Seventeen captives were freed from a ‘gay addiction’ torture clinic in Ecuador yesterday (7 November).
The patients, including a 15-year-old, were found barely living in inhumane conditions with some reporting they were being electrocuted to ‘cure them’.
Authorities arrested seven people following a dawn raid on the Union and Hope Clinic in Pisuli, north of Quito, a clinic that claimed to treat drug and alcohol problems.
‘These people were being held against their will, overcrowded, in degrading, unhealthy conditions. They were sleeping on the floor. They had no sewer system,’ a justice official said, AFP reports.
A victim has claimed she was forced to take off her shoes on a floor where there was a pool of dirty water rigged with an electrical charge.
The justice official confirmed the minor was being held prisoner at the ‘addiction clinic’ to cure him of a ‘behavioral problem’.
The 17 captives were taken to hospital for recovery.
More than 80 unlicensed clinics in the South American Country were reporting using these techniques, with at least two dying from the ‘treatments’.
Authorities discovered the unlicensed clinic on the hunt for 22-year-old student David Romo, also believed to be gay, who disappeared on 16 May.
Police suspect he was held at the Union and Hope Clinic before he was moved on.
Since March 2012, 18 centres for addiction treatment have been closed — 15 for human rights violations and three for health violations.
Fiscalía interviene en presunta clínica clandestina de tratamiento de alcoholismo y drogadicción. (1) pic.twitter.com/cX1meRbVfs
— FiscaliaEcuador (@FiscaliaEcuador) November 7, 2013