Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mother's milk

Lt. Carmen Quinteros, a Paraguayan national, had a baby who could not drink cow's milk and had to be breast fed on a daily basis.

La Tte. Carmen Quinteros recibió  una orden de la Justicia Militar para cumplir prisión preventiva por haber cometido calumnia y desacato a la disciplina militar. Foto: UHIn March of this year Lt. Quinteros requested, by means of a judicial measure, permission to breast feed her recently born son, on the basis of Law Nº 5508/15 on "Promotion, Protection of Maternity and Support of Maternal Lactation." Her request was denied by the military authorities and a summary proceeding for alleged offenses against military discipline and and insulting behavior (desacato) was brought against her. According to the military, Lt. Quinteros did not bring her complaint according to the prescribed procedure and within the chain of command. Filing the complaint outside the prescribed procedure provoked the filing of the summary proceedings against her.

The military court sentenced her to 45 days of preventive detention, The Human Rights Defender, Miguel Godoy, presented a habeas corpus to the Supreme Court on her behalf to prevent her arrest. Judge Blanca Irene Gorostiaga found in Lt. Quinteros' favor, ordering the end of the restrictive measure against her. 
At the end of May, another administrative summary proceeding was opened against Lt. Quinteros for the release of photos of the "Breast-feeding Room" at the unit in which she worked. According to the military authorities the release of these photos is considered an offense against military discipline. 
Her lawyer, Oscar Gonzalez, on July 26, 2017 filed an appeal to nullify the 45 days arrest that the military court had issued. The case has been remitted to the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, which is the highest court and will determine whether the charges against Lt. Quinteros will be definitively dismissed.

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