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Judi Lynn

(161,314 posts)
Fri Oct 12, 2018, 10:49 PM Oct 2018

Colombia registers 14% increase in infants dying of starvation

by Adriaan Alsema October 8, 2018

Colombia’s Ombudsman’s Office rang the alarm over a 14% increase in child deaths due to starvation or related illnesses last week, but the report has largely been ignored by authorities.

According to the government’s human rights office, 162 children under five died of starvation and associated causes of death between January 1 and September 8 this year.

Twenty-one more children died this year compared to the same period in 2017, despite of former Family Welfare director Karen Abudinen’s promise to increase government action to prevent preventable child deaths due to hunger exactly a year ago.

More than 160 dead children later, Abudinen left office quietly in August when President Ivan Duque took over power from his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos.

Child mortality is most prevalent in the north of Colombia, particularly in the province of La Guajira, where national soft drink giant Postobon allegedly used children suffering food and water shortages as lab rats to test a new drink.

The department has been battered by corruption and the infiltration of regional mafias in government. Two former La Guajira governors are in prison, one because she was embezzling money meant to feed children.

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