Bolivia: protests against sex crimes perpetrated by priests

Bolivia: protests against sex crimes perpetrated by priests

| Friday 26 May 2023

Hundreds of people demonstrated Thursday in Bolivia 's three main cities against child sex crimes by Catholic priests , after recent revelations about cases dating back decades.

The demonstrations took place in the evening in the cities of La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, the most populous in the country, with cries of “ justice, justice ”.

“ We will be hell for pedophiles ,” proclaimed a sign in Cochabamba. “ No, no, no, no, I don't want to forgive rapists just because they wear a cassock ,” protesters chanted in La Paz.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais had revealed at the end of April that the deceased priest Alfonso Pedrajas allegedly abused more than 80 minors in Bolivia from the beginning of the 1970s. The daily had access to the diary in digital form of the Spaniard who died in Bolivia in 2009, at the age of 66. In it, the Jesuit priest says he “hurt many people, too many ” people, he writes. He also says he was protected by his superiors.

The priest had settled in the early 1970s in the country, intervening in several schools until a few months before his death. He allegedly committed most of his abuse at John XXIII School in Cochabamba. This boarding school took in children from underprivileged backgrounds and rural areas.

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