¿Debe ser un delito el incesto entre hermanos adultos?

PRINCETON – El mes pasado, el Consejo de Ética de Alemania, órgano oficial que informa al Bundestag, recomendó que las relaciones sexuales entre hermanos adultos dejaran de ser un delito. Dicha recomendación sigue a una decisión de 2012 del Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos por la que se confirmaba la sentencia condenatoria de un hombre de Leipzig por haber mantenido relaciones sexuales con su hermana. Ese hombre ha cumplido varios años de cárcel, por su negativa a abandonar la relación. (Su hermana, considerada menos responsable, no fue encarcelada.)

El incesto entre adultos no es delito en todas las jurisdicciones. En Francia, se abolió su carácter delictivo cuando Napoleón introdujo su nuevo código penal en 1810. El incesto consensual entre adultos tampoco es delito en Bélgica, los Países Bajos, Portugal, España, Rusia, China, el Japón, Corea del Sur, Turquía, Côte d’Ivoire, el Brasil, la Argentina y varios otros países de Latinoamérica.

El Consejo de Ética se tomó en serio su investigación. Su informe (actualmente disponible sólo en alemán) comienza con el testimonio de quienes han mantenido una relación prohibida, en particular los hermanastros y hermanastras que llegaron a conocerse siendo ya adultos. Esas parejas describen las dificultades creadas por la atribución de carácter delictivo a su relación, incluidas exigencias extorsionadoras y la amenaza de la pérdida de la custodia de un hijo de una relación anterior.

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