Guadalajara, Mexico Legalizes Sex in Public To Prevent Police Extortion, Focus On Violent Crime

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Lawmakers in Guadalajara, Mexico passed legislation that now legalizes public sex acts as long as there's no third-party complaints filed with police. Getty Images | Alfredo Estrella

Lawmakers in Guadalajara, Mexico passed legislation that now legalizes public sex acts as long as there's no third-party complaints filed with police.

Authorities in the Jalisco state's capital city approved the law revoking authority from police to apprehend people having sex in public view. Council members in the conservative city who proposed the legislation said it's to prevent police from extorting young couples caught having sex and also to channel police toward investigating more serious crimes, including the region's rising murder rate.

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Lawmakers in Guadalajara, Mexico passed legislation that now legalizes public sex acts as long as there's no third-party complaints filed with police. Reuters | Tomas Bravo

"Having sexual relations or committing acts of exhibitionism of a sexual nature in public places, vacant lots, inside vehicles or in private locations in public view will be considered administrative offenses, as long as a citizen requests police intervention," reads the modification to article 14 of the Bylaws of Good Government, KNBC-TV of Los Angeles reported.

Police in Guadalajara will still be able to detain and give an administrative fine to those performing "immoral acts of exhibitionism" should a third-party notify law enforcement while the act is still underway. Council member Guadalupe Morfin Otero told the Mexican newspaper El Universal the measure was created to stop police from extorting "'people giving each other' in a consensual manner, especially young people."

Otero pointed to a recent survey of college students that showed 90 percent had been threatened by police with serious penalties or demands after being caught in a public sexual act. In the highly Catholic and conservative city, embarrassment and other pernicious police tactics frequently prevent such cases from ever even reaching the judicial system.

Critics of the public sex legalization reforms told El Universal they view the matter as a moral issue rather than a legal issue. Some citizens told the newspaper they believe it makes it easier for pedophiles and rapists to abuse their victims even in full display of people in public parks and streetside vehicles.

But the city's rapidly rising homicides have potentially pushed police toward investigating violent crimes rather than public acts of passion. Earlier this month, more than 20 bodies were found in graves in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara. According to Telesur TV, the bodies were found in two clandestine pits as Mexico as a country has seen its annual murder rate rise 16 percent during the first half of 2018.

Guadalajara, Mexico Legalizes Sex in Public To Prevent Police Extortion, Focus On Violent Crime | Culture