Torture in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
 

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                  gvnet.com/streetchildren/Guatemala.htm

Republic of Guatemala

Guatemala is the most populous of the Central American countries with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. The agricultural sector accounts for about one-tenth of GDP, two-fifths of exports, and half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products, with sugar exports benefiting from increased global demand for ethanol.

The distribution of income remains highly unequal with more than half of the population below the national poverty line. Other ongoing challenges include increasing government revenues, negotiating further assistance from international donors, curtailing drug trafficking and rampant crime, and narrowing the trade deficit.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Guatemala

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Guatemala.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLE ***

Street Children Surprisingly Healthy

BBC News, 13 April, 2002

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1920570.stm

[accessed 19 May 2011]

Researchers have found that although the lives of these children can be fraught with danger, they adapt physically to survive.

'RESILIENT' - "Their health as measured by their BMIs doesn't prove that they live a fine life - it is fraught with great danger, including murder and sexual exploitation, especially for the girls - but it does confound our expectations.  These kids are resilient and self-reliant and adapt physically to the difficult conditions of homelessness.  Although middle-class urban kids certainly fare better, homeless urban children seem to be doing better health-wise than they would if they lived in intact families in poor agricultural communities."

Police Violence Against Street Children

Human Rights Watch: Easy Targets - Violence Against Children Worldwide, September 2001

www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2001/children/5.htm

[accessed 19 May 2011]

They hit with their rifles, or with sticks, on our backs and stomachs.  And sometimes they just punch us in the stomach with their hands.  They also take our paint thinner and pour it over our heads.  They’ve done that to me five times.  It’s awful, it hurts really bad.  It gets in your eyes and burns.

Thousands of children living in Guatemala’s streets have faced routine beatings, thefts and sexual assaults at the hands of the National Police and private security guards. During a 1996 Human Rights Watch investigation, nearly every child we spoke with told us of habitual assaults and thefts by the police. These assaults occurred on busy city streets in broad daylight, on quiet streets in the middle of the night, in alleys and deserted areas, and in police stations. Often, they were witnessed by passersby or other police officers.

A youth who spent nine years on the street told us:  The police bother us every single day. They hit us and steal our money, our shoes, our jackets. If you don’t give them what they want, they’ll beat you up or arrest you . . . .We can’t say anything, or they’ll hit us harder.

Girls on the street are additionally vulnerable to sexual attacks. Susana F., a sixteen-year-old, reported that she was raped by two police officers while a third kept watch. The officers threatened to put her in prison for having marijuana if she made any noise.  “I’m sure this has happened to many other girls. But usually they won’t say anything about it. . . .Ugly things happen on the street.”

Guatemalan street children have also been killed in extrajudicial executions. In September 1996, sixteen-year-old Ronald Raúl Ramos was shot and killed by a drunken Treasury Police officer. More than ten other street children in Guatemala were murdered that year under suspicious circumstances, yet by April of the following year, all of the perpetrators were still at large.

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

UNICEF – Guatemala

www.unicef.org/infobycountry/guatemala.html

[accessed 19 May 2011]

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2004/guatemala.htm

[accessed 8 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Street children tend to be especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation and other forms of violence, constituting a serious problem in Guatemala.  Recent primary school attendance statistics are not available for Guatemala.  As of 2000, 55.8 percent of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5.  Working children tend to complete only 1.8 years of schooling, roughly half the average years completed by non-working children.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61729.htm

[accessed 8 February 2011]

CHILDREN - Credible estimates put the number of street children at five thousand nationwide, approximately three thousand of them in Guatemala City. Most street children ran away from home after being abused. Casa Alianza reported that increased gang recruitment decreased the number of street children in the capital, because after joining a gang, street children often lived with fellow gang members and no longer slept on the streets. Casa Alianza reported that from January until mid-November, 334 children were killed in Guatemala City, compared with 173 killed during 2004. Criminals often recruited street children for purposes of stealing, transporting contraband, prostitution, and illegal drug activities. Approximately 10 thousand children were members of street gangs. NGOs dealing with gangs and other youth reported concerns about abusive treatment, including physical assaults, by police of street youth upon apprehension or in custody.

