Seven girls and boys from the Vichy community died in two months.

On May 23, he died Maria Martina Jose Diaz, one and a half years old, from the Wichi La Esperanza community of Coronel Cornejo, Department of San Martin. Due to his health condition – tuberculosis and low weight – the Tartagal Hospital and the Tartagal Nutritional Recovery Center intervened.

On June 5, he died Griselda Perez, two years old, from the town of Misión El Algarrobito, from Fortín Dragones, Embarcación. Also for a low weight frame.

On June 29, he died Clarissa Pereira Juarez, two years old, from the consequences of severe malnutrition. He was Wichi and lived in La Quebradita, General Mosconi, Department of San Martín.

That same day, another Wichi girl also died. He was a year and 7 months old and he was from General Enrique Mosconi’s La Quebradita community. She was severely malnourished and was admitted to Mosconi Hospital where she eventually died.

Days later, he died of malnutrition. a one and a half year old baby in the same hospital.

He died in July another two-year-old in Pozo El Toro, Santa Victoria Este area, Rivadavia. He followed a process of relactation and medical care at the Hospital Santa Victoria Este.

On July 25, he died 3 year old girl of General Mosconi’s Tres Paraisos community. He had a fever and was vomiting. She was taken to the Juan Domingo Peron Hospital in Tartagal, where she died.


Considering the deaths of at least seven Vichy girls and boys between May and Julythe national ombudsman for children and young people, marissa graham, raised pre Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) the second report on the situation of the rights of girls and boys of the indigenous population of Chaco Salteño. He had already made presentations to the judge and executive of Salta.

“We’ve been working for two and a half years on mortality in Salta communities and it seems that sometimes local government fails to articulate with its various districts actions to reach all communities and prevent deaths,” explains Graham to Clarion.

“Provincial Ministries of Health and Social Development should do checks ie. to go through all the communities to get weight and size of girls and boys which is one way to prevent. The province also has a water problem that has not been resolved. And when actions are dismantled, deaths increase,” the Advocate adds.

“Our role as an ombudsman is not just to give opinions, but to we must demand that rights be fulfilled“, assures Graham. And he adds: “The big underlying problem, which is the discrimination that continues to happen in health centers, also needs to be addressed.”

The Wichi community in the province of Salta has enormous difficulties with access to water. Photo: Emmanuel Fernandez

Social and health emergency

For more than two and a half years, three departments in the northern part of the province of Salta have been in a social and sanitary emergency due to the number of deaths of indigenous girls and boys, due to reasons related to malnutrition. The state of nutritional risk in which the child population of these communities is and the serious structural situation is a lack declared by the provincial government itself through Decree of Necessity and Urgency No. 140/2020 of January 29, 2020, a declaration that it had to be extended several times and this is still valid today.

“The seriousness of the situation is related to a structural and multidimensional problem related to the complex scenario of the territories occupied by the indigenous people, which includes the displacement of their lands as a result of the advance of the agricultural frontier, leading to impact on their traditional way of life and livelihood and this is seen in deforestation, pollution and loss of biodiversity. Based on this scenario, this is deeply concerning the violation of the right to life and obstacles to access to basic rightssuch as water, health, food, identity, information and participation and special protection of children and adolescents,” said a report by the National Ombudsman for Children and Adolescents.

“Malnutrition, especially among the youngest, is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by various determinants, such as lack of access to healthy food and drinking water, as well as barriers to access to healthnot only in terms of the possibility of timely access to the health centers, given the limited infrastructure available and the difficulties of movement due to the state of the roads and the few existing communication routes, but also in terms of care and health care with a cross-cultural perspective“, I follow.

“This situation is aggravated by the conditions of structural poverty in which the original communities historically live of the area; a population that has been systematically displaced by processes of appropriation of their territories for investment in extensive agriculture and extractive industries, with consequences of deforestation, water pollution, loss of biodiversity and serious social and cultural impact to local communities,” he adds.

Ombudsman measures

The Wichi community in Salta Province has many malnourished children.  Photo: Emmanuel Fernandez

The Wichi community in Salta Province has many malnourished children. Photo: Emmanuel Fernandez

Ombudsman Marissa Graham and Deputy Ombudsman Facundo Hernandez intervened for the rights of girls and boys from indigenous communities in northern Salta. Follow-up and monitoring led to the development of actions and initiatives promoted at different levels.

Among the proposed measures was diagnosis of the violation of the human rights of girls and boys of the indigenous population of the region. Also the management of individual and collective cases and measures to progress in structural solutions. organized and managed documentation and access to social protection rights. And report requests were made to various provincial ministries in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The answers were not good. Therefore, in November 2021 the ombudsman filed a collective appeal for amparoin favor of all girls, boys and adolescents from indigenous communities in departments in socio-demographic emergencies “to guarantee their rights to special protection, the right to life and an adequate standard of living, to health, to adequate food, drinking water water, access to justice’.

The request for this measure is to order the formation of an inter-institutional articulation table to prepare a work plan that dictates measures to restore and guarantee the rights to health, life and an adequate standard of living of girls, children and adolescents from these communities.

In turn, the amparo requested a precautionary measure: “a) measures to guarantee the timely, efficient and adequate provision of sufficient safe water; b) of timely and effective assistance for girls, boys with any possible health problems by land and air means and access to telecommunications for emergency situations; c) the accessibility and adequate passage of roads that enable water distribution and healthcare“.

current, the precautionary measure was not observed. “Given the deterioration of sanitary conditions, an extension of the protective measures was requested, which was refused, as well as a court hearing between the parties, which was scheduled and then left without result due to a request from the Court of Justice of the EU. raising all actions,” the ombudsman explained. March 4 of this year The High Court of Salta declared itself competent to intervene in the Amparo.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

In parallel with the actions before the judicial system and the executive of Salteño, the ombudsman presented two reports on the situation of the rights of children and adolescents from the indigenous communities of Chaco Salteño before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

The first report was filed in May 2020. The second is from July, for the death of, at least seven Vichy girls and boys between May and June 2022. IACHR Children, Indigenous Peoples and Country Rapporteurs will monitor the situation of children in local communities.

See also

Marissa Graham:

See also

The Justice of Salta investigated the deaths of 25 children from Vichy in January and February

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