Woman Institutionalised for 12 Years Due to Language Barrier

When officials found Rita Quintero digging in rubbish bins for food in Kansas in 1983, she was detained and later moved to Larned State Hospital.  Here she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was detained for 12 years. However Quintero is a Tarahumara Indian from Mexico, who speaks a rare dialect, and it was aspects of her culture such as daily chanting that led to the false diagnosis.

It wasn’t until the non-profit group Kansas Advocacy and Protective Services got involved that she was eventually freed from hospital and allowed to return home. Her story is now the subject of a play “La Mujer que Cayo del Cielo” or “The woman who fell from the sky”, as well as a $10 million lawsuit into her mistreatment and misdiagnosis.

Read more about how Rita Quintero’s life was affected by language barriers >>