The Office of Human Rights of the Archdiocese of Guatemala denounced the murders of over 400 children between January and September of this year, and called for an end to the “culture of violence and intolerance for personal integrity” that is affecting the country.
According to a report published by the Efe news agency, “of the 400 children killed between January and September, 52 percent died from gunshot wounds.” The figure represents an increase from 2008 when “493 children were killed.”
During the first nine months of 2009, “an average of 1.46 deaths of children occurred each day, very similar to the 1.5 that occurred during the same period in 2008,” the newspaper reported.
A spokesman from the archdiocesan human rights office, Carlos Chacon, said these numbers “represent a ‘discouraging’ outlook because children ought to be in schools and not on the streets.”
According to officials, there is an average of 17 murders each day, most attributed to youth gangs and organized crime related to the drug trade.