UTU orders investigation after award to former teacher convicted of abusing a girl

UTU authorities ordered a urgent administrative investigation after former teacher Roque Barla, convicted of sexually abusing a three-year-old girl, was honored for his 30 years of work at the institution, reported Montevideo Portal and confirmed to The Observer the general director of UTU, Juan Pereyra.

The award was presented by the Higher Technological School of Administration and Services of Salto in conjunction with ANEP, within the framework of the “UTU Student and Official Day”. The medal was received by the wife of the former teacher, who was sentenced in May this year to 2 years and 8 months in prison after being found guilty of aggravated sexual abuse of a three-year-old girl.

The teacher accepted a abbreviated agreement in which he admitted his guilt after be denounced by the victim’s mother in October 2020.

Pereyra explained that the Human Resources division of UTU carries out every year a registry of educators who complete 30 years in the technical school to give them recognition. “The situation of each one is analyzed and they communicate with him or his family for the delivery of the medal”he detailed.

According to the director of UTU, Barla “had retired when the events occurred”, so “he was not registered” that he had committed that crime in the organization’s file.

“It is very sad”lamented Pereyra, who hopes that the urgent investigation will be carried out “before the end of the month.”

Barla had been elected deputy mayor by the Broad Front in the last elections, but when the conviction was known he was expelled from that political force. “There is no place for this type of person in the Broad Front”said Fernando Pereira in an interview with Telenoche (channel 4).

This Monday the radical feminist collective from Salta The Subversive Revolt sent a letter through Facebook to Robert Silva, president of the Central Board of Directors of ANEP, in which they denounced the delivery of the award to Barla, and assured that “This person also had multiple complaints of harassment and sexual abuse towards students, teachers and public officials.”

Pereira clarified that “at UTU there is no record” about complaints against Barla as a teacherbut handles “versions” that informed him that these complaints “They may have come from High School.”

“The message that is being given to the entire community with this fact is that it does not matter if you are a sexual aggressor, we will still reward you. And the question: is the enjoyment of impunity allowed by teachers who abuse? We hereby request that this fact be reversed, since the damage caused cannot be compensated. A medal for such a noble teaching task cannot be stained by the link with this sexual abuser,” they criticized from the feminist collective.

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