April 13, 2021

The case of abuse in the Salesians of Deusto splashes a former director | Society

The case of abuse in the Salesians of Deusto splashes a former director | Society

The denunciations by abuses in the salesiano school of Deusto (Bilbao) do not stop. Those presented a week ago have been added after another five and five others, in total, 17. after revealing a former student his case, orcho more decided to make public the hidden side of José Miguel San Martín, well-known, Don Chemi, a Salesian who in the eighties taught at the center, whose professorship he was part of from 1975 to 1990. Until this Friday, the Ertzaintza has collected at least 17 complaints of pedophilia and abuse in which, in addition to being listed as accused San Martin, are the priest and former director of the school Luis Rojo (deceased) and another religious who was a teacher there.

Several alumni have told this newspaper that they are thinking of going to the authorities in the coming days to tell their particular ordeal. 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 main objective of the complainants is that the justice investigate the accused, since, after abandoning the order, has worked until recently in camps with minors. San Martin has denied the accusations, although he admitted to this newspaper that in the past he was able to do things that "have been misinterpreted".

The Salesian order has reiterated that it never knew about these crimes, but those responsible say that an internal investigation has been initiated to clarify the facts. Two of the alleged victims, one of them a complainant, state that their parents knew the abuses and met with the director at the time and Don Chemi so they could explain what happened. San Martín "began to mourn and justified himself by saying that his mother had died recently.They threw ground on the matter", explains the ex-student Gonzalo Elorza.

In addition to the complaint that makes reference to Rojo, a victim wrote to this newspaper and the Erztainzta and also points to the director as an abuser. At the moment, it has not formally denounced. "How was not going to get ground on the matter if the director did the same," says the speaker, initial G. J. He studied in the center between 1975 and 1983. "After years without telling anything, I remember perfectly as Luigi (mote de Rojo) called a few to his office. In those moments nothing happened. We were trying to see who could be the proper victim. "Shortly after, he was left alone with the director and, as he says, began to touch him." They knocked on the door and I ran out. It only happened once. I saved myself I do not know how many went through the same or worse. My question is: how many of my classmates suffered their abuses to a greater degree? "

Most of those affected find it difficult to make their identity public. "Bilbao is a town," they all emphasize. For Matías (fictitious name of one of the new complainants), "the matter" had been erased from his memory. "I thought that this guy was dead, but with the news I've already seen that it's not like that," he says. The affected remembers how Don Chemi took him to the video room, to his room, to the food store or to his office. "He abused me many times, more than twenty, and I know he did it to other classmates, and he always took six children each year," he explains in a telephone interview. In addition to the sexual aggressions, Matías narrates the violent outbursts of the professor. "He had a wooden compass on the board and he beat you with viciousness," he says. Complaint that "society knows" that San Martín has abused more children and "let the cases of possible more recent victims come to light."

Rojo and San Martín coincided giving classes in the center. In fact, the two appear in a photograph of children dressed in communion in 1983. Rojo officiated that mass. According to the dating of the allegations and the testimonies of the alleged victims, during that year, both clerics were abusing minors. The growing number of complaints and the presence of the case in the media, has led the Bilbao City Council to ask "the competent institutions" to investigate what happened. A group of alumni of the school have organized a rally this Friday in the Plaza de San Pedro in Deusto "in support of the abused."


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