What did education authorities do in multiple child abuse cases?
The case of reports of sexual abuse against children in Ecuador is reaching the highest levels by calling into question the management on the issue of a former Minister of Education and current Assemblyman, while the Executive maintains a “zero tolerance crusade” to those atrocities.
The reports of sexual abuse of children are already counted by hundreds in Ecuador and only in one institution the alleged crime against 100 children is investigated, in another against 84, while in one more sentence has already been pronounced against a teacher who went against modesty of 41 students between 10 and 11 years old.
But there are more cases and, in the most recent one, a music teacher who allegedly abused preschool children was arrested for investigations.
“When I asked my son to explain to me how he touched him, he took my hand and squeezed my intimate part firmly, showing me what the teacher did to him,” said the mother of one of the children to the local press.
The innumerable cases in the country have led the Bar Association of the province of Pichincha to file a criminal complaint against Augusto Espinosa, Minister of Education between 2013 and 2016 and current governing assemblyman.
The complaint was filed with the Prosecutor for the crime of alleged procedural fraud because “you can deduce the alleged responsibility of concealment of information for the initiation of an investigation,” says the Bar Association.
But Espinosa, who rejects the action of the Bar Association, and says himself a victim of political persecution, assures that there were complaints in the Prosecutor’s Office.
In addition, he argues that it is not possible to say that he hid information because, according to the decentralized organizational structure of the Ministry, “it is not the minister who receives and manages these cases,” says Espinosa, current president of the Education Commission of the National Assembly.
And before press releases that question his actions, Espinosa wrote on Twitter: “If there were complaints in the Office of the Prosecutor then they were not hidden. Enough to sow so much hate, defame and politicize the pain of families. Accusing without evidence is a crime. ”
Around the general action on the allegations of abuse cases, the current Minister of Education, Fánder Falconí, has spoken of a set of “negligent omissions”, something agreed by the Assemblywoman of opposition Lourdes Cuesta, member of a Parliament commission that investigates the issue.
He questions that no files have been opened against some professors accused of alleged abuses and who have been relocated in other institutions.
The vice Minister of Education, Álvaro Sáenz, delivered this week, for investigation to the Office of the Prosecutor, 82 administrative resolutions on crimes against sexual integrity filed since 2015.
This measure responds to citizen pressure and that the current education authorities “do not want to carry this atrocity,” Cuesta told Efe, pointing out that the decision of the Bar Association responds to the lack of confidence in the supervisory action of the Assembly. And has another reasons, she says.
She also questions that society has not massively turned to the streets to protest the issue as it has happened when it comes to economic or political issues.
The legislator asks for “penalties for crimes” in cases of abuse and security that the State must deepen in the protocols of educational institutions so that “something like that” never happens again.
She believes that actions in other countries should be emulated in Ecuador, where a sexual abuser is registered in a database and, although he has served his sentence, his activities are monitored so that he does not approach children, she says.
It also requires the selection of suitable personnel for educational institutions and that the State provide psychological support for abused children and their families.
And precisely, in the midst of the scandal, the highest authority of the State, President Lenin Moreno, has stressed that his government is in a “zero tolerance crusade” against child sexual abuse in schools.
For this reason, he has also included in a popular consultation that is under study, a question so that they do not prescribe such crimes against minors. (I)