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2013-10-24

AMERICA/BOLIVIA - Two thousand children sentenced to life behind bars along with their imprisoned mothers

La Paz (Agenzia Fides) - It is estimated that approximately 2,000 children in Bolivia have no other alternative but to live in prisons with their mothers who are serving their sentences. Life behind bars is the price they pay to stay with their mothers. The government has begun to "release" those who are over 11 years of age because of the mistreatment they suffer.
The maximum security prison of Miraflores, in the center of La Paz is where a hundred prisoners live. To avoid total isolation, the teachers take the children out every day. In Miraflores most of the children are under 6 years of age, however there are many centers across the country where even teenagers live with their parents in jail. In Bolivia there is a long list of complaints regarding violence suffered by children. Some of these rapes are committed by the same family members. Often situations get worse because of the abuse of alcohol and drugs. The Government hopes that by the end of the year, most of these young victims will be brought out from the prisons of the Country. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 24/10/2013)

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