Around half a thousand people have expressed solidarity this afternoon in Bilbao with the complainants abuses against the ex-teacher of the Salesianos de Deusto school, José Miguel San Martín, known as Don Chemi. In a silent shout of protest, the San Pedro de Deusto square, about 300 meters from where the abuses reported by some twenty former students took place, has been filled with relatives of the victims, friends, classmates, and of many more people to ask, also in silence "the end of impunity" and proclaim that "the truth does not prescribe".
"There were rumors, but when this catches you suddenly it's terrible, especially for the victims, but also for their friends and colleagues ", said Ricardo Martínez, a colleague of several of the complainants of the 1978 promotion. He was horrified to see how these types of cases crop up throughout Spain Y hurt with the school for not having acted with more urgency. The summoners of the concentration, who coordinate with the promotion partners and victims through a group of "WhatsApp" have asked in Bilbao to those who have suffered this type of abuse "that are encouraged to report." Politicians have been asked to "protect children" with the regulations that are necessary, because "telling the truth helps to repair our damage and the damage done to the whole society." The voice has been put by friends, but the statement has been written by the victims themselves who have refused to appear in public today.
In that statement they have read, in front of representatives of the Bilbao City Council they have assured that the time of silence is over. "Maybe someone has participated in these camps of the Aldekoa Group, and is scared or scared," they read. "We want to tell you and your family that you have our love and we encourage you to denounce. If justice does not put things in their place, society will do it, and that is why we are here. "
In the case of the Salesians in Bilbao there are already about twenty cases that are coming to light after a former student told his case. According to all, the pederast was San Martin, a Salesian who in the eighties taught at the center and who was part of his teaching staff from 1975 to 1990. In the complaints of pedophilia and abuse, in addition to San Martín, also appear as aggressors the priest and former director of the school Luis Rojo (deceased) and another religious who was a teacher there.
After the EL PAÍS exclusive, which has led to new testimonies and denunciations of those who suffered similar abuses, the Bilbao City Hall Spokespeople Board issued a statement of solidarity and affection. They repudiated the abuses and asked the competent institutions to investigate the facts, while highlighting "the courage of those who have taken the step".
There are another ten alumni who are considering going to the authorities in the coming days to tell their particular calvary, as EL PAÍS has learned. The alleged crimes against children from six to 12 years old occurred throughout their stay in the center, for which they have already prescribed. The complainants want San Martin and the rest of the accused to be investigated, in case they have continued, in other centers, with their criminal activity. Hence the appeal to possible subsequent victims. In fact, it is the only option that you can sit on a bench. Let a new victim appear in more recent times. The sexual abuse of minors prescribes between 5 and 15 years after the child reaches the age of majority, although it will change and rise until the complainant is 45 years old.
The last words of the statement written by the complainants themselves are for the school: "You were aware of the facts and you ran a thick veil. Without full recognition of the truth, repentance is not credible and complicated reconciliation "
The address of the Salesian school of Deusto has explained this Friday in a note that became aware at the end of 1989 of two cases of abuse that occurred in the school. The Salesian Congregation has reiterated in this statement its support for the victims. The institution assumes that the performance of the center "was clearly insufficient" and reiterates its request for forgiveness "for not having acted then with the diligence that the seriousness of these cases required".
After leaving behind the Salesian order, Don Chemi founded a psychological cabinet. It was located on Puente de Deusto street. He was director of this center to which patients in therapy went (mainly parents with children).