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Patients and staff at Peru's biggest psychiatric hospital don costumes for patriotic parade

  • Peru Psychiatric Hospital Parade-1.jpg

    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) (The Associated Press)

  • Peru Psychiatric Hospital Parade-2.jpg

    Patients of Larco Herrera Psychiatric Hospital, one dressed to represent "La Patria" or "the motherland," and the other as Peru's president, pose for a photo during the hospital's own Peruvian Independence Day, 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) (The Associated Press)

  • Peru Psychiatric Hospital Parade-3.jpg

    Patients of Larco Herrera Psychiatric Hospital participate in their own Peruvian Independence Day parade on 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) (The Associated Press)

  • Peru Psychiatric Hospital Parade-4.jpg

    A patient of Larco Herrera Psychiatric Hospital, dressed to represent Peruvian naval hero Miguel Grau, waves while marching with fellow patients 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) (The Associated Press)

  • APTOPIX Peru Psychiatric Hospital Parade-5.jpg

    Patients of Larco Herrera Psychiatric Hospital, perform in their own Peruvian Independence Day parade on 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) (The Associated Press)

Patients and staff at Peru's largest psychiatric hospital put on a patriotic parade at the facility Wednesday to celebrate the 93rd 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.