Colombian officials save 105 patients 'tortured' at rehab center

Cops bust private psychiatric center in Colombia and rescue 105 patients, including 17 minors, who were ‘tortured and kept in cages’ – as video shows victims struggling to walk with their ankles chained together

  • Some 105 patients, including 17 children, were saved from a private psychiatric rehabilitation center in Palmira, a city in the western Colombia
  • Authorities were alerted about the center’s conditions and carried out a raid
  • The patients were found with the ankles chained together. Among the victims were two elders and two people with cognitive disabilities
  • Cops arrested four therapists, a psychologist and an auxiliary nurse

Cops in western Colombia busted a private psychiatric rehabilitation center last week and rescued 105 patients who were allegedly tortured, kept in cages and had their ankles chained together.

Acting on an anonymous tip emailed to the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare, police in the Palmira, Valle del Cauca, raided the clinic last Thursday and uncovered horrifying conditions.

Among the patients who were reportedly abused were 17 minors, two elders and two people with cognitive disabilities. 

Nine of the minors were reunited with their families. The local government child welfare agency took in four minors and two children were placed in foster care.

Authorities rescued 105 patients, including 17 minors, from a private psychiatric rehab center in western Colombia last Thursday. Some on the victims (including person pictured) were held in an underground room where they were found tied up. Six administrators were arrested 

Still image from a video recorded by authorities showed a female psychiatric clinic patient with her ankles tied with a chain

Authorities described the conditions at the shut down rehabilitation center in Valle del Cauca, Colombia, as inhumane after health officials received an anonymous tip. Officials rescued 105 patients, including 15 minors, two elders and two people with cognitive disabilities 

According to the Colombian Attorney General’s office, the patients were at the facility for psychiatric and drug abuse issues.

Workers at the rehab center reportedly placed shackles on patients’ feet and hands, and tied them to poles.

Authorities also discovered an underground lair that was covered with a metal gate to keep the patients from coming out. Several victims were found tied up in the cage. 

‘What we found there was an obvious violation of human rights,’ said Clara Inés Sánchez, director of the Municipal Health Secretary, according to Colombian news outlet Publi Metro.

Clara Inés Sánchez, director of the Municipal Health Secretary, said the patients’ ‘human rights’ were violated

Officials in Valla del Cauca, Colombia, lead some of the victims that were subjected to torture at a rehabilitation center for patients that suffered from psychiatric and drug abuse problems

Colombian National Police agents lead some of the six administrators that were arrested last Thursday. They were charged with aggravated tortured and confined to pre-trial home detention and must appear before the local prosecutor’s office every eight days 

She also added that some of the patients complained of the abusive treatment.

Agents with the Colombian National Police in Palmira arrested four therapists, identified as Wilder Fabián Fernández Caro, Carlos Andrés Granada Ruiz, Alexander Caicedo Quintero and Juan Carlos Peñaradonda De La Pua. 

Cops also apprehended Luz Damaris López Rosales, the rehab center’s psychologist, and Jhimbalin Rivas Gutiérrez, who was employed as the auxiliary nurse.

They were charged with aggravated tortured and confined to pre-trial home detention by a judge in the city of Cali. They cannot leave their homes between 6pm and 6am, and were also barred from traveling outside Colombia. 

All six suspects also have to appear before the prosecutor every eight days.

An anonymous tip sent to the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare led to the shutdown of a rehabilitation center in the department of Valle del Cauca were some of the 105 patients complained of abusive treatment  

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