Fourteen children of an indigenous tribe have died because of
malnutrition in Sierra Nevada near Santa Marta in the past few days.
The latest victim was a 11-months-old baby. The Colombian Family
Welfare Institute (ICBF) is investigating the situation.
The 11-months-old baby could not be rescued because his parents took him to the hospital too late. The baby’s father, Javier Bacuna, said he took his son to the Hospital in Barranquilla after realizing that his child could suffer the same fate as thirteen other children of the indigenous tribe Kogui who starved to death.
“He had diarrhea and vomited. Up there [in the Sierra] thirteen children died. That’s why I came here so that they could cure him, but he did not improve, nothing,” Bancuna told Noticias Caracol Thursday.
Community leader Jhony Jimenez Arhuaco said that the future of the indigenous tribe looks grim. “Many children are dying because of malnutrition. There is a food shortage,” Jimenez explained.
Vigna Carlos, deputy director of the hospital in Barranquilla, where several Kogui families seek help for their malnourished children, agreed that the situation in the region is worrying.
The children are showing “skin lesions and other symptoms related to malnutrition.” Carlos furthermore revealed that a 35-year-old man also starved to death on Thursday.
The Family Welfare Institute is already investigating the problem. Emilia Fontalvo, regional director of the ICBF, said measures are being taken to prevent further deaths.
According to Noticias Caracol, the most ironic thing is that while in Sierra Nevada children are starving to death, milk is being thrown away in Yarumal (Antioquia). Farmers of the municipality reported that there is not enough demand for the supply.