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Peru to probe child sex abuse claims at Indigenous schools 


FILE - An Awajun village is seen along the Maranon River in Amazonas state, Peru, Aug. 12, 2009. More than 500 cases of sex abuse dating as far back as 2010 have been reported by Awajun youths who attended public schools in Peru's north.
FILE - An Awajun village is seen along the Maranon River in Amazonas state, Peru, Aug. 12, 2009. More than 500 cases of sex abuse dating as far back as 2010 have been reported by Awajun youths who attended public schools in Peru's north.

The government of Peru said Monday that it would investigate sex abuse allegations leveled by hundreds of Indigenous children against teachers in a jungle region of the South American country.

A total of 524 cases of rape and abuse dating as far back as 2010 have been reported by girls and boys from the Awajun Indigenous group who attended public schools in the Condorcanqui province in Peru's north.

The alleged crimes at school residences were revealed last month by Rosemary Pioc, representative of an Awajun women's association.

"We have to investigate the facts. We'll stand with the victims," government spokesman Alberto Adrianzen told foreign correspondents Monday. "We reject all forms of sexual abuse."

The announcement of an investigation came after two government ministers provoked widespread anger by equating the alleged abuse with "cultural practices."

"To say that these are cultural practices is to endorse these actions. ... Rape is not a practice in our community," Pioc told RPP radio on Monday.

Adrianzen said the victims "will have to receive comprehensive health care," including psychological help and HIV treatment if necessary.

Peru's human rights ombudsman called Monday for implicated teachers to be "immediately removed" from the schools at which they taught.

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