Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Ten years ago, a human rights group released a scathing, groundbreaking report on abusive, decrepit conditions in Mexican institutions for the mentally and physically disabled, moving the country to promise change and to take the lead in writing international agreements to protect the disabled. But In a new report released Tuesday, the group, Disability Rights International, working with a Mexican human rights organization, said a yearlong investigation revealed “atrocious and abusive conditions” that included lobotomies performed without consent, children missing from orphanages, widespread filth and squalor, and a lack of medical care.
At one institution here in the capital, which a reporter visited with investigators from the groups, men walked around half-naked, feces littered a yard, bedsheets were missing, the smell of urine permeated a day room, bathroom faucets malfunctioned and patients lay sprawled on several patches of grass.
At another institution here, CAIS Villa Mujeres, elderly women sat tied to wheelchairs, staff members hustled to clean soiled floors as investigators moved through and patients and their caretakers could not fully explain how or why they were institutionalized.