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More than 500 children and adolescents have been murdered since 2020 in Ecuador


Minors are collateral victims of the war between criminal gangs, which has intensified in the last three years

The Maité and Alexander brothers were already lying in bed, it was time to sleep, when the burst of shots penetrated the brick walls and wooden windows of their house.

His father tried to lay them down on the floor, but was unsuccessful.

They were 6 and 10 years old when they arrived at the hospital with no vital signs.

"The hitmen made the wrong person," commented the residents of the Pascuales sector, north of Guayaquil, the city in Ecuador that accumulates the most crimes.

"The children's father is a man who works as a bricklayer, but the one who lives right next door is involved in shady affairs," agree several witnesses, who have been locked up in their homes by violence.

“Children cannot go out to play in the street or in the store, because it is very dangerous,” says one of the inhabitants, who prefers not to say her name because of the risks involved in talking about what is happening.

Since 2020, violence has escalated in Ecuador due to the war between criminal gangs that dispute territories for drug and arms trafficking.

In these disputes, 502 minors have been murdered, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior.

Most died from gunshots.

In 2022, 41 were under 12 years of age and 151 were adolescents when they died in a violent context, shootings, explosions, or slit throats.

Among the terrible statistics is a two-month-old baby who died on December 25 after 40 days in the hospital.

She was in the arms of her father, a 19-year-old boy, who was carrying her in the doorway of a house in a neighborhood in Guayaquil, when the hitmen arrived on a motorcycle and shot despite the fact that a baby was getting in the way of their objective. her.

She had a hole in her stomach, but they didn't notice it until they got to a clinic near her house.

"When they opened her clothes and her intestines came out, the doctor told us to take her to a hospital quickly or she would die," says a relative.

Thus began her journey for trying to save her life, although she eventually died.

The mother, an 18-year-old girl who has not finished school, tries to get out of her depression to take care of her eldest son, who is one and a half years old.

The father was also seriously injured and left with some degree of disability.

No state institution has come to this family's house to investigate the baby's crime, or to offer help.

The house still has the windows broken by the bullets.

The only family member who had a job lost it due to having to be in the hospital and two other girls who lived in the house have returned to virtual classes for fear of another attack.

The state programs that exist are nurseries for children under five years of age, after that they only have the school, which in some sectors of Guayaquil have had to close due to the constant shootings or because they have found parts of human bodies outside the centers educational.

The school system also fails to ensure the safety of students or contain them.

In 2022, a total of 195,188 students dropped out of the school system, according to the Institute of Statistics and Censuses.

34% were between 16 and 17 years old, the age at which they are recruited by criminal gangs.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-01-26

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