The court has ruled to release Eva Analia de Jesús, better known by her nickname Higui. De Jesús had been detained since last October, when she was attacked by a group of men who she claims were attempting to rape her as a way of ‘correcting’ her sexuality. The group of men had previously targeted Higui with homophobic harassment. On the 16th of October 2016 they attacked her as she came out of a friend’s house in a working class neighborhood San Miguel — a medium sized city in Greater Buenos Aires.
According to Higui, a group of ten men surrounded her, beat her and threw her to the ground. One ripped her clothes and got on top of her. “I’m going to make you feel like a woman,” he told her. To defend herself, Higui alleged that she took out a knife she had hidden and stabbed the man, Cristian Rubén Espósito. Once in police custody, she was informed that her attacker had died from the wounds he received during the altercation.
Since the incident, Higui had been in ‘preventative’ prison, facing homicide charges. While advocates repeatedly called for the courts to acknowledge that this was a case of selfdefense, Higui faced an uphill legal battle with little concrete evidence to back up her claims. The only other witnesses to the incident appear to be the men involved in the attack and refused to give testimony that placed blame on themselves or Esposito. Without a source to corroborate her story — Higui remained in jail with very little legal recourse.
The case has been a major trending topic on social media, with the hashtag #LibertadParaHigui being widely used on Twitter and Facebook, along with profile picture filters and the line “Atacada por lesbian, presa por defenderse” (“Attacked for being a lesbian, imprisoned for defending herself”). Marches by Ni Una Menos have featured many calls for Higui’s freedom. Even the Colombian ex-goalkeeper René Higuita, from whom Higui gained her nickname as she is a big fan, tweeted a picture showing his support for release her last month.
— Rene Higuita (@higuitarene) 17 May 2017
De Jesús’s release has been confirmed by Carolina Abregú, a member of the Work Group for Justice for Higui-Analia de Jesús. It was also announced by Marcela Ojeda, journalist for National Radio and activist for women’s rights, who tweeted a picture of the court order confirming Higui’s release, which has been met with celebration on the social network.
— Marce Ojeda (@Marcelitaojeda) 12 June 2017