Story in development…

Judicial and law enforcement authorities raided a convent inhabited by Discalced (or “Barefoot”) Carmelites today. The branch of the Catholic Carmelite order where lay people — in these case women — dedicate their lives to prayer, was entered into by force after a local news outlet called Análisis Digital published an investigation revealed alleged tortures being committed on the women living there.

When speaking to press, Prosecutor Federico Delgado said “there was no need to go over every room because once we broke the initial resistance presented by the mother superior, we were voluntarily given a certain amount of whips and cilices (a garment or undergarment made of coarse cloth or animal hair used in some religious traditions to induce discomfort or pain as a sign of repentance and atonement).”

However, it’s yet to be proven if these objects were actually used for this purpose and, if they were, whether they were used on the nuns against their will. The prosecutor is also investigating if the discalced carmelites were illegally held in the convent.

According to Análisis Digital, the investigation lasted two years and includes testimonies from former convent inhabitants and their family members, as well as local doctors who allegedly took care of the women. The outlet also argues some of them showed symptoms of malnutrition and depression.