Guatemala: Young Women March for 41 Girls Killed in Fire

Zoila Marisol Lopez Gomez, 17, blames the death of the girls on “President Jimmy Morales, because he is not looking after the children of Guatemala.”

Girls from Guatemalan children rights organization Coincidir have marched 41 kilometers to the capital to commemorate the 41 young victims who died in a firein a group home on March 8 of last year.

“We are here because of the 41 dreams that were destroyed a year ago,” 12-year-old Sandra Veliz said on Wednesday.

The young women began their march near the entrance of the municipality of Sumpango, in the central department of Sacatepequez.

Veliz demanded that there be “no more deaths, but smiles, and said that she and others like her want “less sad faces; we do not want to feel afraid, but to feel safe.”

At the 41 kilometer mark, the girls stopped for a minute’s silence in remembrance of the victims. They later chanted slogans demanding justice.

“The girls who died had a dream and the state is not doing the right things,” said 17-year old Zoila Marisol Lopez Gomez, who blames the deaths on “President Jimmy Morales, because he is not looking after the children of Guatemala.”

Damaris Lopez, a 19-year-old native of Jacaltepeque village in the eastern department of Jalapa, still remembers with sadness and anger the hours after the fire. “Nobody should die like this. I was… angry about how things were handled at the administrative level,” she told EFE.

On March 8, 2017, the fire at the home managed by the Secretary of Social Welfare (SBS) killed 41 girls and left 15 more with burns.

Former SBS Secretary Carlos Rodas, former Secretary Anahi Keller and former Director Santos Torres are being prosecuted.

Telesur English
Categories: DD.HH., Género, Guatemala