AMERICA/GUATEMALA - Coloring horror: Children's drawings reflect the violence they live

Monday, 24 July 2017


Sacoj Mixco (Agenzia Fides) - Delinquency, drugs, family problems and daily terror: This is how the children in their fifth and sixth year who go to the Primary School of the Educational Center Dr Bloem, in Sacoj Mixco, and of the official School of La Paz municipality in Villa Nueva, Guatemala described their difficult reality: seizures, physical abuse, drug consumption, domestic violence, humiliation. Children were asked to depict "What is Violence" with a drawing. The results were disconcerting and reflect the "normality" of the violence these children live with. All these drawings symbolize a very unpleasant reality: violence is present in all areas of their lives. Most of them, about 84%, spoke in detail about violence, while only 16% said they are not scared. They live predominantly in the so-called "red areas" of Guatemala, areas with a high crime rate, where violence and delinquency are so frequent that residents are forced to hear shots on a daily basis and minors are forced to stay at home or see dead bodies on their way to school. The project involved 89 children between 10 to 13 years of age. Of these, 54 admitted to being afraid when they go out on the street. The risk for these children is that being surrounded by so much violence, in areas where homicides and dependencies are everyday realities, the majority end up being part of these criminal groups. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 24/7/2017)