Radio Netherlands Worldwide

SSO Login

More login possibilities:

Close
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
Home
Thursday 18 September  
Map
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Guayaquil, Ecuador

Ecuador's "dehomosexualisation clinics"

Published on : 24 June 2013 - 3:45pm | By RNW Latin America Desk (Photo: RNW)
More about:

Ecuadorian organisations representing gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals report that more and more young people are being kidnapped and taken to “dehomosexualization” clinics. It’s believed that there are 200 of these clinics in the country. The unscrupulous owners of these centres tell the parents and family members that being gay or lesbian is a disease and that they have a “cure”.
 
by Luisa Fernanda López
 
This is what happened recently to Zulema Constante last month. “My parents are so ignorant,” she says. “They didn’t realize the awful consequences I would suffer by being locked up in one of these centres.”
 
The abduction
The story behind the kidnapping began when Zulema decided to tell her parents that she was in love with another girl. Zulema never imagined what the consequences of this would be. On May 17, the International Day against Homophobia, Zulema’s parents picked her up in their car for lunch. Some men stopped the car and forced her into another car to take her to the clinic where she would be “cured”.
 
Zulema tried to resist. She tried to alert police officers but they ignored her. “On the highway, the authorities stopped us a couple of times, but despite my screams and the fact that I told them that I was an adult, that they couldn’t do this, the authorities ignored me. My father had used his influence to prevent them from freeing me.”
 
Punishments
As soon as she arrived at the clinic, the manager read her the rules she would have to follow. From early in the morning, she and the other nine young women there had pray, do chores, play sports and have talks with a psychologist. Zulema says she was repeatedly punished: she had to do difficult cleaning chores, she was subjected to psychological torture, physical aggression and even in some cases to sexual abuse.
 
“I was treated better because I’m the daughter of an influential person but that didn’t mean that I was freed from doing heavy labour. I was humiliated and they tried to force me to admit that I was an alcoholic.” According to Zulema, the clinic is run by “a type of pastor”, with the support of doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers.
 
The rescue
Zulema was rescued by her lover, Cinthya, and Ecuadorian LGBT activists. When she heard about the kidnapping, Lía Burbano, the president of the Woman and Woman Association, contacted the People’s Defender (who performs the functions of an ombudsman) and the Human Rights Committee.
 
The next step was to file a complaint with the prosecutor and to launched a Twitter campaign to find out where Zulema was. According to Burbano, this was essential to confuse the family and to get the media talking about her kidnapping. The scandal grew and that’s when Zulema’s father started getting scared. He asked the centre’s director to send his daughter back to Guayaquil. During the trip, Zulema managed to convince the driver to lend her his phone . That’s how she managed to reach her lover and tell her that she was going to Guayaquil and probably to her parents’ house.
 
Press conference
Her girlfriend, her lawyer and the activists at the Women and Woman Association quickly drew up a plan to intercept the vehicle and free her. Zulema and her girlfriend then organized a press conference. They wanted to show people in Ecuador and the rest of the world that these sinister clinics exist and their number is increasing.
 
The reality behind these “dehomosexualization” clinics became public knowledge a few years ago, revealing a practice that violates people’s human rights. At the time, the authorities pledged to prosecute those responsible and to end this practice. In 2011, it’s estimated that there were 200 of these clinics in Ecuador which operated allegedly as rehabilitation centres for drug addicts and alcoholics.
 
Corruption
The Health Ministry ordered the closure of 30 of the clinics, but according to Lía Burbano, almost all of them re-opened under different names. Burbano says it’s important that there is a committee which carries out visits and investigations and supervises the centres. But the main problem, says Burbano, is that many of the centres belong to influential people, and they can avoid problems with the authorities by paying big bribes.

 

In Zulema’s case, the story had a happy ending, even though it will take some time for the pain to disappear. But the case highlights the fact that Ecuadorian society still has a long way to go in dealing with latent homophobia and respecting sexual diversity.  

  • Cinthia Rodríguez and Zulema Constante <br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl

Discussion

vish 13 September 2014 - 2:16am

I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that. Good information here. I really enjoy reading them every day. I've learned a lot from them.Thanks so much for sharing this information. Greatly help me being a newbie. Thank you so much!

JEAC 10 September 2014 - 9:02am

He did win a FIFA U-17 World Cup with Mexico last summer, but his experience in MLS has been limited to Reserve League action.

