Oxfam demands justice for the victims of the Virgen de Asunción Home for girls and adolescents in Guatemala

Published: 10th March 2017

Oxfam expresses its solidarity with the families of the 35 girls and adolescents who lost their lives, as well as those of the children who are still hospitalized with serious burns, following the fire that occurred on the morning of 8 March at the Virgen de Asunción Home in San José Pinula, Guatemala.

Oxfam in Guatemala strongly condemns what occurred and demands a thorough investigation into the accusations of abuse and neglect of minors who were housed in this home, which operates under the management of the Secretariat of Social Welfare of the Presidency of the Republic of Guatemala. We also demand clarity on the administrative and criminal responsibilities of the officials involved in the situations that gave rise to the tragic events of 7 and 8 March.

It is urgent that the Attorney General's Office, the Secretariat of Social Welfare and the Human Rights Ombudsman fully assess the situation in all other homes for children in Guatemala. We also request that integral psychological support be provided to the other minors who were housed at the Virgen de Asunción Home.

We call on citizens to remain vigilant, active and to join the demands for the Guatemalan State to fulfill its role as guarantor of the rights of children and adolescents, within the framework of the Ibero-American Youth Rights Convention, the national constitution, and the Law and Protection System for Children and Adolescents in Guatemala. A tragedy of this magnitude should never be repeated.

For the rights of children and adolescents, Oxfam is in mourning.

Contact information

María Renée San José in Guatemala City

+502 4492 4537