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Provolo: The most aberrant case of abuse in our history

Deaf boys from the Antonio Provolo Institute were sexually abused for years. The case shocked society locally and internationally. The defendants received an exemplary sentence.

The worst thing about us

Mendoza was the scene of the case of sexual abuse of minors by members of the Church,  with the greatest impact  of recent times in Argentina. A case that lies behind another equally aberrant, that of Father Grassi. The one that happened in Mendoza was called the  Próvolo case, where a group of priests who ran that religious institute sexually abused children, underage students and hearing hearing.

The events took place at the Antonio Próvolo Institute in that province. Victims: children who slept and spent days and days without seeing their relatives or receiving visits. The perfect target of a group of perverse religious who took advantage of the situation, to achieve their macabre goals with total impunity. In total, there are  more than 20 victims  and the case had almost  15 accused  .

The  case took  an international impact, given that in other locations that this institute has in other parts of the world, the same practices occurred, which only Mendoza justice has dared to investigate.

Throughout the judicial process, it was learned that Nicola Corradi (chief accused in the case) already had previous allegations of abuse at the headquarters of the Provolo Institute in Verona,   Italy. The case also brought to light an investigation into the headquarters that the same institute had in the city of La Plata, where Corradi was director between 1970 and 1997.

The Italian victims of the priest assured that the Vatican knew Corradi was a pedophile but instead of removing him from office, they assigned him to other increasingly remote institutes where he continued to commit abuses.

 Judgment data 

After investigations,  Gesell cameras, sign  language  translators , expert examinations, evidence collection and statements, the cause finally had its trial three years after the first complaint.

The first complaint was made by Daiana Lizarraga, a young hypoacoustic woman who had lived in high school until she was 18 years old. After an episode of depression, he decided to file the complaint and contact the deputy governor of Mendoza to tell what was happening in El Próvolo.

At first Daiana wanted to denounce what her friends and colleagues at the high school told her, an open secret that all the students knew but did not dare to tell their families. However, in her statement she broke and ended up saying that she herself had been the victim of the abuse. His family didn't know it until the day of the complaint.

On the basis of this complaint, the institution was raided and half a dozen employees and priests were arrested. As the cause progressed, many students and alumni were encouraged to testify and tell their ordeal. The number of victims was not exactly known, at the trial the perpetrators were convicted of 25 facts, but it is estimated that many more were not reported. Victims were between 4 and 17 years of age when the abuses occurred, in many cases they could not count what happened because the institution avoided teaching them sign language. This meant that they could not communicate with their parents, especially the little ones.

For the facts presented, the 83-year-old Italian priest Nicola Corradi, the chief responsible for the Antonio Provolo Institute in Mendoza, is serving a 42-year prison sentence. His second, Priest Horacio Corbacho, 59, was sentenced to 45 years in prison. The institute's gardener, Armando Gomez, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for abusing two minors.

Meanwhile, two  nuns , accused as necessary participants in the abuses (one of them faces charges of allegedly having committed abuse herself), await separate trial.

Publication Date: 06/01/2020

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