Historic Lawsuit Filed Against Jesuit Order In Chile

(For Immediate Release May 4, 2023) 

A historic lawsuit is being brought against the Jesuit Order (Compañía de Jesus)

According to the lawsuit, Pablo Franzani, was very young and a student at the San Luis de Antofagasta Jesuit school, when he was sexually abused by the school's chaplain and educational religion teacher Leonel Ibacache. The school failed to protect Franzani and hid all the information.

We applaud Pablo Franzani for stepping forward to seek justice and accountability after years of suppressing his anguish. His narrative will not only serve to discover the still-hidden truths of Chile's Jesuit Order of Priests, but it will also aid the Chilean people by assisting it in designing stronger safeguards for today's children.

We are sharing the media release and legal filing below from attorney Juan Pablo Hermosilla. The case was filed in the 16th Civil Court of Santiago, under case number C-837-2023.

It claims the cover up of the sexual abuse of children at Jesuit-run schools in Santiago, Chile. The lawsuit refers to the Catholic Order as an “illicit organization which protects pedophiles”.

The suit claims that authorities in the Order have continuously covered up and dismissed parent’s complaints against (and thus protected) priest Leonel Ibacache for some 4 decades.

This priest mentioned in this lawsuit, died in a Jesuit nursing home in 2019 without facing a single day of incarceration or even a day in court.

The UN has requested an investigation into the alarming number of cases and accusations of sexual abuse in Chile. Read E-20 A to E

Attorney Juan Pablo Hermosilla (represented in the Karadima case) will be representing the claimant.

The Bob Marley Foundation supports this survivor in his pursuit of justice. Rita Marley, philanthropist and humanitarian (and wife of the renowned singer/songwriter/activist) has personally been providing support and encouragement to the claimant as he continues in his attempt to work toward protecting children worldwide.

SNAP calls for a thorough investigation into sexual abuse by ordained and professed religious in Chile. The pervasiveness of the problem, as well as the high stakes of children's well-being, necessitate the requirement.

Pablo Franzani can be reached for interviews at +1-954-513-0423 (USA).

SNAP CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected] 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President, (814-341-8386 [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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