The government maintained one shelter each for girls and boys in Guatemala City, providing housing for the homeless. The government devoted insufficient funds to these two youth centers, and governmental authorities often preferred to send juveniles to youth shelters operated by Casa Alianza and other NGOs. The government provided no funding assistance for shelter costs to these NGOs. Juvenile offenders were incarcerated at separate youth detention facilities.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 8 June 2001

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/guatemala2001.html

[accessed 8 February 2011]

[7] The Committee notes with interest the Education Program for Working Children and Adolescents (PENNAT) to assist children who work in markets, parks and the streets in both urban and rural areas.

[30] The Committee is deeply disturbed by information that violence against children is increasing. In particular, it notes with great concern that many children fear for their lives because they are continually threatened and are victims of violence, notably when they are living and/or working in the street but also when they are at home. Of particular concern to the Committee is the alleged involvement of the State Civil Police in some of the alleged cases of violence and the lack of proper investigation of these cases by Guatemalan authorities.

[54] The Committee expresses its concern at the significant number of children living in the streets and notes that assistance to these children is provided mainly by non-governmental organizations. In light of article 6 of the Convention, serious concern is expressed at allegations of rape, ill-treatment and torture, including murder for the purpose of "social cleansing", of children living in the streets.

For many children in Guatemala, lessons have to be learned on the street

Jessica Shepherd, The Guardian, 7 March 2011

www.theguardian.com/education/2011/mar/08/global-campaign-for-education-guatemala

[accessed 9 Aug  2013]

In Guatemala, up to 1.5 million children are missing school to try to scrape a living on the streets. What can be done to get them back into classrooms?

At La Terminal, the bus station in Guatemala City where José plies his trade, shootings, thefts and gang violence are commonplace. Even the fried chicken joint now employs an armed security guard. José has had his daily earnings of about 75 Quetzales – £6 – stolen more than once.

In Guatemala, there are 52 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to one murder per 100,000 in the UK and five per 100,000 in the US. Many predict this to increase this year, as tensions rise with the election of a new Guatemalan president in the autumn.

Guatemalans say more people are dying now than during the country's bitter 36-year civil war, which ended in 1996.

As José walks to the next bus, half a dozen vehicles sound their horns. He takes a side-step to avoid a man who is unstable on his feet, and holds out gold-coloured bracelets in his palm to passers-by.

It's nearly impossible to judge how many children in Guatemala are missing out on a formal education to work the streets as José does.

Guatemala: One child abandoned every four days

Inspire magazine

www.inspiremagazine.org.uk/news.aspx?action=view&id=3457

[accessed 19 May 2011]

A recently published report by the Joint Council on International Children’s Services has revealed that one child is abandoned in Guatemala City every four days – and over three quarters of them are newborn babies.   Families and parents in Guatemala abandon children because they feel they have no other option.  Poverty and large family sizes mean the children simply can’t be cared for.  Other children are abandoned because they are physically disabled or have learning difficulties.   Without social services to help them, these children and babies are struggling to survive on the streets. The more fortunate ones are cared for by older children or street families.  The less fortunate ones will die. Twenty abandoned children were found dead in the city last year.

Morales Case Focused International Attention on Plight, Rights of Street Children

News office: University Relations, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 9/10/2008

www.newswise.com/articles/view/544203/

[accessed 19 May 2011]

As one might expect, these children suffer profoundly and face enormous economic, political and social challenges. In addition to economic poverty, which often leads to malnutrition and even starvation, these children are exploited and victimized by their own governments, usually by a police force. It has been extremely difficult for human rights and development organizations – not to mention victims and their families – to work within a given country’s legal system to seek protection for these children. In the past decade or more, advocates have relied on international human-rights law and treaties to try to force governments to protect street children and provide for their welfare.

One such treaty is the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, which the Republic of Guatemala ratified. In 1999, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Guatemala in violation of several provisions of the treaty due to the 1990 abduction, detention and murder of five street children, one of whom was Villagran Morales, by Guatemalan police. Two years later, the court ordered the Guatemalan government to pay a total of $508,865 to the surviving relatives of the murdered children. Villagran Morales v. Guatemala was the first case in the history of the Inter-American Court in which the victims of human rights violations were children.

Fear and loathing in gangland Guatemala

The Guardian, July 17, 2008

www.guardian.co.uk/journalismcompetition/gangland.guatemala

[Last access date unavailable]

The sun bakes the potholed asphalt streets and concrete buildings along Avenida Bolivar in the republic of El Gallito. Crouching in the shade of a tamarind tree trying to escape the scorching heat, a group of children huddle around volunteers Marcos and Katarina*, who are doing their best to teach the kids in the racket from the nearby highway.

