Target: Otto Pérez Molina, President of Guatemala
Goal: Shut down mental health facility where patients are subjected to torture
Patients are kept over-sedated in filthy, hazardous conditions at the Federico Mora mental hospital in Guatemala. An investigation held in conjunction with human rights organization Disability Rights International revealed unbelievable human rights abuses during a guided tour of the facility, which houses violent criminals alongside the mentally ill. Shockingly, most of the abuses rampant in the facility are perpetrated by staff rather than vicious, mentally-ill criminals.
In order to reduce violence and keep the patients easier to control for the facility’s meager three nurses, patients are sedated to the point where they cannot move. Many of the patients lie in beds filled with human waste as they are unable to even stand to use a washroom while others walk around naked and dazed in the baking sun, some with dried fecal matter on their skin and clothing. Patients are routinely denied medical attention and are kept in solitary confinement for extended periods of time.
Rape is prevalent in the facility and is often perpetrated by medical staff or guards. Several ex-patients in the facility reported being taken advantage of sexually, unable to resist in their sedated states. The director of the facility was secretly filmed admitting not only his knowledge of the situation, but his complacency with it.
Disability Rights International has labeled the facility the most dangerous of its kind anywhere in the Americas and has called the atrocities that take place there tantamount to torture. The inhumane, degrading treatment that patients receive is in direct breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Convention Against Torture, both of which have been ratified by the Guatemalan government. Sign the petition below to demand that Guatemala immediately close the Federico Mora mental hospital and ensure that all its patients are placed in proper care facilities.
Dear President Molina,
In the Federico Mora mental hospital, patients are forced to live in squalid conditions not even acceptable for animals. The patients are heavily sedated, sexually abused, and exposed to countless sicknesses and diseases. Medical staffing at the facility is inadequate, which results in many patients being denied care altogether.
This kind of treatment is degrading, cruel, and torturous, and is a direct breach of several United Nations conventions to which Guatemala is a party. We, the undersigned, demand the immediate closure of this facility, as well as a higher level of care for its patients.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nooccar via Flickr Creative Commons