From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters
by Suzanne Rose
The advocacy group Disability Rights Iowa filed a complaint with the Federal government charging that Republican Governor Terry Branstad and his state’s Department of Human Services have failed to meet their obligation of providing services to disabled Iowans. State officials said that they had no obligation to provide these services using federal Medicaid and Medicare funds, thus leaving thousands without help in reducing institution residents’ dependency on antipsychotic drugs and helping them transition into community settings.
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Disability Rights International (DRI) filed a case on Oct. 30 with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States on behalf of people with disabilities detained in Guatemala’s Federico Mora psychiatric institution. “Federico Mora is the most violent and dangerous facility we have discovered anywhere in the Americas,” said DRI executive director Eric Rosenthal. At least 340 children and adults are detained. Police and soldiers armed with machine guns guarding the adjoining prison prey on the disabled children and adults at Federico Mora.