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Patriotic parade at big Peru psychiatric hospital

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Photo - Patients of Larco Herrera Psychiatric Hospital march in their own Peruvian Independence Day parade through hospital grounds, in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. The annual parade is organized ahead of Peru's official Independence Day celebrations on July 28. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Patients of Larco Herrera Psychiatric Hospital march in their own Peruvian Independence Day parade through hospital grounds, in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. The annual parade is organized ahead of Peru's official Independence Day celebrations on July 28. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
News,World,Peru

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Patients and staff at Peru's largest psychiatric hospital put on a patriotic parade at the facility Wednesday to celebrate the 193rd anniversary of the country's independence from Spain.

About 200 of them donned costumes to portray soldiers, noted Peruvians, Incas and the rebels who drove out Spanish forces in 1821.

It is the only annual event in which the issue of mental health in Peru receives significant media coverage. Critics of the system complain that the nation's mental health professionals are largely concentrated in the capital, Lima. Of Peru's 202 psychiatrists working in hospitals, four-fifths of them are in Lima.

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