The workers and heads of the institution were arrested by police. | Photo: Colombian Police

Colombian police have arrested ten people after they found children with disabilities who were being abused inside of a clinic run by the government.

The workers were part of the staff at a mental health care center contracted by the Colombian Institute for Child Welfare in the central city of Ibague, department of Tolima.

They were charged with torture, conspiracy to commit a crime and the destruction of evidence, including the director of the health center, and will now have to wait for a trial date.

“The children were subjected to degrading acts of cruelty, they were tied to their beds,” Child Welfare prosecutor Mario Gomez said.

“The people who supposedly looked after them and had to protect their rights gave them drugs to keep them under control and applied military doctrine to punish them.”

Authorities haven’t said how many children were victims of these acts in the institution, but the building has since been closed for further investigation.

Police say they were informed of the action by a former employee who gave them information and neighbors who heard the screams and shouting of the children.

“We have concrete information that they threw hot soup in the face to the children,” Colonel Jorge Morales said. “The organization violated all kinds of human rights of our children and adolescents.”

Police said the rescued children were suffering nervous breakdowns and were taken to other medical facilities.