In July 2022, two graduates of Savior College publicly denounced the abuses they had suffered in 2002 in Caesar Freight, guardian of the establishment. After these statements in the media, other victims joined and currently There are more than 40 people who claim to have been abused by clericsdied in 2015.
The case led a dozen former students to file a criminal complaint against the authorities of the Colegio del Salvador and the Society of Jesus, considering them participants needed crimes of sexual abuse, corruption of minors and concealment worsen.
This Friday, the search of the Jesuit school was carried out at the home of the former rector of the institution in the denounced period, and his vice, Miguel) with the aim of removing documentation related to the case, in which they intervene Alfredo Godoyin charge of Criminal and Correctional Court No. 59 and the prosecutor Santiago Vismara.
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So the lawyers Paul and Caesar Mayer denounced Raphael Velascoformer rector of the establishment during the period denounced, and its vice-president, Ricardo Moscatoamong other authorities.
“Throughout his years as a tutor, as well as a companion in spiritual retreats and camps, Fretes sexually abused at least 42 students at the institutionwho -for the time of the facts- had between 10 and 12 years old“, indicates the complaint to which he had access GlobeLiveMedia.
Pablo Mayer explained that “between 2000 and 2003, Fretes was the tutor for sixth graders. It had been designed so that the pupils could adapt to the new school stage: secondary school”.
“What is curious is that in 1999, Velasco had previously received complaints from the parents of three abused students. If they had done something about it, more than 40 abuses would have been avoided”, estimated the lawyer in dialogue with this media.
And he continues: “On the contrary, the rector and his vice allowed Fretes to take the students out of the classroom to take them to his office, which the glass doors were covered with cardboard. Has this detail ever caught your attention? “We believe that Without your help, this would not have happened.“, he condemned.
The lawyers also accuse them of having “expressly authorized the participation of Fretes as tutor and companion of the students in the camps and the spiritual retreats of the College”. According to the prosecution, Fretes carried out “enter students’ tents while they were sleeping, with the intent of sexually abusing them..
At the same time, the court record points out that the religious office “was in a strategic place, at the end of the corridor on the third floor, so that only those who went to said office would pass through the place, otherwise it would not serve as a path to another side. In turn, in this same corridor were the three sixth-grade classrooms, only those ”.
“It is important to emphasize that, in order for him to be able to remove students from the classroom during other teachers’ lesson hours, the occasions in which he committed his abuse, necessarily had the knowledge and express authorization of Velasco and Moscato, or at least with their repeated tolerance,” they remarked.
After the raids Gonzalo Elizondoone of Fretes’s victims, wrote a letter entitled “What does the raid on the Colegio del Salvador leave us”, in which he questions the attitude of the authorities of the Colegio where the abuses took place.
Elizondo believes that “there is information that they do not contribute to Justice”. At the same time, he clarifies that the cleric was not expelled, but rather “resigned freely” and that the school “helped him financially for months until he could ‘reintegrate’ into the Company”.
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It also ensures that those in charge of the establishment”not only did they not report him, investigate him, or deport him, but they also gave him financial support to rebuild their lives, while they left us the victims living with our pain in silence”.
The full letter:
Last Friday, justice carried out a simultaneous search of the Colegio del Salvador (CABA) and the Loyola Center (Colegio Máximo, San Miguel). The objective was to find all the information available on the Jesuit César Fretes, in the context of the criminal complaint that we recently filed in court. Fretes worked at the Colegio del Salvador between 1995 and 2003, where he sexually abused more than 40 children.
The news of the raid left us a lot to think about. First, he showed concrete actions on the part of justice, and the determination to clarify the facts that we denounce.
Secondly, once again reflects the lies and manipulations of the Colegio del Salvador and the Society of Jesus. The press release published by the institution – written in a hurry and without date, after the publication of the news in the media – reflects this.
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There they explain that on the next working day of the raid they provided “more information than existed in the places of teaching, since it was at the seat of the curia where no raid was ordered.” What they forget to say is that the seat of the Curia works in the exact same building as the Colegio del Salvador. Instead of providing the information directly, It seems they waited until the weekend to figure out what information to provide to justice..
Without going any further, among the documentation presented, I was struck by the absence of my own statement before the Jesuit Álvaro Pacheco, who in a letter I received in December 2019 assured me that “your complaint is registered”. This folder, which would keep my name confidential, does not appear. This allows me to suspect that there is still information that they are not bringing to justice.
On the other hand, in the said press release, they lie once again by saying that it was only in 2003 that they discovered the abuses of Fretes. Several testimonials -present in the file- They confirmed that the College had been aware of these abuses since at least 1998. It is surprising that in the midst of legal proceedings, they have the audacity to openly lie to the educational community.
Also They lie when they say that “in those years” they had no obligation to file a complaint before the court. Since 1994, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Adolescent has had constitutional value in Argentina. In turn, Law 114 of the City of Buenos Aires, enacted in 1999, establishes in article 39 that “anyone who becomes aware of the existence of physical, mental, sexual abuse, neglect, mistreatment or exploitation of children and adolescents must immediately report it to the competent authorities”.
All the information in the file shows that they did not respect this obligation, and that they are lying when they say that they were not “authorized to denounce”, having learned in those years more than one half a dozen cases of abuse by Fretes.
Regarding the information incorporated after the raid, some aspects are striking. In various press releases, the Society of Jesus has affirmed that Fretes was transferred to Mendoza in 2003 with “the ban on interacting with minors”. A kind of “punishment” to prevent him from continuing to “cause damage”. What emerges from the documentation is quite the opposite.
Fretes was assigned the new destination and in March 2004 he is thanked by letter for “the precious service” he rendered during his years at the Colegio del Salvador. Regarding “the ban on interacting with minors”, there was no control. The indifference was total, to the point that the community of Mendoza had not been informed of the events that had occurred in El Salvador. The frets moved freely. Documentation indicates that in 2004 he attended Padre Llorens School in the San Martín neighborhood of Mendoza and returned to Colegio del Salvador “for a visit” that same year without anyone doing what. whatever to stop him.
Another of the things the Society of Jesus wanted us to believe was that Fretes was “expelled” in 2007, after an “internal investigation”. The documentation indicates that Fretes tendered his resignation “freely”, and that even the Society of Jesus helped him financially for months until he could “reintegrate” into society. That’s to say, not only did they not report him, investigate him, or deport him, but they gave him financial support to rebuild his life, while they left us victims living with our pain in silence.
Finally, I would like to underline my surprise -which has already gone through pain and disappointment- given the lack of response from Pope Francis. Over the past two and a half years, I have sent letters to him and his associates, asking for their mediation. The last dates back to October 2022 with the signature of 14 victims. The pope was not only a Jesuit but even a teacher at the Colegio del Salvador, which makes his lack of response and empathy all the more striking.
We know that we have a long way to go in our quest for justice, but we have formed a strong human group, which has the unconditional support of family, friends and a great team of lawyers.
We will continue to walk together, healing old wounds and raising our voices so that these events never happen again.