The children are wearing a random assortment of second-hand clothes collected by a local catholic church. They unknowingly support American sports teams, the names of which are emblazoned across the backs of their torn T-shirts.

Each of the hollow-eyed children clutches a solvent-soaked rag, which they sniff intermittently to numb their physical and emotional pain. Occasionally, for no apparent reason, one of them will start to cry, the tears streaking their dirty faces, mixing with runny snot as they try to wipe their faces with their sleeves.

Unfortunately, the solvent also numbs their attention span, and Marcos and Katarina patiently try to get the children to repeat the proper names of penis and vagina, before reminding the kids of the golden rules – wear clean underwear, wash your private parts once a day, and go to Medicins sans Frontieres if you notice any unusual lumps.

The children of the Republic of El Gallito are the next recruits in the hidden civil war that is raging in Guatemala. Marcos, from child protection organisation Casa Alianza, wearily explains why the children in the street are usually never older than 11. After that, they are old enough to join the maras, or organised youth gangs in the area, to be used as foot-soldiers in a war that has become endemic in Guatemala and neighbouring countries.

A Lamp That Sheds No Light

Willy E. Gutman, Honduras Weekly, 31 July 2010

www.hondurasweekly.com/a-lamp-that-sheds-no-light-201007312787/

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 9 Aug  2013]

Fiction also trivializes fact. There is no romance in the life of street children, only pain and hopelessness, hunger and fear, disease and death. Real street children do not sport beguiling smiles. They are prone to misbehave. They often stink. All could use a bath.

But under the grime, the air of defiance or the crushing indifference their feverish eyes convey, there is a child, scared, vulnerable, far too young to taste life’s bitter medicine, yet incurably old before his time.

In the ghostly twilight world of street children, there are no magic lamps to rub, no benevolent, turbaned genies, no flying carpets, no protective amulets, no healing philters; only evil spirits lurking, stalking easy prey. Unlike Aladdin, street children do not amass fame and fortune, and no fairy prince or princess will marry them in the end. Most never leave the streets. Many don’t reach adulthood. Disease, hunger, drugs and bullets often cut their lives short.

Human Rights Watch - Street Children

Human Rights Watch: Street Children

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 May 2011]

In Bulgaria, Guatemala, India, and Kenya, Human Rights Watch has reported that police violence against street children is pervasive, and impunity is the norm. The failure of law enforcement bodies to promptly and effectively investigate and prosecute cases of abuse against street children allows the violence to continue. Establishing police accountability is further hampered by the fact that street children often have no recourse but to complain directly to police about police abuses. The threat of police reprisals against them serves as a serious deterrent to any child coming forward to testify or make a complaint against an officer.

Not ready to go home yet

Text Susan J. Alexis; photos by Joseph J. Delconzo, The World & I

www.worldandi.com/newhome/public/2003/january/lfpub2.asp

[accessed 19 May 2011]

Her day starts at 5:30 a.m. Sandy-haired, blue-eyed, slim, and casually dressed, 32-year-old Hanley Denning looks like any other American tourist or foreign student in the colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala, as she heads for the bus. With typical Latin American imprecision, it arrives sometime around 6:15 or 6:30; Denning boards, along with locals, for the ride to the country's capital and major population center, Guatemala City.

An hour and a half later she steps off on the city's northwest side and walks through an area of graffiti-covered, sewerless houses. Stepping gingerly over the leavings of mangy dogs and the garbage spill that the children have scavenged from the dump to sort, clean, and sell, she passes a string of children hauling more home. After three or four blocks, the flies buzz thicker, vultures fly overhead, and the stench grows noxious. Seemingly light-years away from the quaint streets of Antigua is the Guatemala City dump, where adults and children as young as four earn their livelihood by scavenging.

Guatemala’s violent present

Paola Ramírez Orozco-Souel, LeMonde Diplomatique, September 13, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 23 September 2011]

Violence against Guatemalan women gets less media attention than the notorious crimes against women in the sprawling metropolis of Ciudad Juarez, on Mexico’s border with the United States (3). Nevertheless they are beaten, tortured, mutilated, raped and killed: 2,200 have been murdered since 2001,299 in the first six months of this year (4). The rising rate of violent death affects men too. Battles between armed street gangs (maras) are on the rise, as is the killing of street children by “social cleansing” groups who are in the pay of people anxious to protect their property.

