MEXICO CITY Mexican men who display extreme jealousy or avoid sex with their wives could be tried in court and punished under a new law, the special prosecutor for crimes against women told a local newspaper on Friday.
Men who phone their wives every half hour to check up on them, constantly suspect them of infidelity or try to control the way they dress are committing the crime of jealousy, special prosecutor Alicia Elena Perez Duarte told Excelsior newspaper.
Those who stop talking to their wives, avoid sex or try to convince suspicious spouses they are "crazy" even if they are caught red-handed having an affair, are guilty of indifference, she said.
Men found guilty of jealousy or indifference could face up to five years in prison, the newspaper said. Mexico's individual states will determine the punishments, it said.
The progressive new law was passed this month to protect women from domestic violence.
In Mexico, about 75 percent of all murdered women are killed by their husbands, Perez Duarte said.
"If we do not stop this from the beginning, it turns into beatings, and the beatings turn into more beatings and rape, until it gets out of hand, and whoops, she died," she told the paper.
Perez Duarte said the law would be a weapon that women could employ to level the playing field with abusive men.
"Men ought not to feel discriminated against," she told Excelsior.
Perez Duarte said indifference, jealousy or lack of love were crimes against women just as much as physical violence.
"Jealousy produces a particular type of stress in the person that comes up against it," she said. "It is exactly the same. They are wounds, psychological scars identical to physical scars."