EspañolRecordings of three survivors from a massive fire in Guatemala that killed 40 has been released by a local media outlet, revealing shocking details about the moments leading up to the event.
During the interviews, the girls claim the police told them to simply tolerate the fire as it was happening. Also, that there was a revolt being planned by the girls in the shelter against their mistreatment.
Nómada‘s website was inexplicably shutdown following the publication of this information.
The three survivors recounted how the police locked them up and did not help them when they saw they were in danger from the fire.
“They told us we could rot,” one of the victims claimed.
The accounts coincide with research carried out by the Human Rights Attorney’s Office, as well as other officials reports and testimonies collected by the media.
The night before the tragedy, a riot broke out and a group of teenagers escaped from the shelter. The police were able to apprehend them and inflict what has been described as serious abuse on many of the girls, according to one girl’s testimony, which you can listen to here.
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Teachers and caretakers at the shelter were waiting to receive the escapees, who were then shut into a classroom until about one in the morning.
“They laid out some mattresses for us,” one girl said during the interview. “They did not bring us any sheets, we slept outside, just on the mats, that’s all. A group of female PNC agents locked us up and were taking care of us.”
The next day, after breakfast, according to the girls’ reports, some requested to be taken to the bathroom. “We asked the police to please take us to the bathroom and the police did not want to let us out, they said that we could rot for all they care. My classmates made a mini a hole in the mattresses and did what they had to do there,” one girl said.
The three teenagers agree on what happened next: They set a mat on fire in hopes that the police would open the door and help them.
“One of the agents said, ‘let those miserable girls suffer.’ If we had been strong enough to escape, we would be strong enough to bear the pain.”
The Public Ministry of Guatemala has since captured Secretary to the shelter Carlos Antonio Rodas, Deputy Secretary Anahy Keller, and Director Santos Torres. They are charged with homicide, breach of duties and mistreatment of minors.