Ecuador has a number of ‘correction clinics’, which aim to ‘treat’ gay people, turning them straight. Their techniques are torture. Most of the people subjected to it are lesbians, although some gay men and transsexuals have also been imprisoned and tortured. Paola Ziritti was recently interred in one, and she is the first lesbian to file a complaint about the treatment she suffered. She was imprisoned for eighteen months – her family took her there, believing it would ‘cure’ her of her homosexuality. Whilst detained, she was sexually abused, battered, suffered deprivation of all kinds, constantly insulted, and chained up. Once her mother realised what was happening, she tried to take her daughter away from the ‘clinic’ but was prohibited from doing so. She had to fight to have her daughter freed.
The lesbian organization, Taller de Comunicación Mujer, says there are 207 clinics of this type in Ecuador. Ziritti’s testinomy led to 27 being closed by the authorities this year. But many are still open, including the centre where Ziritti was imprisoned and tortured.
Ziritti says that since she filed the complaint, she has been stopped by young lesbians and gay men in the street, thanking her for her bravery. Their parents planned to send them to clinics to be cured, but will no longer do so, since the supposed ‘treatment’ methods have been revealed.
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