El Sistema stands accused of systemic rapemain
Two academics in the Washington Post have published an indictment of Venezuela’s El Sistema music education organisation, alleging that it has been a shelter from the outset for rapists and paedophiles.
The indictment includes its founder José Antonio Abreu, who is depicted in saintly terms by many western media.
The WP article is triggered by allegations in a Facebook post a month ago by a whistleblower musician Angie Cantero. She charged that El Sistema ‘was/ is plagued by pedophiles, pederasts, and an untold number of people who have committed the crime of statutory rape.’ The other strsm f information comes from a British researcher Geoff Baker, co-author of the WP article, who has been investigating sexual abuse within El Sistema for more than a decade.
A specific charge against José Antonio Abreu has been made to Slippedisc.com by a Venezuelan musician who maintains that successive regimes shut down police investigations of paedophile complaints against him by children and their parents.
These are serious and widely sourced claims that require further investigation and an official response.
Since Venezuela is a failed state on the lines of Syria and North Korea, we cannot expect any remedy at source. But it would be helpful if El Sistema flag-wavers – starting with its star conductor Gustavo Dudamel – were to offer a response to allegations of what is, at the very least, a haven for sex abuse and, at worst, an organised paedophile network.
Some prominent western musicians should be considering their position.
Start by reading the Washington Post here.