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Controversy in Colombia after the death of an indigenous child due to lack of medical attention in a camp for displaced people in Bogotá

Posted: 29 Nov 2021 15:31 GMT

The minor was from the Embera people, who are settled in the National Park to request reparation measures and safe return to their territories.

A child, one year and 9 months old, from the Embera indigenous people, died on Sunday due to lack of sanitary conditions and from being exposed to low temperatures in the provisional camp in Bogotá National Park, where the community has been settled since the end September to demand their rights.

In a message on social networks, the Secretary of Health of Bogotá, Alejandro Gómez, explained that the minor was transferred to the San Ignacio Hospital and died despite resuscitation maneuvers.

“Had one extremely serious health condition for many days and it had not been possible to transfer him because there had been no will on the part of his family and the social group that accompanied him, “he said.

Gómez added that, five weeks ago, the administration proposed the transfer of all the people who are in the park to a headquarters on the outskirts of Bogotá, which has the necessary infrastructure.

“We have not been heard”

However, according to María Violet Medina, leader of the Nasa indigenous people, the community issued an early warning on November 8 on the health conditions of this group of people and a permanent team was requested to assist them.

“We haven’t been listened to. I don’t know how many days we have to lose for the doctor to [alcaldesa] Claudia López take a minute of your time and come and listen to us, but above all so that you understand that we propose structural solutions like the ones we have put on the tables, “he denounced.

For his part, the Ombudsman, Carlos Camargo, stressed that the death of the minor has no “any justification” and asked the judicial authorities to investigate what happened.

Displaced in Colombia and forgotten in Bogotá: what's behind the eviction ultimatum against 1,500 embera indigenous people

Last week, the Ombudsman’s Office already recalled that it had “insistently” requested to install a permanent health unit in the place and guarantee adequate food and care for minors.

Since the end of September, a group of around 1,000 Embera indigenous people decided to settle in the park, as a measure of protest to demand attention from the national and district government in matters of health, education and housing.

That measure of pressure, according to community spokespersons, was due to the “total non-compliance” by the national government with the commitments established to guarantee their rights in their territory, from which they have been displaced by the actions of armed groups.

Reaction in the networks

In social networks, there were several politicians who denounced the death of the minor.

“The death of the indigenous minor in the Bogotá National Park demonstrates the reality of the country. The communities are in the abandonment in their safeguards and in the very heart of the capital. The Colombian State is incapable of guaranteeing rights. We are an indolent society, “said Congresswoman María José Pizarro.

Councilor Heidi Sánchez Barreto commented that what happened is “a consequence of the historical absence of the state and the re-victimization against our indigenous peoples.”

For his part, Councilor Diego Cancino stressed that “a dialogue is urgently needed,” as well as “a decent place where the indigenous people can be.” “It hurts, it hurts deeply the death of the indigenous baby in the National Park,” he said.

About the author

Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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