The publication on the 13th by EL PAÍS of a case of abuse committed by Marianist Manuel Briñas has finally uncovered what for more than three decades was a routine of sexual assault on children in two schools in Madrid: the Amorós Brothers, in the neighborhood of Carabanchel, and Santa María del Pilar, in the district of Retiro. This newspaper has collected more than a dozen testimonies of former students who detail how between 1964 and 1997 and when they were between 7 and 13 years old they suffered from "touching and caresses" to "masturbations and fellatio" by whom He was also responsible for the Atlético de Madrid youth academy for 20 years.
No known abuse occurred within the club. "I went to the Amorós, to the summer camps and to the Atleti quarry. He abused me everywhere except the club. There it was contained ", explains a victim. Some children were repeatedly assaulted for more than three years. "He abused dozens of us. You will never know how many. He was a predator ", they affirm, with very similar words, four victims.
The Marianists, who have opened an internal investigation, had received seven complaints on Monday. In some cases – not all – these are the same people who have told their story to this newspaper. Briñas, who until two weeks ago was living a normal life and lived in a residence of the order in the center of Madrid, "has been detained and remains incommunicado," according to a spokesman. The order keeps its location secret. "His psychological situation is not normal. We could not expect a normal reaction from someone like him, "added this spokesman, not wanting to go into more details. Briñas, who today is 88 years old, suffers from heart problems.
The first complaint filed with the police by a victim of the abuses of Manuel Briñas is about to reach a court in Madrid. It was presented last 13th in Salamanca by a man who claims to have been attacked between 1990 and 1994. The complaint, to which this newspaper has had access, was forwarded to the city's guard court and, from there, it has been remitted to Madrid, where the distribution is pending.
The victim suscribes that when he was "hurt by a haul of the game", Briñas took him to "a kind of infirmary, where he began to give him massages that ended in the genitals". "Little by little," the complaint continues, the massages became "masturbations" and then "fellatio".
The way to achieve silence was "with gifts such as music tapes, tracksuits, football tickets …", says the victim in his story transcribed by the police.
The first abuses go back "to 1964, maybe 1965". "I was 9 or 10 years old and I was going to Santa María del Pilar", recalls G. "Briñas was the head of the green herd of the Cubs, the branch of the youngest of the scouts One night he made me and another child sleep in his tent. What happened there I have not forgotten in life, "he adds.
At some point in the late 60's, Briñas was transferred from school and ended up at the Amorós Brothers. Both G. and Miguel M.H ,. The first person to report the abuses suspects that "he was transferred on a complaint". "The incomprehensible thing is that they let him do for decades in another school," they add.
A spokesman for the Marianists says that "it is not known" that Briñas was transferred from the center for this reason. "We are in the early stages of the investigation, listening to the victims and trying to get an idea of the extent of what happened," said the spokesman. Other sources affirm that the atmosphere in the order is of "absolute shock and desolation due to the magnitude of the known".
R. G. is one of the new testimonies. "I went to the Amorós summer camp in 1975, when I was 7 years old. We could not go with less than 10, but they left me because my older brother was going, "he says. "We were just two children so small. Briñas took us to her store and did what she wanted with us. It's something that has always marked me, "he says.
The testimonies coincide in large part with the details of Briñas' way of acting. In the summer camps, abuse occurred in the store called "nursing". "If your gut ached or you had an ankle twist, it was your excuse to start sobarte. From there I followed the genitals and even what I wanted to get. You were in his hands because his power was such that no one dared say anything. It was disgusting, "says M. A. M.
The van Briñas brought to the camps was another common scenario of abuse. "He was doing very well because he made you go up and took you to any quiet corner," recalls M. Á. "Sometimes he even joked that he had a crazy hand. I learned to escape to not climb, "he adds.
At the Hermanos Amorós school, several victims remember a space next to the changing rooms where "I had a heat lamp and a stretcher". There, Briñas would lay the children and strip them to abuse them. One remembers how the Marianist "ejaculated" on top of him.
In the last two weeks, Manuel Briñas has gone from being a revered figure in the Marianist schools of Madrid and Atlético de Madrid to someone with whom nobody wants to maintain any link. The club broke all relations with him on February 14, as did the organizers of the summer camps that Briñas began organizing 30 years ago.
Many victims are suspicious of these movements. "It can not be that nobody noticed anything for more than 30 years. They left us, the most vulnerable, in their hands. In the end it has had to be the bravest of us who took the first step ", five of them applaud.
If you know of any case of sexual abuse that has not seen the light, write us with your complaint to [email protected]