“Mom, mom! I want to stay with you, mom!” are the cries heard from a minor in Bogotá as she was handed over to her alleged abuser, apparently by an official from the Colombian Institute of Family Care.
The complaint was made by activist and former Senate candidate Viviana Vargas Vives, who posted it on social media accompanied by audio that would be from the moment the minor was handed over to the person who would abuse her.
“This is the reality of children in the protection system. A girl is torn apart by employees of The ICBF, while begging not to be handed over to her father, was convicted of sexually abusing her,” said the activist, who was part of President Gustavo Petro’s splicing team on children’s issues.
According to the complaint, the events took place on September 27 at the ICBF Zonal Center in the city of Barrios Unidos, Bogotá.
“(The girl) is with the abuser right now. She was left with lacerations to her chest and chest when she was violently ripped from her mother’s arms.”Vargas added.
Regarding the matter, the ICBF issued a statement stating that “the decision in this case was made by a judge following a process involving both parents and the girl. In accordance with the decision, the ICBF provides psychosocial support within the framework of the implementation of the judge’s decision on detention and the regulation of visits”.
The institute adds that “ICBF family advocates and professionals act to ensure the overall protection of children and adolescents. Sexual violence is a serious violation of rights and the main reason why children and adolescents enter protection. For this reason, the Institute has specialized facilities to ensure that they receive immediate attention, in coordination with the health and justice sectors. All the decisions that are made are based on the psychosocial reports of specialized professionals, who take into account the voices and stories of the minors, as well as the versions of their parents and other relatives.
Similarly, the subject indicated that “at ICBF we respect the institutional framework and believe that judges’ decisions always result from a comprehensive process and respond objectively to guaranteeing the rights of children and adolescents.”
In any case, what happened to this minor triggered strong reactions of rejection and further explanations were requested from the ICBF.
One of those who showed their outrage was Historic Pact Senator Alexander Lopez, who assured that “the state cannot fail to protect our children”, while drawing attention to the ICBF.
“I completely reject the actions of ICBF in this case, in which it was supposed to serve as a guarantor to restore the girl’s rights according to the principles and procedures of Law 1098/06, the state cannot fail to protect our children. It’s urgent to get around the victim,” Alexander Lopez said.
Bogotá’s House of Representatives representative, Carolina Arbelaes, also spoke on the matter, saying she had asked for “measures to restore the rights of minors.”
Do the officers really not feel the fear and desperation of this minor? Hearing her is heartbreaking, I demand from the ICBF measures to protect and restore her rights immediately. These officials should be investigated,” the congresswoman said.
This complaint comes weeks after the release of a video showing the physical and verbal abuse suffered by a minor at an ICBF centre.
The recording shows that one of Caregivers at the San Gabriel Emergency Center, located in Bogotá, scream and hit the girl, who apparently refuses to eat.
The food is ugly, I don’t like it,” says the minor in the clip. The nurse replies, “Too bad. Better to starve? Seconds later, after screaming and groping the minor, who still won’t eat, the woman forcibly grabs her by one arm, shoves her and speaks rudely to her, treating her like a “brave bitch.”