Inadequate protection of children leads to abuse in Guatemala

Americas Now

It was an event that shocked the entire country and made headlines around the world. 42 girls, locked up in a state home for vulnerable children in Guatemala, burned to death after a fire broke out following protests and accusations of poor conditions and maltreatment.

More than a year after the tragedy, relatives of the dead girls are still looking for answers.

The fire exposed a disturbing reality about the country’s youth. Little is being done to shield them from mistreatment and abuse. And it could affect the nation’s future.

Guatemala’s highest court recently overturned an appeal by President Jimmy Morales to prevent his immunity of office from being lifted for prosecution in the fire. The country’s Supreme Court must now rule on whether Morales should be tried regarding his government’s failure to properly protect the children under its care.

Correspondent Harris Whitbeck tells us more about Guatemala’s kids at risk.