Peru congress cuts age of consent to 14

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Peru's Congress has voted overwhelmingly to lower the age to 14 for participating in consensual sex, a move some activists said could expose children to sexual abuse. Lawmakers voted 70-10 on Thursday to approve the measure lowering the age at which criminal law recognizes the legal capacity of a person to consent to sexual activity. It was previously 17. The age of consent for sex in many U.S. states is 16 or older. The Peruvian measure was written by a member of President Alan Garcia's center-left Aprista party and Garcia is expected to sign it into law. One supporter of the measure, lawmaker Raul Castro, said the law will bring Peru in line with "the progress and development of a modern society."

"There are young people who get pregnant but they don't go to health centers, fearing that their partners will be arrested and charged," he said. Some organizations cheered the law, saying it would keep young people out of jail on statutory rape charges.

source: 'Peru Congress Cuts Age of Consent to 14';,,-6730220,00.html; Guardian Unlimited; 23 June 2007