A 12-year-old girl living in a Bolivian prison with her father, uncle and godfather, is reportedly pregnant after claiming to have been systematically raped over the course of five years.
The girl has been in Bolivia’s San Pedro prison, La Paz, since she was seven.
The matter has sparked outrage over the practice of letting children live with incarcerated relatives in Bolivia, APF reports. It occurs when minors have no other family or if both parents are in jail.
A general view of the courtyard inside the San Pedro Prison for men, where wives and children are allowed to live with imprisoned inmates in La Paz, Bolivia. Families can freely enter and exit to run errands, go to daycare or public school
"The girl is two months' pregnant,'' said the country's prisons director Ramiro Llanos.
University professor and political analyst Carlos Cordero told the agency the girl’s plight was the result of “miserable conditions and neglect of the inmates.”
The girl has been offered psychological counselling, Sky News reports.
“The problem is not that children are inside prisons – the problem is that there are no state policies for the protection of children,” says Yolanda Herrera, president of the independent Human Rights Assembly.
At least 250 children live in the prison with their parents, according to La Razon.
It adds a fortnight ago there had been talk of evacuating the children from the facility after a possible meningitis epidemic killed an inmate, though this was opposed.