February 28, 2021

They denounce priests and teacher for sexual abuse in Chilean Jesuit schools

Twelve people filed a complaint Monday before the Chilean Justice against three priests and a professor of religion as perpetrators of sexual crimes in five Jesuit schools.

According to judicial sources, the lawsuit was filed with the South Metropolitan Prosecutor's Office against priests Jaime Guzmán, Leonel Ibacache and Eugenio Valenzuela and a professor who was not identified, whom they point to as abusers inside five schools of the Society of Jesus.

According to the complainants and witnesses, the sad events occurred between 1980 and 2010 in the San Luis schools in Antofagasta; San Mateo, from Osorno; San Francisco Javier, of Puerto Montt; and San Ignacio de El Bosque and Alonso de Ovalle, in Santiago.

In addition, the complainants accused as adjusters of these abuses provincials of the congregation and rectors of the aforementioned schools, such as Cristián del Campo, Juan Díaz and Fernando Montes, among others.

Helmut Kramer, one of the abused, stressed that the Society of Jesus "is a giant," which has a history within Chile since colonial times.

"It has influenced Chile in its social history and especially in the last decades where there are celebrations that are nationally recognized and it is not a congregation in the Catholic Church, it has a very strong specific weight," he said.

For his part, Daniel Palacios, acknowledged that there are many people who do not report.

"We want to set a precedent, to say that we are here, that we are accompanying ourselves and that obviously our goal is that more people could denounce and begin their reparation process, that (the accused) go through justice," he said.

Another of the complainants, Alejandro Abarzúa acknowledged that it took 30 years to decide to report the facts.

"That's because there is a lot of fear and a lot of things that are recorded in the body that you are not aware of what is happening and seeing more people that the same thing happened to me gave me more strength to do it.

He pointed out that his case was denounced on certain occasions in the school "and the truth that always remained as if it had been a secret of confession and the truth that was not in confession and that is why we are here today and we want it to be investigated".

Another abused, Allan Pineda, said that the priests hung pictures of the naked youth in the murals and sometimes with some sticker they covered the intimate parts.

In Chile, the Catholic Church is going through a serious crisis due to cases of sexual abuse that have splashed even several bishops.

Last March, the Chilean National Prosecutor's Office confirmed that those investigated for cases of sexual abuse in the Chilean Catholic Church increased to 219.

According to this registry on sexual crimes against children, adolescents and adults, presumably committed by clergy and laity related to the Catholic Church, there are currently 158 open cases and 241 victims, of which 123 were minors at the time of committing the facts, said the agency.

On February 20, Bishop Fernando Ramos, representative of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, said that sexual abuse "causes pain that affects the whole life of people" and also admitted that the Church has asked for forgiveness "because nobody really He has to live this. "

He acknowledged that such a crime is a fact that marks people, produces enormous damage and "is even more serious that sexual abuse has occurred in ecclesial environments, where people should feel particularly safe."

(tagsToTranslate) Denounce (t) sexual (t) Chilean (t) Jesuit (t) schools

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