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A Voice for the Street-Children of Latin America

"l wish to read into the record of Seanad Éireann the name of Nahaman Carmona Lopez. He will never know that we did this. He was kicked to death by policemen in Guatemala City." Said Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú. 

“The policemen responsible for this horrible crime”, Senator Ó Murchú continued, “would never have been brought to justice but for the untiring and courageous work of Amnesty International.” 

Nahaman was 13 years old and one of the millions of ‘ street children’ in Latin America. 

"The sad and shocking truth is", Senator Ó Murchú said, "that in many of these countries the military or police simply view these children as no more than pieces of human debris that make the streets look untidy and in so many cases the result is the same …a merciless beating, torture, 'disappearance' or even death". 

Now," Senator Ó Murchú continued, "let me read into the record of the House the name of Peiriama de Andrade. He will never know or care. He is a Death Squad killer of street children in Brazil. This is his statement: 'You have to be cold, look right in their eyes, kill them and smile at them… I've always done it like that." 

"Throughout Latin America, "Senator Ó Murchú told the Seanad, "millions of children are at risk of being killed in so called 'social cleansing' operations. Their only crime is to be poor or homeless and living on the streets. These are victims of the 'death squads' -killers who exterminate the street children in order to clean up the city. 

"Saddam Hussein, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair are sure of world headlines in a deadly power game. Not so the street children of Latin America who are vulnerable, helpless and without a voice except for people like Amnesty International. We in Ireland can show that we care; that we support human rights for all; that we have courage to stand up and be counted., not for trade or other material advantages but because we believe that all are equal in the sight of God".

An Nuacht Is Déanaí