Guatemalan Favelas?

There has been a considerable growth of slums in the last years in Guatemala City. Most of them are ruled by maras (gangs). A former student of mine, who used to be a firefighter, told me the story of how once bomberos were called to rescue a man who had been shot in La Limonada (a slum that’s been in zone 5 since 1959) and when firefighters got there, the mara that had shot the man didn’t let them take him to the hospital. Instead, they had to watch him bleed to death. It is becoming a more serious problem, as people living there have little or no basic services and the population is growing rapidly. Unfortunately, it’s the story of many “human settlements” in Latin America, where governments close their eyes and do nothing about them. Some slums are even “famous”. Rio, for example, has been featured in several movies and the favelas are almost romanticized in some of them…

Text by: Astrid Fortuny

 

© 2012, Myrna Hernandez. All rights reserved.

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