This Honduran politician wants to castrate child rapists

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A Honduran politician this week posted a campaign video calling for child rapists to have their balls cut.

In the one-minute campaign video, a series of actors say “Cut Them” by imitating scissors cutting with their fingers accompanied by a cutting sound. At the end, lawmaker Antonio Rivera declares that he agrees and repeats the slogan while cutting off his fingers on the screen.

The video was slammed on social media, including by many who thought the idea was hypocritical.

“While we’re at it, what if we included cutting off the fingers of those who steal from the state, especially funds for children, health and education?” ” said a user on Twitter, mocking the legislator’s proposal.

Rivera, vice president of Congress and four-term legislator from the capital Tegucigalpa, represents the ruling National Party, which has held power for a dozen years. General elections are scheduled for November 28.

The National Conservative Party is embroiled in numerous drug trafficking and corruption scandals that threaten its grip on government. As the elections approached, party members resorted to increasingly ridiculous positions on social issues.

Following a recent meeting with evangelical leaders, party spokeswoman Edith Copland reportedly said that one of the main opposition candidates “proposes that our children be homosexual from childhood,” reflecting a conservative view of homosexuality observed in the region which suggests that people are coerced into being homosexual.

The castration of sex offenders, if introduced in Honduras, would be one of the harshest penalties in the world for this crime. One of the most extreme examples is in a Nigerian state, where men who rape a child under 14 are castrated and then executed, while those who rape a person over 14 are castrated and sentenced to life imprisonment. Women offenders have their fallopian tubes removed.

The Czech Republic allows voluntary castration in extreme cases, while several states in the United States allow or require chemical castration, which is not permanent and is achieved through the use of pills which reduce testosterone and therefore the libido of the person.

Some studies suggest that surgical castration can reduce the likelihood that a rapist will reoffend, but the practice is riddled with ethical dilemmas, including the possibility of forcing the procedure on an innocent person, as is the case with the death penalty.

In Nigeria, where the law entered into force in 2020, some activists interviewed whether castration may produce the unintended consequence of fewer survivors of sexual abuse reporting the crimes.

In Honduras, the crime is already largely underreported, according to human rights groups, who call it “an invisible emergency”. Teenage girls are the ones most often targeted by sexual predators.

Despite the gravity of the problem, the castration proposal does not appear to enjoy broad popular support and is unlikely to make or break Rivera’s electoral success.



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