The Ombudsman will visit indigenous communities after complaints about sterilizations without consent

A commission from the Ombudsman’s Office will travel next Monday to the province of Bocas del Toro, in the midst of an investigation being carried out into complaints about alleged sterilizations without consent to indigenous women.

The Ombudsman, Eduardo Leblanc, stated that the commission will be made up of the Deputy Ombudsman, the director of Human Rights Protection and the directors of Women and Legal, and his person.

He explained that the investigation being carried out is in the field of human rights, “it would be an investigation of the country, we have to confirm that it is not a practice of the country, and confirm if it is a practice of doctors.”

He indicated that contact has already been established with the regional directorate of the Ombudsman’s Office in that province and notes have been sent to the hospitals.

“We are about to investigate possible cruel inhuman treatment, I would like to talk about course because we do not have reliable evidence at this time, I cannot say that such treatment exists and I cannot say that it is a practice carried out by the Government, the Panamanian State to nationals or foreigners , it is very delicate”, said Eduardo Leblanc.

He warned that if these facts are confirmed, several conventions of which Panama is a signatory would be violated, and the Ombudsman’s Office at the internal level will be responsible for filing a criminal complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, and internationally it should be made known to the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Leblanc also warned that these complaints about alleged sterilizations without consent are made known at a time when Panama is being examined by a United Nations commission.

“This could ruin any progress that Panama has made in favor of women and against discrimination,” he said.

This Wednesday, Leblanc asked the substitute deputy, Walkiria Chandler, for information about these complaints.

During a session of the Women’s Commission of the National Assembly, alternate deputy Chandler revealed allegations of alleged sterilizations without consent carried out on women from indigenous communities in the provinces of Bocas del Toro and Chiriquí.

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