Eva "Higui" De Jesús, The Argentinean Woman in Prison for Killing the Man Who Tried to Rape Her, Acquitted

Eva "Higui" De Jesús, The Argentinean Woman in Prison for Killing the Man Who Tried to Rape Her, Acquitted
On the poster: "Self-defence is not a crime". Photo by Instagram @absolucion_higui


Camilla Souza

Women’s Rights Researcher, 

Global Human Rights Defence.

It was Sunday, 16 October 2016, when Eva Analía de Jesús, better known as Higui, found herself in the streets with a group of 10 men who used to harass her because of her sexual orientation, tried to rape her shouting "lesbian, we're going to make you feel like a woman". The men beat her and tried to rape her, but she defended herself with a gardening knife that she was carrying between her breasts. The only stab wound she managed to connect, before she was knocked unconscious, killed Cristian Rubén Espósito.

Although she had denounced it as an attempted gang rape and was found fainted at the scene, her trousers, and underwear torn and traumatized in different parts of her body, the incident was never investigated as such. Higui has been prosecuted for "simple homicide" and spent eight months in prison, and her freedom was only recovered in June 2017, thanks to a strong campaign and mobilization of different social organizations.

Her defense alleged that on the day of the events, Higui was the victim of an attack and attempted corrective gang rape, given her lesbian. Fearing for her integrity and her life, Higui legitimately defended herself with the only element she had at her disposal, causing an injury to one of the aggressors, which later caused her death.

Last Thursday, after three days of trial, Higui was finally acquitted.

In an interview with Agencia Presentes, Higui's lawyer, Chiqui Conder, said "This is a victory for us, not for the judicial system. They have to believe us when we denounce abuse. Nothing of what was done to Higui was investigated here. The only thing you see from the prosecutors is that they criminalize Higui for being a woman, black, poor, and lesbian. The first thing the state does with Higui, who has suffered multiple forms of violence, is to lock her up and put her in prison. This speaks of an absent state".

Sources and Further Reading:

AGENCIA PRESENTES. Absolvieron a Higui de Jesús, atacada por lesbiana, acusada por defenderse <https://agenciapresentes.org/2022/03/17/higui-de-jesus-declaro-en-la-tercera-audiencia-del-juicio-en-su-contra-queria-declarar-me-siento-mejor/>

BBC. Quién es Eva Analía Dejesús, Higui, la argentina presa "por matar al hombre que la iba a violar" y por qué la apoya René Higuita < https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-40196865

LA DIARIA. Argentina: la Justicia absolvió a Eva Higui de Jesús, la mujer que en 2016 mató a un hombre al defenderse de una violación grupal < https://ladiaria.com.uy/feminismos/articulo/2022/3/argentina-la-justicia-absolvio-a-eva-higui-de-jesus-la-mujer-que-en-2016-mato-a-un-hombre-al-defenderse-de-una-violacion-grupal/>

FREE AND EQUAL – UNITED NATIONS. Violence. <https://www.unfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Violence-English.pdf