Torturing lesbians in Ecuador

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.

You can read more here.

6 thoughts on “Torturing lesbians in Ecuador

  1. This practice is, of course, horrible, and it may well be that the government is being insufficiently aggressive in shutting these clinics down, but I suspect they’re doing more than would be done in the US–the amazingly progressive Ecuadoran constitution explicitly prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation….. This seems to be a problem of evangelical Christian groups….

  2. It does make you wonder what kinds of practices could be going on in the US. I hope this would not be tolerated in the US for an instant if the government knew about it; those practices are just as illegal in the US as they are in Ecuador.

    Right now the US is dealing with a horrific clinic abuse case of its own (see http://www.phila.gov/districtattorney/grandjury_womensmedical.html) that broke last year but is in court right now making national news. It goes to show what can potentially happen out of the light if no one is scrutinizing the many small, less-regulated, under-the-radar establishments on the fringes of the healthcare industry. I think many rehab centers fall into this category, so I’m not surprised that they are at elevated risk of abuses as seems to have been the case in Ecuador.

  3. Naomi, I do believe that you are totally categorising evangelical Christian groups. I’m a Christian, and know of evangelical Christians that find what is happening in Ecuador to be absolutely horrendous. The issue here does not lie with what religion or denomination a person is, but how ignorant and horrendous a persons mind can be. I’d also like to point out that now where in the bible does it state that someone should be beaten, raped, abused, harassed or torture someone just because they aren’t Heterosexual.

    Nevertheless, it doesn’t change just how appalling this is.

  4. My apologies, Caitlin. Yes, I do know that there are evangelical Christians committed to social justice. What I wanted to note was that it is religious organizations and beliefs (similar to what we see in the US) that’s behind this, not Ecuadoran state policy. That’s certainly not to say that all evangelical Christians would support such abuse, though they may have special responsibility to confront it.

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