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  • There is a slowness in the treatment and investigation of cases of abuse.

    There is a slowness in the treatment and investigation of cases of abuse. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 18 April 2019

According to the organization, which cited Parliament reports, there is a lack of sentences, slowness in the treatment and investigation of cases, and lack of financing and specialization.

Ecuadorean organizations linked to the Coalition Against Sexual Abuse of Children (COCASEN) proposed the implementation of three strategies Wednesday in order to combat cases of sexual abuse.

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A letter addressed to Attorney General Diana Salazar detailed strategies including promoting legal changes to strengthen political action against the events, ensure adequate treatment and repair in cases of sexual abuse revealed by the National Assembly, and to implement plans, programs, and actions against violence recommended by state entities.

According to COCASEN, which cited Parliament reports, there is a lack of sentences, slowness in the treatment and investigation of cases, and lack of financing and specialization, among other factors. The group also questioned how a popular mandate ensuring the imprescriptibility of cases filed by victims is not yet operational, despite being established in a February 2018 referendum.

A sit-in took place outside the prosecutor's office in Quito, with protesters holding signs that read: "justice for victims, we demand answers", "the crime prescribes but the pain lasts a lifetime" and "say 'enough' to child abuse." 

Also attending the rally were victims of cases in Guayaquil and Cuenca who claim they have not been given restitution. Juan B. of Guayaquil recounted his experience involving a priest at a school, which was filed by the prosecutor's office due to lack of evidence.

A resident of Cuenca said that he was abused and tortured at the age of 6 or 7 by a former priest, explaining that when he filed the complaint in 2010 he was ignored. He added that he has been revictimized by having to continuously recount his experience in hopes of being heard.


"#COCASEN is the Coalition Against Sexual Abuse of Children in #Ecuador. Do not silence calls against this heinous crime. COMPLAIN!"
 

A delegation among protesters was invited to enter the building to meet with authorities.

Sara Oviedo of COCASEN mentioned that they had asked the prosecutor's office to establish a permanent monitoring group to report cases of sexual abuse. "There are few convictions and a lot of irregularities on the part of the prosecutors. It is not a matter of good will, we need concrete actions."

The organization is also asking for a national survey to be conducted so that society, in general, can be made aware of the specific number of alleged cases. Regarding this matter, Oviedo says they have yet to receive a response from the prosecutor's office. 


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