What’s behind the Wayuu children death rates?

The largest indigenous nation of Colombia, Wayuu, established in the northern tip of Colombia, dies of hunger.

The fnumbers have shaken the country: more than 37 thousand indigenous children suffer from malnutrition in that area (desert department of La Guajira) and at least 5,000 have died of starvation, although traditional authorities Wayuu, as Armando Valbuena, says that the number of small starving approaches actually at 14 mil.

And the row will not stop.

Colombian Nobel literature Gabriel García Márquez had Wayuu lineage on his mother and the influence of that culture is present in much of his work.

The dimension of the Wayuu tragedy does not have precise rates because most of the territory occupied by this population that points the effectiveness of control and the lack of Colombian state presence as the responsible.

For the same situation, more than half of children who have died of starvation are not registered in the civil register at birth and deaths are not reported. Therefore, the government has no actual numbers.

La Guajira, a desert peninsula, is the northernmost region of South America.

Malnutrition can be built by multiple sources, the first and most widely associated with extreme poverty, which prevents access to food, and therefore leads to malnutrition by sheer hunger, and the second as a result of an associated disease, which prevents the child stops eating and fall in malnutrition, which is a failure of the health system, or in many cases, the combination of the two.

The common resolution accuses the government, but many cases where parents removed forcedly children from hospitals have been reported.
This is the moment when we need to be bias, in Colombia indigenous communities have their own laws and procedures, but whenever they ask for government intervention they do not accept it.

So their culture allows them to accept some benefits from the government even when this means breaking with their costumes, nonetheless, when it is not convenient for them they just refuse the intervention.

In few words, yes, they have their own society already built, but if they want presence for the government, if they receive rights they must also have duties.

Distances and landscapes also make it difficult to face malnutrition, however, at the end it is majorly on their culture side.

Manuela Pulido


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