Casa Alianza Legal Advisor Murdered

Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA, September 12, 2005

www.ghrc-usa.org/Resources/2005/CasaAlianzaAdvisorMurdered.htm

[accessed 23 September 2011]

BACKGROUND - Formed in 1990 after the brutal murder of thirteen-year old Nahamán Carmona López by the National Police, Casa Alianza’s Legal Program seeks to defend and promote the rights of children, youth and young mothers. Perez Gallardo has served as an Advisor to the Legal Program for the past six years. The fifty-six year old lawyer was advising Casa Alianza on several pending cases involving irregular adoptions, murders, sexual exploitation, trafficking and other human rights violations against children.

Richard Swift meets an outspoken advocate for Guatemala’s street kids

Bruce Harris, The New Internationalist magazine, Issue 269, July 5, 1995

www.newint.org/features/1995/07/05/interview/

[accessed 19 May 2011]

They know we are not by ourselves. That’s why we have survived.  It may seem naive to think your little letter will have any effect as you sit there in your garden in Dorset or wherever. But each letter makes street kids a little less vulnerable.

Street Children in Guatemala

One to One Children's Fund, February 18th 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 September 2011]

FEBRUARY 5TH 2003 - The body of an indigenous eleven-year-old homeless boy, Oscar, was found hidden in a sack in Guatemala City on February 5th 2003. he had been shot through the head at close range and there were signs that he had been severely beaten.

Street Children in Guatemala

The Toybox Charity

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 23 September 2011]

Many children in Guatemala have been orphaned by civil war and violence, abandoned by parents too poor to cope or are runaways from physical or sexual abuse within the family unit. Once on the streets, children soon fall prey to violence, exploitation and disease.  Rejected by society, these children are regarded as 'disposable' and become victims of harassment and violent abuse. Some are shot.  Many of these abandoned children seek to numb the pain and loneliness of life on the streets by turning to solvent abuse.  In order to survive they are often faced with a choice of either starvation, joining a violent gang, or stealing or selling their bodies.

Rescuing Second-Generation Street Children in Guatemala

International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region IPPF/WHR, Reaching Out, Vol. 24, Spring 2004 (Published: 2004.04), p. 4

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 May 2011]

There are more than 5,000 youth between the ages of 10 and 23 living in the streets of Guatemala City; two-thirds of the girls report having been pregnant at one time, and one-third have small children with them on the streets. A second generation of street children is growing up in the center of the city’s drug and sex trafficking, homelessness, and police brutality.

Street Children in Latin America

The Toybox Charity

www.donorflex.com/index.php/products/donorflex-client-case-studies/26-toybox-case-study.html

[accessed 19 May 2011]

FACTFILE - Herbert Paiz, director of El Castillo, Toybox's partner charity in Guatemala, has observed that street children in Guatemala City have a life expectancy of around four years.

It’s very difficult to tell, but it’s thought that there are 1,000-1,500 street children in Guatemala City. In addition, there are thousands of children living at very high risk. The Toybox Charity helps both.

Rejected by society, these children are regarded as 'disposable' and become victims of harassment and violent abuse. Some are shot.

Medecins Sans Frontieres - Promoting Generics And Helping Street Children

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), International Activity Report 2004 - Guatemala

www.doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/ar/report.cfm?id=1003

[accessed 19 May 2011]

Since 1999, MSF has run a project in Guatemala City that provides free health care and psychological counseling to more than 700 street children and young adults, some of whom have been living in the streets for a decade or more. There are high suicide and substance abuse rates among the street kids. MSF psychologists and educators help them on a daily basis, providing basic health care, accompanying them to hospitals and providing counseling to improve their self-esteem. The team works alongside members of the street community to raise awareness of the misery of street life with the aim of relieving the discrimination many street kids face from authorities and public services. The therapeutic day care center in Lomas de Santa Faz, a slum on the outskirts of Guatemala City, provides medical and psychological care for children coping with the consequences of chronic domestic violence and neglect. These children, whose parents were displaced during years of civil war in Guatemala, suffer from malnutrition, physical or sexual abuse and developmental problems.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases In Guatemala City Street Children

Solorzano E, Arroyo G, Santizo R, Contreras C, Gularte M., Rev Col Med Cir Guatem. 1992 Oct-Dec;2 Suppl:48-51

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12290625?dopt=Abstract

[accessed 19 May 2011]

