She Exposed Sexual Abuse in a Catholic Kids Camp. Now She’s Facing a Prison Sentence


January 22, 2021

By Simeon Tegel

The work of Peruvian journalist Pao Ugaz has made her the target of a string of legal actions.

When reporters at the Boston Globe exposed child sex abuse within the Catholic Church, their investigative work was so celebrated that Hollywood made a film, Spotlight, about it.

Now, after carrying out a similar crusading probe into pedophilia in a Catholic lay organization in South America, Peruvian journalist Pao Ugaz is facing jail time and a hefty damages bill.

For years, Ugaz, 45, has been researching Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, a Catholic boot camp for children from elite families. She began by contributing to the 2015 Spanish-language book Half Monks, Half Soldiers, by Pedro Salinas, which revealed a pattern of abuse at Sodalicio, which Salinas had attended as a teen. She is now investigating its financing and is due to publish a book on that subject later this year.

But the pair’s award-winning work has ruffled feathers and made Ugaz in particular the target of a string of lawsuits from Sodalicio members and conservative activists, some for defamation and some seeking to have her charged with corruption.

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