Eliseo Fernandez / Reuters
Mental patients sleep as police raid the Pequeno Cottolengo shelter in Quintero, some 100 miles northwest of Santiago on July 12. Police raided the local branch of the Pequeno Cottolengo international network of shelters run by the Roman Catholic Church to shelter and aid mentally handicapped children and adolescents, after an employee denounced them for physically abusing the patients.
Reuters photographer Rodrigo Garrido writes:
It was three weeks ago when a woman named Carolina called me to denounce abuses inside the Pequeño Cottolengo shelter in the city of Quintero, near Valparaiso. The shelter is part of a chain of homes for mentally handicapped children and youths run by the Catholic Church. Carolina had been working there only three months.
I met with her and saw photos that she had taken with her cell phone during the different shifts she worked there. One of the images showed very clearly the bruises caused by the beating of a young girl, a girl too handicapped to defend herself.