It is now just three years since the fire in the Virgin of the Assumption ‘Safe/Secure’ Home (Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción) in San José Pinula, some 25 km from Guatemala City. While their lives can never be returned, it is important that their lives and experiences are not forgotten.
This piece from Aisling Walsh, in the Women’s Media Center provides a lot of background and this, by Azam Ahmed, in the New York Times, brings the story home in a visually painful way, with the police standing by as the girls were burnt alive behind a locked door.
This is a short piece I did at the time based on another piece from Marielos Monzón in Prensa Libre.
An Oscar-nominated Best Live Action Short Film, Saria, by Bryan Buckley tells the story of two inseparable orphaned sisters – Saria 12, and her sister Ximena 14, as they fight against mounting daily physical abuse at the very institution designed to protect them. In the sisters’ desperation for survival, they devise a daring plan of escape for all the orphans to find freedom in America. You can find out more about the film, here.