Drug consumption, sexual promiscuity, extreme poverty, and low educational level place street children at high risk of sexually transmitted diseases. A prospective study was conducted of 143 street children attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic in Guatemala City over a three month period in 1991. 11 of the children were aged 7-10 years, 47 were aged 11-14 years, and 85 were aged 15-18 years. 104 were male and 39 female. 26 were illiterate and the rest had incomplete primary educations. All had been sexually abused. Over half had had their first sexual experience with a relative. None had ever used condoms. 101 of the children reported they had 1 or 2 sexual partners each day, 6 had 3 or 4, and 36 had more than 4. 133 reported histories of sexually transmitted diseases, of which 94 cases were ulcerative. 112 of the children had genital herpes, 71 had gonorrhea, 39 had human papillomavirus, 19 had vaginal trichomoniasis, 24 had chancroid, and 6 each had vaginal candidiasis, early latent syphilis, and pubic pediculosis. All the children reported using alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana. All used solvents and most used a variety of other drugs.

Street Children Surprisingly Healthy

BBC News, 13 April, 2002

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1920570.stm

[accessed 16 May 2011]

Researchers have found that although the lives of these children can be fraught with danger, they adapt physically to survive.

'RESILIENT' - "Their health as measured by their BMIs doesn't prove that they live a fine life - it is fraught with great danger, including murder and sexual exploitation, especially for the girls - but it does confound our expectations.  These kids are resilient and self-reliant and adapt physically to the difficult conditions of homelessness.  Although middle-class urban kids certainly fare better, homeless urban children seem to be doing better health-wise than they would if they lived in intact families in poor agricultural communities."

Inter American Court Awards to Families of Murdered Guatemalan Street Children

Casa Alianza, June 13th, 2001

www.essex.ac.uk/armedcon/Countries/Americas/Future/Text/Guatemala006.htm

[accessed 19 May 2011]

The Inter American Court on Human Rights (“the Court”) today ordered the State of Guatemala to pay a total of more than half a million dollars to the families of five street children who were brutally tortured and murdered by two National Policemen in June 1990. This is the first ever case in the 20 year history of the Court where the victims of a resolved case were children.

On an overcast June 16th, 1990, street children Julio Roberto Caal Sandoval (15); Jovito Josue Juarez Cifuentes (17) and their street youth friends Henry Giovani Contreras (18) and Federico Clemente Figueroa Tunchez (20), were sitting in an empty parking lot at the corner of 18th street and 6th Avenue in downtown Guatemala City. Suddenly a pickup with two armed men pulled up beside them. With guns drawn, the two men shouted, “You guys are pending” and started beating the youth. They literally threw them into the back of the pick up and drove away. The kidnappers were later found out to be two National Policemen: Samuel Rocael Valdes and Nestor Fonseca.

Several days later, the mutilated bodies of the homeless kids were found in a residential area called “Bosques de San Nicolas”, with their eyes gouged out and bullets through the back of their heads. Nine days after the initial murders, yet another friend of the four victims, Anstraum Villagran, was shot dead in the same parking lot by the same two policemen.

Police Violence Against Street Children

Human Rights Watch: Easy Targets - Violence Against Children Worldwide, September 2001

www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2001/children/5.htm

[accessed 19 May 2011]

They hit with their rifles, or with sticks, on our backs and stomachs.  And sometimes they just punch us in the stomach with their hands.  They also take our paint thinner and pour it over our heads.  They’ve done that to me five times.  It’s awful, it hurts really bad.  It gets in your eyes and burns.

Thousands of children living in Guatemala’s streets have faced routine beatings, thefts and sexual assaults at the hands of the National Police and private security guards. During a 1996 Human Rights Watch investigation, nearly every child we spoke with told us of habitual assaults and thefts by the police. These assaults occurred on busy city streets in broad daylight, on quiet streets in the middle of the night, in alleys and deserted areas, and in police stations. Often, they were witnessed by passersby or other police officers.

A youth who spent nine years on the street told us:  The police bother us every single day. They hit us and steal our money, our shoes, our jackets. If you don’t give them what they want, they’ll beat you up or arrest you . . . .We can’t say anything, or they’ll hit us harder.

Girls on the street are additionally vulnerable to sexual attacks. Susana F., a sixteen-year-old, reported that she was raped by two police officers while a third kept watch. The officers threatened to put her in prison for having marijuana if she made any noise.  “I’m sure this has happened to many other girls. But usually they won’t say anything about it. . . .Ugly things happen on the street.”

