This report from Disability Rights International (DRI) outlines the findings from a two-year investigation into the treatment of children and adults with mental disabilities in Mexico City, particularly those in the care of state-funded and private residential facilities. “Despite the fact that they have committed no crime, children and adults with disabilities are locked up and segregated from society,” says the report. Furthermore, the investigation uncovered egregious abuses at many institutions in the city, including those in which children are placed in cages or permanent restraints. According to the report, DRI discovered a “blacklist” of particularly abusive institutions that the Mexico City authorities are aware of, but, as of yet, continue to operate. The two-year investigation included visits to five of these 25 “blacklisted” institutions, including Casa Esperanza, which was found to be so abusive that that DRI filed a formal complaint and sought immediate action to protect the residents.
This report provides an overview of the situation of adults and children with disabilities in institutions in Mexico City, including an overview of the lack of oversight and accountability for the “blacklisted” institutions, and presents findings from the investigation. The report also highlights specific abuses and exploitation that occurred at Casa Esperanza, describes some of the impacts and aftermath of exposure to various forms of abuse in the institutions, and presents information on pilot programs for reform. The report concludes with recommendations for providing access to justice and accountability, implementing a new system of community-based care, protecting legal capacity, and more.