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Mennonite Women Allege Rape In Brazil

MANITOBA COLONY, Bolivia, Aug. 22 (UPI) — A Mennonite woman in Bolivia says she hopes an upcoming trial will offer her family closure in an alleged rape that involved the drugging of entire families.

The case involves a veterinarian and a group of eight others who allegedly altered an animal tranquilizer for use on humans, The Christian Science Monitor reported

The group, it is alleged, terrorized the Mennonite community of Manitoba Colony. The defendants allegedly sprayed the drug into the bedrooms of their intended victims, sometimes sedating entire families.

The defendants then allegedly entered the homes and raped women who were sedated, the newspaper said.

“Even still, I can’t sleep through the night,” said Susana Banman, who said she was raped in 2009. Banman said she and her husband now check the windows of their home every night to make sure they are secured.

The area in which the crimes allegedly took place is one of the world’s few remaining Mennonite “Old Colonies,” the newspaper said. Some 130 women and girls — some as young as 8 — have come forward as victims.

“Women are not seen as equal to men in these colonies, and this will continue to lead to ever more social problems,” said Abe Warkentin, a Canadian Mennonite and founding editor of Die Mennonitische Post, a German-language newspaper circulated in Latin America.

The defendants have been held in prison since their arrest; no trial date was given and the defendants have professed their innocence, the newspaper said.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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