Guatemalan street children have also been killed in extrajudicial executions. In September 1996, sixteen-year-old Ronald Raúl Ramos was shot and killed by a drunken Treasury Police officer. More than ten other street children in Guatemala were murdered that year under suspicious circumstances, yet by April of the following year, all of the perpetrators were still at large.

Guatemalan Street Kids Face Hardships, Death Squads

Cable News Network CNN, February 14, 1998

edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9802/14/guatemala.street.kids/

[accessed 19 May 2011]

The thousands of street urchins who inhabit Guatemala City do what they can to scrape by -- begging, selling bananas for a few pennies, salvaging what they can from the garbage dump. Some join gangs and turn to crime.   Most of them are homeless, sleeping on sidewalks or by an abandoned train station. To curb their desperation and hunger, many have become inhalant addicts, sniffing industrial solvents that almost certainly cause brain damage.

THEY CALL IT 'SOCIAL CLEANSING' - But these street kids also face another menace -- death squads practicing what is referred to in Guatemala as "social cleansing."   There are certain groups in society, including security forces, who feel that by torturing, kidnapping and murdering them, they'll teach the others a lesson to leave the street.

Police Abuses - Street children march in Guatemala

Megan Coleman, Serrina Duly, Nicole Freeland, Jonah Kane-West, and Marc McCloskey, created this site as part of a collaborative web project, "Children Around the World"

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 May 2011]

One of the biggest problems for children living on the streets in Guatemala is the police abuse that they suffer. Many of the children living on the streets greatly fear the police and fear for their lives.

Police abuse in Guatemala is one of the big problems that street children face, but it is getting less over time.  Much of the police abuse is not done by the actual Guatemalan police.  There are many private police officers in Guatemala who no longer work for the government, but work privately who commonly abuse street children.

Guatemala: Fear For Safety of Members Of Casa Alianza & Their Street Children

Amnesty International, PUBLICAI Index: AMR 34/016/2002, UA 72/02 Fear for safety 11 March 2002

www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR34/016/2002/en/39ff70d9-d883-11dd-ad8c-f3d4445c118e/amr340162002en.html

[accessed 19 May 2011]

The offices of Casa Alianza, an organization that helps street children, were broken into on 7 March, and files containing confidential information on children who have allegedly been ill treated by police were ransacked. Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of both Casa Alianza employees and the children it supports.

Torture Of Street Children

Bruce Harris, Executive Director, Latin American Programmes, Casa Alianza, November 16th, 1995

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 May 2011]

During the past five years, Casa Alianza's Legal Aid Office for Street Children in Guatemala has been documenting the torture and violence against the street children. It has been horrendous to say the least.  The first case was 13 year old Nahaman Carmona Lopez, a frail street boy who was kicked to death in the middle of Guatemala City by four uniformed National Policemen on March 4th, 1990. Then four street youth, Julio Caal (15), Jovito Jose Juarez (17), Federico Figueroa (20) and Henry Giovani Contreras (18) were kidnapped by at least two members of the 5th precinct of the National Police. Their bodies were found ten days later - their eyes had been gouged out, their ears and tongues cut off and then - and only then - they were shot through the head.....

Continued Abuse of Street Children

Bruce Harris, Executive Director, Latin American Programmes, Casa Alianza, January 24th, 1996

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 May 2011]

With the changes of government in Guatemala, we are all pulled into the false hope that the new authorities will be able to - or want to - pull out a magic wand and stop the tremendous violence against the street children.  But then our bubble of false hopes is popped....

State Brutality

Instituto Austriaco Guatemalteco.  Seminario Los ninos de la calle: Una realidad alarmante, (Guatemala: IAG, 1992), 139-40.

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]  ß Note: font color is white

[accessed 19 May 2011]

In the United States, the police are the ones whom we run to if we are in danger. In Guatemala, as well as other Latin American countries, the street children run away from the policemen because they are the source of danger.

Robbed of Humanity: Lives of Guatemalan Street Children

Urbano Latino magazine, February 1999. Reviewed by Christy Damio

pangaea.org/robbed_humanity_street_children/reviews.htm

[accessed 19 May 2011]

REVIEWS AND COMMENTS - Tierney describes, discusses and tries to explain the horrors faced by Guatemalan street children. Deftly guiding the reader through a clear, informative analysis of the conditions that cause so many kids to suffer, Tierney paints a picture of a government that not only neglects, but also terrorizes, the citizens it should protect.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Guatemala", http://gvnet.com/streetchildren/Guatemala.htm, [accessed <date>]

 

 

Torture in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Guatemala]  [other countries]