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  HOME | Central America

Students in Guatemala Demand Justice for the 37 Girls Killed in Blaze

GUATEMALA CITY – Hundreds of school and university students demonstrated in Guatemala City on Friday demanding justice for the 37 girls killed in a fire at a state-run center for minors.

Dozens of students from the University of San Carlos thronged the city’s Constitution Square, demanding the resignation of President Jimmy Morales over his purportedly inept handling of the tragedy.

On Wednesday, the blaze at the Virgen de la Asuncion shelter left 37 minor girls dead and some 20 were hospitalized.

Initial reports say the girls themselves had started the fire to protest against alleged human rights violations at the center.

Several protests have since erupted at different places in the country.

Students from another school also flooded the city square to pray for the victims and demand justice, holding messages reading “I am a woman, I want justice,” “No more abuse!” or “Guatemala in mourning.”

One student, Maria Jose, 18, told EFE their only demand is to find those responsible for the deaths of the girls, saying she is sure “no sensible person” ever sets fire to themselves.

Recalling the accounts of several inmates who had complained of sexual and physical abuse at the center, she urged authorities to take action.

 

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