Three Wichí girls were separated from their parents | Most of the family is undocumented

A baby transferred to Salta in serious health condition and two girls placed in a state institutionis the summary of a complaint made by two Wichí People with the help of Modesto Rojas, referent native of Tartagal.

Neither the three girls nor the father nor the mother have any identity documents. This despite the fact that, as Salta/12 was able to confirm in the executive and judicial authorities, the state has already intervened in relation to a fourth adolescent daughter who is a mother and who has been institutionalized for presenting a situation of extreme vulnerability. “She is the only one who has an ID along with her son,” Yosources indicated.

The family is from Pozo El Toro, a place located 40 kilometers from the town of Santa Victoria Este, municipality of Rivadavia, the second poorest department in Argentina and home to most indigenous communities.

As Rojas told Salta/12, the family (whose details will be withheld to protect the daughters’ identities) arrived in Tartagal about two weeks ago from La Línea Post, near the community of El Traslacion in the jurisdiction of the municipality of General Ballivián, in the department of San Martín. The couple would work in cutting wood and poles. But in the situation of her baby (between 9 and 12 months) who showed signs of ill health, the responsible farmer would take them in the truck to Tartagal.

The baby ended up in hospital Hospital Juan Domingo Peronwhere is this they did not allow her father and mother to see herRojas said. “They stayed outside the hospital for hours and hours,” counted.

Wichí’s spokesperson claims that last Tuesday they called agents from Provincial Secretary for Children and Family Affairs asking about the family situation. At the time, they were trying to find the mother, as the baby had to be transferred to Salta Capital due to her health condition, which according to government agencies was extremely serious, so much so that the transfer was by medical plane to present a very high level of malnutrition.


“I warned them in language that they were needed,” Rojas said.. The mother went with her two girls “ages 9 and possibly 6, (they) estimate because they are undocumented,” the officer said. Said Around 11:30, she was told to go to security to see her baby, but the girls had to stay outside. “But the mother is gone and they are gone”Rojas maintains.

“Not institutionalized right away,” sources who worked on the case told Salta/12. They stated that the mother did not want to travel to Salta with the baby, for fear of leaving their girls alone with their father. They added that the couple would have problems with alcohol addiction and that in order to hospitalize the baby they had to “act with public power”. However, it was not possible to understand in detail how the procedure was. Rojas said he learned of the fact from what his parents told him “in language.” The referrer claims that there is a lack of information.

As Salta/12 was able to establish, there will be at least two older sisters in the family. One of them, 15 years old and a mother of a baby, is the one who was in a vulnerable situation (which happened when she was without her parents) for which she was entered into the system and received her DNI, just like your baby. But at that time he was not living with his mother. “It took months to be able to access the mother, to find out where she lived, and the communities are so isolated that every time they see people from the agencies they run away. It’s impossible to talk to them.”official sources indicate.

They added that the internment of the baby transferred to Salta Capital had to be carried out by public force after alerting the system of Primary Health Care (PHC). This is what the sources claim there were “prolonged absences” of the mother and father to examine the hospitalized child. The version contradicted that of Rojas, who stated that the problem was that they were not allowed to enter.

This was admitted by the sources a restraining order has been issued. But before the specialists request that the mother travel with the baby to Salta Capital, the removal of the restriction was managed. “But she (because of the mother) would not go,” and “We can’t force her”they confirmed.

Rojas, for his part, said that after they discovered their daughters missing, the couple “came to see me crying, asking bitterly because they thought they were killing their children.”

Fleeing ‘is not instinctive’

Faced with linear gazes that burden the original families with their fate and the death of their children, professor and researcher at the National University of Salta (UNSa), Norma Naharo realized it was important “It’s not just getting down to the specifics and looking for personal responsibilities and legal charges, which is what the state does. But let’s understand the historical and social context”.

“Pozo el Toro is a very small community in the middle of the mountains. 30 families in a very precarious situation and the very fact that they are without documents speaks of their negative contact with the state”said the specialist.

He recalled that the recurring figure that emerges from the accounts of government agents intervening in the territories is that people see the police truck and go out into the mountains to hide. “It’s not because they’re animals that are scared of the engine noise. It has a history and the arrival of the police has negative consequences and then they move away.”, said. and understood this The presentation of the official story stigmatizes and reinforces racist ideas “that Wichí people are irrational people who cannot be dealt with and who the state cannot do anything about except throw them in prison.”

“Every time officers refer to that number, I ask them, ‘And you don’t know why you’re running?'” The Escapehe added “It’s not instinctive, but a product of a social history that’s inscribed in these bodies.”

The violation of rights, whether through state action or inaction, extends to the fact that, as an undocumented family, they do not receive welfare benefits. “They live by selling their labor for pole cutting and clearing activities in situations of extreme exploitation”Naharo pointed out.

Regarding the state clarifications on alcohol consumption, he pointed out “Problem consumption is another reason that justifies repression and criminalization.”

Analyzing Rojas’ story, Najaro realized this “You see rights violations one after another. Among them, that the baby was received or transferred without its mother, the apparent lack of interpreters, despite the fact that Intercultural Health Act it exists but there is no regulation, lack of access to DNI, labor exploitation and even insecure access to water.

“I understand that the water well in this community (Pozo El Toro) is powered by electricity and to have that they need a generator that runs on fuel. That is, they have to buy fuel as well”, described the specialist. In fact, a few months ago, the community in the area took on the school demanding that a new well be dug.

All this, Naharo concluded that this is happening in an area where there is a decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) that requires “the state to take responsibility for those situations that are historical exploitation of oppression and to which the state does not give answers ” .

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