Student activists say they are being targeted for their role in exposing online abuse

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Given the university’s inaction, student activists have begun protesting on campus holding a banner that reads “There is no excuse for those who cover up abusers.” Photo: Cecilia Abreu

Student activists at Anáhuac Mayab University say that they are being targeted for speaking out against the nonconsensual online trade of explicit photos and videos of their classmates.

The group used to trade the explicit media reportedly to place in a “secret” Telegram chat group with over 1,200 members — mostly made up of students from Anáhuac Mayab University.

Members of the collective Sororidad Anáhuac say that they have been threatened and verbally assaulted both online and in-person for their role in bringing attention to the case. 

Despite assurances from the university that legal measures will be taken, the activists say that they have been given the cold shoulder by the institution’s leadership. 

The students also noted that they are increasingly concerned about their academic future as they fear reprisals from the university. 

Earlier: Women in Mérida and across Mexico go public with their personal stories of violence

But activists note that greater pressure needs to be placed on the institution if justice is to be served. 

“The university has shown itself to be completely indifferent regarding the situation and our safety. Make no mistake, they are complicit,” wrote the group via their Instagram account @sororidadanahuac.

The existence of the Telegram group has been widely condemned on social media. But there exists a widespread concern that the incident will be swept under the rug given the perpetrators’ social status and desire of the Anáhuac Mayab University to keep silent.

Since the Telegram group was deactivated, there have been reports of the explicit photos and videos showing up on websites and even being sold as part of “packs.”

Under a 2018 federal law known as the Ley Olimpia, individuals who engage in sharing intimate materials without consent are liable for criminal prosecution. Violators face up to six years in prison and a half-million-peso fine.

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