Catholic news website: https://www.infocatolica.com/blog/infories.php/2207111008-ecuador-una-joven-testigo-de
Woman, locked between her ‘silence’ and the murder of her baby
Lawyer and relatives of a young woman investigated for stabbing her child request a medical evaluation, to determine if she suffers from a mental disorder.
The request is done. The lawyer Shirley Apolo requested that her client do a medical and psychiatric examination. That evaluation will reveal if she has a mental disorder and what kind. The result is important. Whether or not she gets out of prison depends on that, and the future of the judicial process that follows.
Her family can not find an explanation to understand how the 25-year – old girl ended up in the women’s detention center in Guayaquil. They know that she would have stabbed her baby on June 30, but she never reacted violently before. That is why this whole situation surprises them.
The emotional shock they feel is mixed with anger . They do not agree that he is in the prison center. She has hearing and speech disabilities , but her relatives also say that she suffers from the disorder that the expertise seeks to confirm. Due to these conditions, they think that the preventive detention that was ordered, while the case is being investigated, is not the appropriate measure.
Guayaquil: Woman recounted in sign language why she stabbed her baby
” People exert pressure , thinking that it is an act of evil , of irresponsibility ,” says his brother.
He does not want to refer to how the attack on the little boy would have happened, because he does not want to interfere with the investigations. But he does clarify that his ñaña is not aggressive. He does not know what could have happened to him at that moment.
The boy was born on May 14 . Days before, his mother was happy with him . She was excited to imagine that the infant has clear eyes , like the grandfather. After the birth he continued to be happy, affirms her relative.
“The nurses said that despite her disability , she was one of the first to get up to breastfeed her son. She was worried , with a cesarean section and everything, to breastfeed him, ”she says.
The little boy was taken to medical centers to be treated, but the seriousness of the wounds (produced with a knife) caused him to die.
He describes her as a good person , who was even in the care of a niece , without anything new happening. “She and her son ‘s father met at the Jehovah ‘s Witnesses church . He also belongs to that congregation . They fell in love there.”
Fernando Brito , national spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, by email indicated that they are saddened by the death of the child. They do not have data on the case and assume that the authorities will continue with the investigation .
“Jehovah’s Witnesses do not protect anyone guilty of a serious crime or the consequences of their actions . Criminal conduct like this is condemned by the Bible ,” he stated.
When asked in the same way about the young woman’s behavior , he replied that “the baby’s mother is known in the congregation for being an emotionally stable person , who gets along with everyone and was not known to have any mental illness or that kind of mess .”
According to police information , the woman communicated by signs to the spouse that she saw the devil inside the minor and that is why she acted like this. The congregation was not aware of that detail. Their biblical belief rejects spiritualistic practices .
Apollo took the case on Wednesday . He later visited the woman and she was worried . “She is not in a priority place , she is with the other inmates (…). Inside the prison there are no staff who know sign language, ”she emphasizes.
Like the family , she is concerned that the girl ‘s needs are not exactly known due to the difficulty of communication . In addition, the girl , being in the postpartum period , produces breast milk , with the risk of mastitis ( inflammation of the breast tissue , common in the lactation stage , which sometimes generates an infection ).
The case file contains an official letter issued by the judge to the director of the prison, ordering that the defendant receive ” priority attention , due to the severe hearing disability demonstrated at the hearing , and the presumption of a possible mental disability .”
Mother is in prison for the death of her baby, in Guayaquil
WHAT IF THE DISORDER IS CHECKED?
For Apolo it is amazing that in the hearing , as he was able to learn, a police officer who knows sign language supported the interpretation , instead of an expert witness .
Likewise, she questions that the Prosecutor ‘s Office filed charges for murder and requested preventive detention , without considering that the lawyers who represented her in the proceeding alleged that, in addition to her disabilities , she has a mental disorder and had not undergone a medical evaluation before the hearing. . That is why the defender requested said evaluation.
The excerpt from the hearing details that a copy of a Conadis credential ( National Council for Equality of Disabilities) indicating a disability of 60% was presented. Djalma Blum , a lawyer and former judge of Criminal Guarantees, indicates that it is not clear if the card includes only hearing and speech disabilities or mental disabilities as well .
He explains that if the expertise proves a disorder in the girl, she is not criminally responsible for the crime , so the process would be filed , as long as her condition ” nullifies her ability to understand the act she is committing ” (see infographic).
What pathologies can eliminate understanding ? Dr. Julieta Sagnay , a specialist in psychiatry , mentions that psychotic episodes or schizophrenia lead to this consequence . “Many of these people have mental retardation , they are born with a cognitive problem and may have psychotic symptoms . More if it is verified that they have an IQ of less than 70% ”.
To get to that point, there are previously behavioral changes , such as isolation, talking alone , hearing voices or having the idea that one is being persecuted . Signs that relatives must identify so that later, with a professional , begin treatment , he delimits.
The result of the expertise may or may not turn the case around. Until that happens, the communication and health complexities for women inside the prison will continue. How long will that wait last ?