Violence Against Minors Rises in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY, NOV. 27, 2002 ( Violence against minors has increased in this Central American country over the past five years, a Church agency says.

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And it seems the state has forgotten the problem, according to a study by the Human Rights Office of the Archdiocese of Guatemala.

Citing the study, Vatican Radio reported that many Guatemalan children suffer from the lack of adequate health care and education, and are often the victims of domestic abuse.

The study highlights the high number of accusations of violence against minors — as many as 533 — deposited at the National Coordination Center against the Maltreatment of Minors. An even higher figure — over 1250 — is reported by the attorney general’s office.

Moreover, minors are at the center of illegal adoptions and sexual abuse, the report says.

The document was written by the organization once directed by Auxiliary Bishop Juan José Gerardi Conedera, who was murdered in April 1998.

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