Chile authorities actively investigating churches for sexual abuse, setting high standards for other countries

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Chile authorities raid Episcopal Conference in abuse probe

Source: Associated Press

By EVA VERGARA

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chilean authorities raided the headquarters of the Catholic Church’s Episcopal Conference on Tuesday as part of a widespread investigation into sex abuse committed by members of the Marist Brothers order in the South American country, prosecutors said.

The raids by investigating prosecutors and Chile’s equivalent of the FBI took place at one of the most important buildings of the Chilean church in the capital of Santiago. Investigating prosecutor Raul Guzman, who confirmed the raid, is probing more than 35 accusations of abuse committed against former students at schools run by the Marists, who are religious brothers, not priests.

Guzman told local news media that investigators were collecting information to help identify victims.

After leaving the Episcopal Office headquarters, the investigators went to the offices of the Marist order and also collected information there, according to Alejandro Pena, an attorney for the order. He said he hoped the action would help resolve the case.

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