The testimony of four new victims, who yesterday detailed their experience to EL PAÍS, already increases to five the number of victims who claim to have suffered sexual abuse -When they were between 10 and 14 years old- from Manuel Briñas, the Marianist friar who led the athletic school of Madrid for two decades. Briñas, who is now 88 years old, has admitted abuse, but the new cases contradict his version that there was no more.
"It was an open secret", "everything happened in the infirmary", "the massages with the red lamp were scary", "the strange thing is that it has not come out before" … The versions of the complainants overlap until they compose a coherent account of what happened during the seventies and eighties at the Hermanos Amorós School in Madrid and the camps that Briñas organized every summer in the Sierra de Gredos.
"I was also attacked by that sexual predator." Thus begins the testimony of A. O. F., doctor in Biochemistry and university professor born in 1971. "He abused me only once. But it has marked me forever. Briñas broke something in me that I could never join again. I spent 11 or 12 years in school. I played handball and I injured my shoulder. When he returned to the locker room, he said he would give me a massage. He made me stay in shorts. He caressed me everywhere and, after a few minutes, he said: 'Now you're going to notice a hot cream that will suit you.' I could not see anything, it would not let me move my head. It took me a while to understand that I had ejaculated on top of me. " This case occurred about 10 years after the first one published yesterday by this newspaper.
The testimonies place the abuses in two main scenarios. One was the school's wardrobe, in a kind of annex "where I gave the massages". "I had a heat machine that we called the red lamp. When we mentioned it, we already knew what the thing was about, "recalls a complainant. The other place was the so-called "infirmary", the tent in which "children who became ill slept in the summer camps in Gredos".
F. B. is another person who has told his case to EL PAÍS. "One day they gave me the tetanus, he told me to stay for the night in the infirmary. Since I had already heard things, I put on my swimsuit and tied it with many knots. But I woke up with him sticking my hand, "he recalls. F. B. situates the facts "in 1982 or 1983".
The bad experience of Á. with Briñas it occurs two or three years later. "I was sick to my stomach and they sent me to sleep in the infirmary. He was alone in the store, but he went in at night. He told me: 'Let's see how that gut goes' and began to caress my belly. Then he went down to the pubis to grope me. "
Approximately in that same year, C. suffered "the attack of that predator". On this occasion it happened "in the van". "We were two children and he said to the other: 'You, to sleep.' He stopped the car, came behind me and began to caress my legs until I masturbated, "he recalls. C.
The Company of Maria announced yesterday the opening of an investigation to achieve "the total clarification" of the facts. In a statement, the order asks "forgiveness of the person [el primer denunciante] who suffered the abuses. " "Although we know that nothing can erase what happened, we want to meet her, listen to her," the note continues.
One of the victims reported five years ago what happened to the current organizers of the camps, of which Briñas has been dissociated in recent years by age. "I did it when I found out I was still visiting them. I demanded that my son never be alone with him, "he explains. In the letter that sent them, this person subscribes "that years ago [Briñas] he had practices of dishonest abuse towards children. "
José Luis Álvarez, head of the camps, admits the warning, but assures that "it did not have consequences". "We were surprised because we had never heard anything, but we did not observe anything strange."