In lead up to the 2nd anniversary of the Hogar Seguro tragedy, we invite you to join us in commemorating and demanding justice for the 41 girls and young women killed, as well as the 15 who were severely injured. Almost two years later, this state crime remains in impunity.
While the state-run centre Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción was supposed to be a safe place for children and youth, this was far from the case. On March 8, 2017, police locked a group of girls and young women in a small room after they had attempted to escape the home. Despite their cries for help, the police would not let them out after a fire broke out inside the room. As a result, 41 girls and young women died and the lives of 15 others were severely impacted.
Responsibility for this tragedy lies with the Guatemalan government. This includes the failure of state institutions to act on prior reports of abuse and poor conditions at the Hogar Seguro, as well as the decision by high-level officials and President Jimmy Morales to bring in police to deal with a very sensitive situation, which they were not equipped to deal with.
While 8 people – including the former director of the centre, ex- government officials and police – face charges in connection with the tragedy, there has been no justice to date. The Supreme Court of Justice has ruled against revoking President Morales of his immunity, which prevents him from being investigated for his role in the tragedy.
We continue to call on the Canadian government, which has adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy, to: denounce the Guatemalan state’s role in the death of these girls; use its diplomatic channels to urge the Public Prosecutor (MP) to investigate and prosecute all those responsible in an effective timely manner, so that they don’t remain in impunity; and undertake advocacy efforts aimed at urging the Guatemalan state to protect girls and women throughout the country.
1. Learn more about what happened by checking out this fact sheet.
2. Attend an art exhibit in Antigonish, Halifax, or Fredericton featuring beautiful portraits of each of the 41 girls killed, contributed by artists globally.
3. Send a tweet to Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland calling for greater action by the Canadian government on this issue. You can include this image in your message. Remember to tag Minister Freeland @cafreeland and use the hashtag #NosDuelen56 (which translates to “we mourn the 56”)
Here are a few sample tweets:
Minister @CAFreeland: Almost 2 yrs later, there’s still no justice for the 41 victims & 15 survivors of the 2017 #HogarSeguro fire. #Canada must take a stronger position in support of gender justice by denouncing the Guatemalan state’s role in this crime @cafreeland #NosDuelen56
Minister @CAFreeland: Justice has been delayed for close to 2 yrs for the 41 victims & 15 survivors of the 2017 #HogarSeguro fire. #Canada, as a feminist government, must call for an end to impunity for this state crime #NosDuelen56 #CDNpoli | More info: https://bit.ly/2TwirwE
4. Print this postcard on 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock and send to Minister Freeland with our key asks above. Share the postcards with your friends!