Between March 7-11, 2017 investigators from Disability Rights International (DRI) visited Guatemala. DRI visited Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción (Hogar Seguro), a public institution where more than 700 children were detained. During the visit DRI interviewed the survivors of a fire that took place on March 8, 2017 which killed more than three-dozen girls. DRI also visited 43 survivors who have been transferred to the Hogar de Abrigo y Bienestar Integral (a public institution for children with disabilities known as ABI), and 130 survivors sent to the Alida España de Arana special school.
DRI’s main finding is that survivors of the fire at Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción face immediate danger – including detention in other institutions where they face continued segregation and abuse. Many survivors of Hogar Seguro were rapidly transferred out of the facility to facilities that were not prepared to accept them. DRI visited Hogar Seguro on March 11 and it found that approximately 50 children remained mixed in with adolescents detained because of crimes – including adolescents reported to be gang members- the rest have been moved to other institutions.