Guatemalans Demand Justice for 40 Girls Killed at Fire in State Shelter

By: Adriana Peralta - @AdriPeraltaM - Mar 13, 2017, 12:15 pm
40 Girls Killed at Fire in State Shelter
Guatemalans are outraged by the lack of action by authorities in this case. (Prensa Libre)

EspañolA fire killing 40 people earlier this month drove citizens to the streets in Guatemala demanding President Jimmy Morales punish those responsible.

During the protest, children, teenagers, adults and the elderly held banners with messages speaking out against Morales, as no one has yet been imprisoned for a fire at a state shelter.

Even Pope Francis commented on the situation.

“I express my closeness to the population of Guatemala living in mourning for the serious and sad fire that occurred inside the Virgin of the Assumption Home,” he said at the Vatican moments after the Angelus prayer. “May the Lord welcome their souls, heal the wounded and comfort their afflicted families and the whole nation.”

Warnings from authorities

Guatemala Attorney General Thelma Aldana explained that there were already two judicial rulings in which the authorities of the Secretary of Social Welfare and the Director of the Virgin of the Assumption Home were ordered to improve their facilities.

Morales recently acknowledged during an interview with local media that the girls who died were locked in during the fire.

“There was a request to keep them separate because many of these minors had problems with the law, some had violent personalities and the intention was to prevent a tragedy like the one that actually happened. Keeping minors in a specific place was part of the security measures,” Morales said.


Help is on the way

Guatemalan businessmen have provided resources to transport four of the survivors to Galveston Hospital in Texas.

“As Guatemalans, we are very moved by what happened to these young women, and we wanted to act,” Dr. Miguel Ángel Valdez said. Fortunately, we belong to an international organization that provides funds to Shrines Hospital, an institution specializing in handling cases like these.”

The four girls entered the United States without visas but will be granted humanitarian ones soon, explained members of the volunteer organization.

“They are under treatment for their respiratory system and deep burns, so the recovery time is reduced to more than half of what it would be in Guatemala,” said Director of Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala Carlos Soto

Adriana Peralta Adriana Peralta

Adriana Peralta is a freedom advocate from El Salvador and a @CREO_org board member. She is a PanAm Post reporter and blogger, a 2005 Ruta Quetzal scholar, a trained engineer, and an SMC University masters student in political economy. She is also a Pink Floyd fan. Follow @AdriPeraltaM.

Venezuela’s Socialist Catastrophe: Even Soldiers Are Eating from the Garbage

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Mar 13, 2017, 10:05 am

EspañolIn Venezuela, it's now common to see people rummaging through the garbage to look for food. However, a new video reveals just how extreme the crisis is, as low-ranking soldiers were also caught on camera looking through trash bags for food. The video outraged thousands of Venezuelans, saying that those who watch over the country's safety are supposed to be well fed in the barracks. The country's high inflation and he low wages has pushed hundreds of Venezuelans each day to look through the garbage put out on the street, even while employed. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   Venezuelans that earn a minimum wage and own a home as well as the homeless, elderly and indigenous of the country still do not have enough income to cover basic needs. Now, some military rans can be added to that list. Read More: Sugar Subsidies, America’s Least Efficient Corporate Welfare Program Read More: Mexico’s Tax on Soft Drinks is Fattening Power Hungry Politicians In May 2016, six Army officials were arrested for stealing goats, stating that they had nothing to eat. The servicemen, when questioned, not only confessed to the crime, but also argued that they have no food in the dining room at Manaure Fort in the state of Lara. Source: NTN24

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