(Photo: Rogelio Morales / Cuartoscuro)
Seven years ago, the Mexican Olimpia Coral Melo was the victim of a ‘revenge porn’ by an ex-partner: she shared explicit sexual content of her without her consent. That brought her to the brink of suicide. But also to promote an initiative that became the ‘Olimpia law’ that since 2018 punishes with jail people who do what they did to her in Mexico. And now that has earned him to be considered one of the 100 most influential people in the legendary Time magazine ranking.
“Melo Cruz and I are soul mates,” says Amanda Nguyen, writer of the Olimpia article in the famed magazine, “and I hope she inspires people around the world not only to take up this cause, but also to speak up. themselves. It can be difficult to be a survivor, to talk about something so personal, but the impact of Melo Cruz will not only be significant in this moment, it will be remembered in history, and history is on his side.
“She has changed the world. That is what she symbolizes ”, adds the publication.
In 2013, when Olimpia was 18 years old, she was an internationally outstanding student in debate and public speaking competitions. He lived in Huauchinango, a small town in Puebla, in central Mexico. She had a boyfriend for six years. They were filmed having sex. He did not appear in the filming: she did. The intimate video was disseminated with virulence and without scruples. He climbed on social media and on the internet. Social networks made fun of the “gordibuena of Huauchinango ”.
In the pornographic pages they exploited his identity and demanded money to delete the content.
Her boyfriend became an ex: he left her “out of shame.” She was locked up at home for eight months. She tried to kill herself three times: in one of them she was saved by a friend who was passing over the bridge where she had gone to jump. “I don’t know if he realized it, but he saved my life,” he acknowledged later, when depression became his struggle and the desire to die was the driving force behind his cause.
The worst day of her life was when her mother found out that the entire town had seen a video of her daughter naked. Olimpia confessed that she wanted to die and asked for his help to do so. Her mother, a native of an indigenous and illiterate community, told her, looking into her eyes: “We all fuck. Your cousin, your sister, me. The difference is that they see you do it. That does not make you a bad person or a criminal. You just enjoyed your sex life like anyone does. It would be a shame if you had stolen or killed ”.
Olimpia said that in those words she found sisterhood. She understood that it was not her fault. He found that he was not the only person that people made fun of on social media. He saw from his window a woman placidly walking down the street who everyone knew had stolen twenty pairs of shoes and he wondered why she did not leave her house if she had not done anything wrong. He decided to go to the Public Ministry to file the complaint.
The officer who received her asked for the video as a resource to verify the story. For the first time, she saw someone see her having nude sex from a phone. The police officer, after laughing, threw him: “You were neither drunk, nor drugged, nor did they rape you. According to the penal code there is no crime ”. What they had done to him had no name or was typified in the laws. She collected testimonies from other women who had gone through the same thing. He founded the National Front for Sorority, dedicated to combating violence in social networks, especially against women and children.
He drafted a law that he called Reform. He presented it at the Municipal Palace of Puebla in March 2014 when he was just 19 years old. In the silence you could hear the whispers of the public when they saw the girl from the sex tape on the stage. “You are the criminals, not me,” he told them.
Four years later, in December 2018, the Puebla state Congress approved reforms to the penal code regarding crimes of rape against sexual intimacy to punish anyone who disseminates photographs or videos with a penalty of between three to six years in prison. of a sexual nature without the consent of those involved. Olympia’s purpose had been fulfilled. A journalist innocently attributed the merit to him and in an article renamed the norm: everyone began to tell him the Olimpia Law.
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