Amelia de Jesús Laje was bleeding in the middle of the street, last Friday, after allegedly receiving 13 stabs from her partner Miguel Aguirre. Everything was recorded on video: from the slow death of the woman, occurred in Pisulí, north of Quito, to the cuts that the alleged aggressor self-sentenced.
The cell phone of a curious person recorded the scene, without missing details, just as the kidnapping and murder of Diana Carolina Ramírez Reyes was captured in all angles, like a horror movie recorded in Ibarra. In seconds, her terrified face reproduced thousands of times on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram …
The knife of her supposed murderer, Yordy Losada, entered her body while dozens of cell phones recorded, on January 19, how the life of the woman was extinguished.
The immortalization of this type of crime through a mobile phone is a trend that seems to be increasing. Although for the lawyer Lenin Hurtado, professor of Computer Law of the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil, this “is reprehensible from the ethical point of view, legally (the one that records) would not fall in any crime”.
In the country, it is increasingly common that murders or rapes, as in the case of Martha – who was insulted in a bar in Quito on February 16 – are recorded on video.
“Increasingly, the urge to achieve a video that is viral in social networks is what makes people have the phones raked to capture a time that allows them to become famous, have more ‘likes’,” Hurtado analyzes.
However, there are legal sanctions in case the person who executes the action has the legal obligation to prevent it, in the case of police officers, the jurist advises. This is stipulated in Article 23 of the Comprehensive Criminal Organic Code (COIP).
Catching an assault can also be aggravating the felony, as in Martha’s case, that her alleged rapists would have recorded the fact on their cell phones.
“They do not process them for the recording, but for the violation. But in the long run, in the process, they can be taken as aggravating factors, “explained Luis Hernández, a lawyer specialized in Criminology and Criminal Sciences.
He explained that, in this case, the act was registered without the consent of the young woman, therefore they would be violating their privacy, an offense defined in Article 178 of COIP, which alone has a prison sentence of one to three years.
But for a ‘common’ person, the “seek, receive, exchange, produce and disseminate truthful, verified, timely, contextualized, plural information, without prior censorship about events, events and processes of general interest, and with subsequent responsibility” , is guaranteed in article 18 of the Constitution.
But at the discretion of Christian Espinosa, capacitor in Content, Reputation On Line and Mobile and who carries out the campaign of Responsible Management of Social Networks #PiensaAntesDePublicar (thinkBeforeUploading) it is necessary to regulate this type of content because this is “normalizing violence.”
He believes that when someone takes their cell phone to record these crimes they are falling into a lack of empathy towards the victim. “In networks there are no restrictions, but it is necessary to go to a topic of ethics, values since people are students who record fights among their peers instead of helping,” he advised.
He recalled a case in the United States, in which a young woman, aged 19, broadcast live, through the social network Periscope, the rape of her friend to get more ‘likes’. She was sentenced to 9 months in prison in Ohio, ABC reported.
For the clinical psychologist Jorge Luis Escobar, president of the Ecuadorian Association of Psychologists, the ‘protagonism’ and the ‘fame’ are two factors that also intervene in the fact that a person records and disseminates these crimes, because they appeal to the morbid and generate audience. “Before, only the paparazzi did it,” he said.
He does not believe that this behavior has increased, but that technology has made it more visible now. “Morbid is really a social symptom,” he says.
Escobar analyzes another aspect: although it does not seem, there are those who do it, basically, for a pseudosolidarity. “Because (they think) we need to prove it so that it does not happen again. We need others to know and know what is happening, “he added.
He commented that this is a consequence in which many factors intervene, among them the ‘protection’ by antisocial laws, whose names and faces are covered in certain media. “As the offender can no longer go out in conventional cameras that makes people want to see their faces,” he said.
However, according to the sociologist Magda Rojas, a teacher at the Sociology School of the University of Guayaquil, this type and incidents can cause new crimes or violent behaviors that are different from those that occurred that have been captured.
He gave the example of Diana Carolina, who mobilized dozens of people in Ibarra and who fell into xenophobic acts when they learned, through social networks, that the aggressor was Venezuelan.
He also brought up the lynching of three people in Posorja, after viralizing the rumor that they were supposed kidnappers of children last October.
“We are becoming an increasingly violent society. We have to analyze what we are going to record, if it is to help or simple morbid, “he suggested. (I)