They investigate an alleged plot of prostitution of minors in Álava




Agencies |

They would be minors under the guardianship of the Alava County Council and a man accused of having abused a dozen young people has been ordered to be placed in preventive prison.


The Ertzaintza is investigating the alleged existence of a prostitution ring of, at least, five minors in custody by the Diputación de Álava, a case in which a psychologist not linked to the center where they are is already in preventive detention.

The Basque police began their investigations last October 6 after receiving a complaint from the director of Sansoheta, of Vitoria-Gasteiz, a center for minors dependent on the Álava Provincial Council.

The person in charge of the center alerted the Police that in a tutoring session a minor had told them that for some time she had been practicing prostitution outside the center, so the Ertzaintza took a statement from this girl.

She reported that they had taken her to a flat to have sex with a man in exchange for money and implicated at least one monitor from the center who has already been removed from his job. No further information has been known about the other cases.

As a result of the investigations, the Ertzaintza detained a psychologist a few days ago, who has occasionally worked with the Provincial Council in the evaluation of adoptions, and after declaring before the judge, he declared his imprisonment for sexual abuse.

This person was not a worker at the center for minors, nor did the Provincial Council refer these five minors to their private consultation, so the provincial institution does not know how he got in touch with them.

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The head of the investigating court has decreed secret investigations of the summary in which other minors of the center and monitors have declared so that all the details can be known.

Appearance of the deputy of Social Services

The regional deputy for Social Services of Álava, Beatriz Artolazabal, appeared this afternoon before the media to explain that the minors are between 14 and 17 years old, that they are interned in the center in an open regime and that they come from families ” with very hard experiences “.

The deputy has not ruled out that in addition to these five boys and girls who have been able to engage in prostitution there may be more, but she has said that it is something that is under the secrecy of the summary and that she does not know the details of the “work that the company is developing. Ertzaintza “.

It has specified that when they learned that one of the minors “identified” a worker at the center as allegedly involved in the events, he was immediately removed from the service, although it has not been able to explain what the degree of involvement of this monitor could be, nor your procedural situation.

In their explanations to the workers of the center, the minors did not manage to identify any person concretely, but it was the police investigations and the taking of a statement by the Ertzaintza that have revealed the possible existence of this prostitution network.

The deputy recalled that it will be the investigation and later the judge who determines the guilt or not of the people involved, and has rejected that the crimes have occurred in the apartments dependent on the provincial institution.

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Protective measures

Likewise, and as reported by Artolazabal, the Provincial Council has contacted the parents of the minors “to reassure them and inform them of the steps we had taken to protect the minors.” In addition, once they have spoken with the relatives, they have adopted “protective measures” in favor of minors of an educational, psychotherapeutic and health nature to “ensure the protection of minors.”

“What we are going to do now is let the Ertzaintza investigate this situation. The seriousness of the data makes us be cautious when making statements and we believe that it is a complicated situation,” he indicated. In this sense, it has valued the “professionalism” of the workers of the Sansoheta center because “thanks to them, we were able to detect” this situation.

Clara Campoamor Association

The Clara Campoamor Association has announced that if the alleged case of prostitution is confirmed, it will appear in the case as a private prosecution. Likewise, they have considered that the Provincial Council should give explanations on how this situation has been generated and “if there have been control mechanisms that have failed”, which would force the provincial entity to “purge responsibilities”.

Save the children

For its part, Save the Children has requested that the protection of minors be guaranteed and has warned that “the prostitution of minors is one of the most serious expressions of violence against children.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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