It is simply outrageous. A boy of only nine years old was tortured in the Hogar Monserrate home, located in the Tilatá village, in the municipality of Chocontá in Colombia.
His penis was tied with human hair, he was hit with nettle and forced to endure cold in shorts at dawn. Despite the harsh testimony, this fact has to be investigated and corroborated based on the evidence and testimonies obtained.
For now, the only version that is known is that of his relatives. He arrived at this place since July 5, 2021 without imagining what awaited him. The mother of the minor had received good references to the place from a neighbor and thought that there her son would be able to overcome his behavior and language problems that were diagnosed in the EPS Famisanar, also that he would be able to advance academically because he was a little behind his age.
“He agreed and as a family decision we trusted the treatment given there”, said the aunt, Paola Morales Castillo.
When they enrolled him, they told him that he could only receive visits every six months and that only on Thursdays at 5:30 in the afternoon could he communicate with the minor by phone.
They never thought that the supposed treatment would include such aberrational treatment as the one this child received because they had also known good recommendations from the place and with the approval of the child they entrusted his care to the religious site.
Supposedly, in addition to being a help center, they also trained inmates in values.
During the pandemic, with the excuse of avoiding contagions, the child’s mother had only been able to see her son by video call. The last time she shared time with him was on the day of his baptism, which took place in the same place where he was hospitalized.
At that time, the little boy had not commented anything to his relatives because, precisely, one of his problems is the inability to communicate. In fact, some time later, in October 2021, he spent three days with his family because at the boarding school they had been asked to vaccinate him for covid-19.
“We asked him if he was okay and he didn’t mention anything weird”, says the family who took him back to boarding school.
But this story took a dramatic turn on December 12 when the boy’s mother, Yuli Vargas, came to pick him up happy that he was given a vacation and because the contract was already ending. For these December holidays, his family did not take it out of his head and that is why they wanted to spend the celebrations with the child even if he had to suspend treatment.
“I wanted to be with my son on these special dates and I hardly knew that I could pick him up, I did not hesitate,” his mother said.
But, that day, the boy began to get sick. He stated that his genitals hurt, but he did not allow his mother to look at him. “So we called a guy to talk to him. What happened was that he was shocked because his penis was swollen. We immediately took him to the doctor”.
He entered the emergency room and was seen by the doctors at the San José Infantil hospital. After overcoming the first stage of the emergency, parents were called to be present on Tuesday, December 14.
“Doctors found that my son’s penis was tied with long hair from a person. They had tied his penis from the base and that prevented him from urinating”, the victim’s mother told the authorities at the time of filing the complaint.
The boy told his parents and relatives that a nun who was called ‘Cata’ was the one who had done that to him because he wet the bed. Also that a teacher by the name of Ferney liked to hit the children with bruises, slaps on the head and that when the punishment was for older, he beat them with nettle.
After such a revelation, the child’s family filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office on Dec 16 2021 with the hope that it will be investigated what else is behind these chilling humiliations of which the child was victim who will not only have a long physical recovery but who will also have to be treated psychologically.
This fact outraged the governor of Cundinamarca Nicolás García Bustos, who ordered an immediate inspection visit by the secretariats of Social Development and Health to the aforementioned foundation, to verify the conditions of the minors, as well as compliance with all the requirements of the entity.
In addition, the Government is coordinating with the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) Cundinamarca and Bogotá to support the victim and guarantee their rights.
The Prosecutor’s Office is already investigating the case through an expert group on children’s issues. “This cannot stay that way. They should investigate what else humiliation all the children who are there have suffered.” Says the child’s mother.
What is known about that foundation?
The Monserrate Home is a Catholic institution, which claims to provide assistance, promotion and comprehensive protection to boys and girls in a condition of risk or threat, through family orientation, guaranteeing the adequate development of the fundamental right to education, housing, food, health and integral development.
They intend to be a leading institution in assistance, promotion and comprehensive protection of the family through the guidance of families and the daily accompaniment of evangelical values. They are located in the Tilatá – El Sisga village in the municipality of Chocontá (Cundinamarca).
Globe Live Media tried to communicate with them but, until press time, it was impossible to obtain a version from them.