| 14-08-2018

A child who dies of hunger, dies murdered

One year after the death of an indigenous Chortí girl, civil society indicates that a large part of Guatemalan children could meet the same fate.

A year ago, after several weeks hospitalized and after being subjected to numerous interventions, an 8-year-old girl from the municipality of Camotán, Mavelita Lucila Interiano Amador,     died at the Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala City. For months, her family had fought for the State of Guatemala to give her adequate attention, but this was only provided when it was too late. Paradoxically, Mavelita died despite being beneficiary of judicial sentences aimed at the protection and restitution of her rights.

The death of Mavelita "could have been prevented," according to the report on the "    Situation of human rights in Guatemala" released in 2017 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). With a similar message, former Special Rapporteur on the Right to the Food of the United Nations (UN), Jean Ziegler, asserted before the UN General Assembly that "    a child who dies of hunger dies murdered".

The case of Mavelita is not isolated in Guatemala, where half of the children suffer from chronic undernourishment, despite the fact that national legislation establishes mechanisms to guarantee their right to adequate food and nutrition, and to ensure protection in situations of food risk. The lack of access to adequate food, shelter and sanitation, as well as poor management of public health, can be deadly causes for children suffering from undernutrition. The figures are even higher for the indigenous and rural population, which further underlines that there is a structural and historical discrimination against these groups.

On the anniversary of the death of Mavelita, and in view of the increasing criminalization of human rights defenders, Guatemalan and international civil society urge the State of Guatemala to fully and comprehensively comply with the sentences for cases of child undernutrition in Camotán and ensure similar fates are prevented in future.

 You can access the statement     here.