Singgasana 29 August 2014 - 12:56am / indonesia

Wellcome I agree with you. This post is truly inspiring. I like your post and everything you share with us is current and very informative, I want to bookmark the page so I can return here from you that you have done a fantastic job. And I forget to thank you for you post. Very informative. I hope you will continue to provide intersting information as you do now.Singgasana Hotels & Resorts pilihan akomodasi terbaik di Indonesia

Obat Herbal Stroke 27 August 2014 - 8:24am

Pemulihan Penyakit Stroke dengan amazon Obat Tradisional Alami
Stroke ialah jenis penyakit pembuluh darah pada didalam otak. Banyak kendala yang menyebabkan terjadinya kerusakan dalam pembuluh darah pada otak manusia, diantaranya karena adanya penyumbatan pembuluh darah, sehingga pasokan darah semakin turun dan menimbulkan matinya sel-sel saraf pada otak. Stroke salah satu penyebab kematian terbanyak no.3 di Negara Amerika serta sebagian negara industri lainnya. http://grosiramazonplus.com/obat-herbal-stroke-amazon-plus/

Marsya 24 August 2014 - 7:50am / USA

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.http://tipsbidan.com/

Julia 23 August 2014 - 10:24am / USA

Economic development inside a country is going to be very not the same as one an additional. You will find various kinds of anticipation in order to overcome the actual crisis. Insured Profits

nelsa 21 August 2014 - 9:20am / indonesia

thanks for sharing article post like this http://kadopasutri.com/alat-bantu-sex-pria-vagina-manual/

quanao 17 July 2014 - 6:27am

siêu thi tre tho ban quan ao tre em vnxk , quan ao so sinh, thoi trang cho be , quan ao tre em gia re nhat

mevabe 14 July 2014 - 11:22am

the manager read her the rules she would have to follow. From early in the morning, she and the other nine young women there had pray, do chores, play sports and have talks with a psychologist. Zulema says she was repeatedly punished mevabe
, Friso
, vinamilk

Anonymous 23 May 2014 - 5:24pm

For the bride, the wedding ceremony, in addition to the dress according to the happiest moments in life, the choice of dress is also very important. It can reflect the bride's personality and aesthetic greater extent. The bride's dress can colors, styles, fabrics and other aspects of different options. For most brides, the romance may be their first choice. Lace flounced fabric and design elements are classicGalajurken 2014
Lange Galajurken>

Anonymous 23 May 2014 - 5:24pm

For the bride, the wedding ceremony, in addition to the dress according to the happiest moments in life, the choice of dress is also very important. It can reflect the bride's personality and aesthetic greater extent. The bride's dress can colors, styles, fabrics and other aspects of different options. For most brides, the romance may be their first choice. Lace flounced fabric and design elements are classicGalajurken 2014
Lange Galajurken>

Anonymous 16 May 2014 - 3:14pm

Bruidsmeisjes JurkenA beautiful wedding dress can make brides wedding icing on the cake, and the wedding dress of choice depends on the individual's physique, temperament. The right choice can help brides conceal defects, highlighting the advantages. Errors can also mix the shortcomings exposed Oh! Custom-made wedding dress now common collar shape to do an inventory, we want to prepare for the selection of wedding brides little reference.

Anonymous 18 April 2014 - 9:48am

Since then, the feeling of a father let balotelli mature time to get up. Away in the face of napoli, can't use goal as a gift to my daughter, balotelli once sad tears. And since then, Mario balotelli, next life also become low-key and quiet a lot.
http://www.2014worldcupsoccerjersey.com/cheap-soccer-jersey.html
http://www.2014worldcupsoccerjersey.com/soccer-jersey-supplier.html
http://www.wcsoccerjersey.com/products_all.html‎
http://www.wcsoccerjersey.com/2014-world-cup-colombia-away-cheap-soccer-...

Anonymous 17 October 2013 - 7:01am / Colombia

Unbelievable that in this century still there is such ignorant people!!

Robert Sands 25 June 2013 - 9:33pm / USA

Stupid, ignorant people that still believe in the stupidity that is religion.

Post new comment

Please be reminded all comments must be in English, short and to the point - guideline 250 words. Abusive and inappropriate comments will be removed.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

RNW on Facebook

RNW Player

Video highlights

Ladies on the move
RNW is keen on featuring inspiring women in our target countries, women who...
What about men?
In many countries, men don't stick around to raise their children. This is...