Two Argentine graduates accuse a teacher of sexual assault at the school where Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis, taught. Gonzalo Elizondo and Pablo Feo are 32 years old and were students at the Colégio del Salvador at 11 years old. Location A century-old educational institution run by the Catholic Order of the Jesuits in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentine friends accuse his brother Cesar Destinos of sexually assaulting 42 students at the school.
According to El País, it took Elizondo and Fio 20 years to realize they had the same story. Charging died in 2015 and has not been tried in court, but school officials have acknowledged the abuse.
Former students accuse the school of covering up the cases. “A lot of the adults didn’t do what they were supposed to do. They neglected us and left. They knew there was a predator and all they did was move it and cover it up,” Vue said.
Argentine friends claim that Destinos committed the abuse in 2002, when he was a sixth grade teacher, but due to the shock, they did not tell anyone and tried to forget what happened. The following year, Cesar Destinos was moved to a location more than a thousand kilometers away, causing rumors of abuse to spread.
Elizondo said he rethought what happened during a spiritual retreat, when he woke up in the middle of the night and felt the accused’s hand in his pants. “He said I was sleepwalking and he took me back to the room, but I was never sleepwalking. When I heard the rumors, I knew he was really molesting me.”
As for Vio, it took him a little longer to understand what had happened. Since there was no sexual education in the school, which is now a mandatory course there, the students had no idea how to act or respond when Kamizas talked about sexual topics in class.
According to the victim, “he was preparing us little by little.” “One day in his office he asked me to drop my pants and touch my dick and passed his hands over my body and asked me to compare myself in the locker room with my colleagues and then tell him. I even thought at the time that I was lucky to have someone to teach me about these things. No one told me that this Error “.
Elizondo noted that he reached out to college staff in 2019 to talk about the abuse, and three years later dozens of other victims joined the case, but all remained without response and cooperation from Colegio del Salvador.
The foundation defended itself, saying it had “already offered an apology to the school community and taken steps to prevent further abuse”.
In 2003 there was a letter of apology on behalf of the professor in one of his signatures as Jorge Black, the current dean, and Rafael Velasco, the dean at the time. “First, we once again ask forgiveness from those who have suffered what they should not have suffered in this school. We are ashamed. We are deeply sorry. That is why we publicly demand your forgiveness.”
The transfer letter also stated that it was necessary to “protect” the students. “The principals of the school and the Society of Jesus did what they thought best at the time, which was to remove the accused from his position and protect the students from further harm.”
The first complaint, according to Vio, occurred in 1998, a year after Camizas became a professor. “A family approached the president of the university, Louis de Moussion, saying that their son had been mistreated by Destinos. De Moussion rejected the story and decided to keep Destinos in his position.”
The second complaint was made in 2001, when a student told Dean Velasco of Destinos’ attempt to molest him. “The dean not only rejected his testimony, but publicly called the boy a liar in front of his classmates,” said Feu.
the silent pope
Having been a professor there in the 1960s, the Pope did not speak publicly or to the students. Elizondo said he wrote a letter to the Vatican in 2020 asking for the clergy’s help, but did not receive a response. “It protects them,” Feu said. “Acknowledging violations means ending that protection.”
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