Abuse at Ecuadorian ‘Gay Conversion’ Facilities Shocks Authorities
At these centers, “we have reports of physical attacks, the use of ice water on inmates,” Vance said.
“We have lesbians who have reported what the clinics called ‘sex therapy,’ but which consists of being raped by men,” the minister said.
Freire, now 25, was just 15 when her mother discovered her in her room with a female schoolmate.
Outraged, she sent her daughter to a “Christian camp” in a remote area in southeastern Ecuador.
There, Freire said, “they tortured me with electric shocks, didn’t let me bathe for three days, gave me almost nothing to eat, hit me a lot, hung me by my feet.
“They told me it was for my own good.”
There were also sexual punishments, all aimed at ridding the young girl of her homosexuality.
The center was nominally a evangelical Christian rehabilitation clinic for drug and alcohol addiction. But Freire said she was there with four other young people — all because they were gay.
After two months, Freire escaped.
Her case was not an isolated one. Authorities say the inhumane practice is a wide-ranging problem that has ensnared even government officials — such as the health ministry official who was recently the subject of a criminal complaint after it emerged she owned a clandestine clinic offering therapy against homosexuality.
“We are talking here about a mafia, a network that operates nationally in each of the provinces, which are violating human rights,” Health Minister Vance said.