Union and Hope Clinic in Pisuli, which is located north of Quito, claims to treat alcohol and drug problems. Yesterday, police found 17 patients, one of whom was a 15-year-old boy, being held in inhumane conditions.
Many of the patients are reported as having been “barely alive.” They are believed to have been electrocuted and raped in attempts to “cure” them of “behavioral problems.”
One victim claims she was forced to stand barefoot in a shallow pool of dirty water that was rigged with an electrical charge.
“These people were being held against their will, overcrowded, in degrading, unhealthy conditions,” a justice official said, AFP reports. “They were sleeping on the floor. They had no sewer system.”
Last July, the Ecuadorian government acknowledged the existence of a network of as many as 80 unlicensed centers that specialize in treating addictions and homosexuality, where patients are regularly tortured.
One of the cases is that of a young woman named Zulema, who came forward last June and said she was placed in a clinic in Napo by her family to “cure” her of being a lesbian. She said that she was tortured at the facility and suffered prolonged physical and psychological attacks.
Seven people were arrested following yesterday’s raid. The 17 captives were taken to hospital for recovery.
Photo credit: FiscaliaEcuador.