at the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes Maternity, the delivery took place. “So, once again, the State re-victimizes it in another institutional space,” Deza argued. “It is unacceptable.”
“Here you have to think about several things,” said Deza. “On the one hand, pregnancies in such young girls are usually detected late. And here I open two questions: What does the child protection system do to reduce this horror? girl who was handed over to another neighboring family due to a previous vulnerability of a family structure and apparently the State had no news. And if it had news of that situation, why was there no follow-up? If it did follow-up, it was clearly a Failure. There is a Directorate for Children and Family absolutely absent. Also a school for whom that abused girl was invisible. After that, we must also reflect on a public health policy. It cannot be sustained by recharging the backs of one or two professionals who perform abortions in the third trimester, “Deza denounces, and adds,” fetolysis, which has already been done in Tucumán, in the third trimester is very hard, and there is no training of professionals in that regard. It is true that it is a reality of abused girls. And the absence of a State cannot be carried on their backs, much less validate the institutional violence in them. It is very unfair, very sad, but above all, unforgivable. “
“This is part of another more macro problem, which is that the Minister of Health, Luis Medina Ruiz, is a conscientious objector. In fact, he is the one who organized the symbolic hug to the Avellaneda Hospital when the Belén incident occurred – the young woman sentenced to 8 years in prison for a spontaneous abortion and that finally, with the pressure of the militancy and the representation of Soledad Deza, managed to be released by a decision of the Tucuman Court. Explicit demonstrations against the public policy of legal abortion reveal an option to frustrate access to the service. “
Regarding the fugitive rapist, the prosecutor in charge, Carlos Sale, labeled the file as “aggravated sexual abuse” and requested the national and international capture of the fugitive.