MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities said Friday that they are investigating possible negligence in the case of an indigenous woman who gave birth on the grounds of a public clinic in the southern state of Oaxaca.
Widely disseminated photos showing the woman giving birth and the newborn lying on the grass with the umbilical cord uncut have created a stir.
The woman was in a “very advanced state” Thursday when she arrived at the clinic in San Felipe Jalapa de Diaz to give birth, Oaxaca Health Secretary German Tenorio told Milenio Television.
Clinic staff told her to wait outside while they prepared for the delivery, but “when they went out to look for her they didn’t find her,” the secretary said.
While the woman “has problems understanding Spanish,” that is no excuse for what happened, Tenorio said.
Many of Mexico’s indigenous people, especially in remote rural areas, continue to speak their ancestral languages and have limited proficiency in Spanish.
The woman was subsequently brought inside the clinic and the baby received the appropriate vaccinations, the health secretary said, noting that the clinic is very small and lacks the resources and personnel for an emergency room.
The Oaxaca Human Rights Commission told Efe it has opened an investigation and submitted a formal request for information from health authorities.
A team will travel to San Felipe Jalapa de Diaz to interview the woman and anyone else who witnessed the episode, commission official Bernabe Hernandez said.