Photo by Willyman
In March, a children’s shelter in Guatemala’s capital was set on fire during a riot.
Per BBC, “Guatemalan media report that the riot erupted as a result of alleged sexual abuse by staff and frustration with the poor conditions.”
While they were rioting, mattresses in the home caught fire.
The Guardian reports, “The fire began when mattresses were set ablaze during a protest by residents at the overcrowded youth shelter and an attempt to escape.
Some of the girls retained bad burns on their body.
Fox News explains, “Authorities at the Roosevelt Hospital where many of the girls were taken for treatment of their burns said Saturday that another girl had died.”
In all 40 girls died.
BBC reports, “The number of teenage girls killed by a fire at a Guatemalan children’s home has risen to 40.”
This tragedy was the fault of the government, who refused to better the quality of life in these types of homes.
Per Fox News, “The president has blamed the government’s ‘rigid’ and ‘insensitive’ system for dealing with troubled youths and has promised to reform protective services for some 1,500 minors currently living in youth shelters around the country.”
Four of the youth who were badly burned was transferred to Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston.
The Guardian explains, “Four of the burn victims were flown to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas on Saturday [March 11]. The office of president Jimmy Morales said the Shriners Hospitals had arranged for their transfer.”
The girls caught in the blaze were teenagers.
Per BBC, “The girls, aged 14 to 17, were caught in the blaze at the government-run Virgen de Asuncion shelter last week.”
Carlos Rodas, the head of Child Protective Services was ordered not to leave Guatemala during the investigation.
Fox News reports, “The head of the protective services agency, Carlos Rodas, was ordered not to leave Guatemala by a judge on Saturday while investigations into the blaze continue, according to prosecutors’ spokeswoman Julia Barrera.”
Human Rights prosecutor recommended years before the incident that the home be shut down for violations.
BBC explains, “Before the tragedy, Ms Morales had recommended the shelter, near Guatemala City, be shut down.”
Kids Alive International works in Guatemala to bring the hope of Christ to the children of the country, especially those who have been abused.
Kids Alive reports, “Kids Alive Guatemala has a unique ministry of rescuing and restoring victims of sexual and physical abuse.”
Please pray for massive reforms in children and youth homes in Guatemala. Pray for Kids Alive International, that many children who have been abused would come to know Christ’s hope.
Fox News: Death toll in Guatemala fire rises to 39
BBC: Guatemala fire death toll rises to 40
The Guardian: Guatemalan children’s shelter fire: death toll rises to 40 as demonstrations erupt
Kids Alive International: Guatemala