The community police have reportedly jailed a 14-year-old girl identified as Anayeli “N” for 14 hours for attempting to escape an arranged marriage.
Anayeli was meant to marry a 16-year-old neighbor in Mexico’s Guerrero state whose family already offered to pay the sum of 200,000 pesos (about $9,300 USD) to marry her.
Anayeli’s mother had accepted the payment was prepared for the marriage, the neighboring family paid for a band, slaughtered a cow, and prepared for the marriage feast to take place on Monday, November 29.
According to the would-be groom’s parents, they spent over 56,000 pesos (2,600 USD) in preparation for the wedding.
Anayeli who initially thought it was her elder sister that was getting married got the shock of her life when she discovered on the morning of the wedding day that she was the one getting married.
She immediately took off to her friend’s place where she was given shelter.
Anayeli hail from the village of Joya Real, in the municipality of Cochoapa el Grande, one of the poorest in Mexico.
When the police found out, Anayeli “N” and her friend were both arrested.
The Director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, Abel Barrera Hernandez, stated that Anayeli was kept in jail for 14 hours.
They were however released after dialogue was established between community authorities and lawyers from the Tlachinollan Center, supported by personnel from the state prosecutor’s office, elements of the national guard and the local defense attorney.
After the controversy, Barrera Hernández asked municipal and state authorities “to give protection of the two minors”.
Once a girl is bought in the name of marriage, she is “treated as an object” by the family that paid for her,
“She has to work, she has to cook the food, she has to do the cleaning, she has to go to the fields, and if she gets to work as an agricultural laborer, the money is not going to be paid to her, but to her father-in-law,” Barrera added.
Marriage between minors in Mexico was prohibited by law in 2019. However, in indigenous communities of Mexico that are governed by customs, these unions are still allowed.