Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/11/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Image underscores plight of indigenous people in Mexico who remain chronically under-served.

It's being called the image that shamed Mexico, and it's gone viral. The photograph shows a woman giving birth to a baby on a lawn in Mexico after being turned away from a local clinic.

Irma Lopez was forced to give birth outside her local clinic after being turned away.

Irma Lopez was forced to give birth outside her local clinic after being turned away.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/11/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Mexico, Oaxaca, birth, lawn, Irma Lopez


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Readers on social media around the world are seeing the shocking image and asking if the baby is okay. The good news is that the baby is just fine. The sad news is that the child was born on a lawn as opposed to in a hospital as should be the right of every mother.

According to Irma Lopez, 29, who is the woman pictured giving birth, she and her husband walked to a local clinic on Oct. 2 in Oaxaca, Mexico. The couple are ethnic Mazatec, one of that nation's many ethnic, native minorities.

Despite being in labor and her water having broke, staff at the clinic turned her away and left her to give birth on the lawn.

Eloy Pacheco posted this image to his Facebook where it went viral, bringing attention to the plight

Eloy Pacheco posted this image to his Facebook where it went viral, bringing attention to the plight of Mexico's indigenous people.


The dramatic images highlight a serious problem, in the region. According to Sylvia Flores, the mayor of the rural village of San Felipe Jalapa de Diaz where the incident took place, another woman also gave birth on the law in July. In fact, one in five Mazatec women give birth outside the hospital because they cannot get in.

Nurses said they could not understand Lopez or her husband and that they were short staffed on that day.

"I didn't want to deliver like this" Lopez told reporters of her ordeal. "It was so ugly and with so much pain," she said. Lopez was alone during the birth because her husband was still trying to get her help.

Her screams are what alerted area residents, one of whom had a camera. Eloy Pacheco Lopez took the image of the distraught mother with her child on the grass. He gave the photo to a local reporter and shared it on Facebook. From there the image went viral.

The problem is that indigenous people in Mexico are subject to discrimination and do not receive the care to which they are entitled.

Duly embarrassed, the Mexican government has promised to investigate and sent staff to look into what happened. The clinic's Health Director, Adrian Cruz has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. Human Rights observers are also investigating.

While the Mexican government says they urge all women to go to clinics to give birth, women in rural areas say the clinics are too small and understaffed to do the job properly.

 While Irma Lopez was lucky, and gave birth to a healthy child without subsequent complications, many other women do have problems. The infant mortality rate in Mexico is still about 50 per 100,000 births. By contrast, the rate in the U.S. is 16 for every 100,000.

Native people say they are used to being under-served by the health care system and they rely on more traditional methods to handle ordinary health issues. Infant and maternal mortality are higher in indigenous areas, by far.

Irma Lopez and her son Salvador are doing fine, despite his traumatic birth.

Irma Lopez and her son Salvador are doing fine, despite his traumatic birth.


Irma Lopez has named her baby, a boy, Salvador, which means "savior." "He really saved himself" she told reporters.

Lopez and her baby are doing fine. 

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Americas

As Ecuador plans to drill in the Amazon, natives know their time is up Watch

Image of Oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest has caused great destruction of the once fertile and incredibly diverse ecosystem there.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is considered one of the world's most bio-diverse regions. This unique place is inhabited by more than 20 different endangered mammals, and just 2 ½ acres of this patch of Amazon rainforest contains more than 100,000 species of ... continue reading


33 million crimes per year! Despite crackdown on crime, Mexicans still doubt ability of law enforcement Watch

Image of Despite increased effort to stop crime, most Mexicans revealed they don't report crimes that affect them because they have little faith in the abilities of police or law enforcement to do anything about it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new survey from the national statistics institute (INEGI) revealed that despite claims from the Mexican government that their country is becoming safer, there were a record number of crime victims in that country last year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Eight Mexican soldiers held in shooting deaths of 22 drug gang members Watch

Image of The shooting started after soldiers came under fire from the suspected gang members, resulting in a gunfight lasting several minutes, the government said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An army officer and seven soldiers have been detained in connection with the deaths of 22 gang members in the town of Tlatlaya, in rural southern Mexico. While originally described "as a fierce gun battle," the physical evidence at the scene suggests that the ... continue reading


Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting sexually abusive priest removed by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Francis dismissed a Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people this week. Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este has been relieved of his duties.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis dismissed a Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people this week. Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este has been relieved of his duties. The Vatican said Pope Francis had taken the ... continue reading


Was it really a meteorite? NASA scientists remain skeptical about Nicaraguan crater Watch

Image of A meteorite from a passing asteroid may have caused a crater in Nicaragua on the evening of September 6.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A meteorite crashed in Managua, Nicaragua, late on the evening of September 6, causing a loud explosion and leaving a crater 39 feet across, Nicaraguan government officials reported. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nicaraguan spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said ... continue reading


These 14th century artifacts are headed back to their proper home Watch

Image of 14th century artifacts from Colombia being displayed in a Spanish museum.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Spain has returned 691 indigenous artifacts to Colombia, which were seized during a police operation 11 years ago LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most of these ceramic items are of huge cultural and archaeological value, and date to around 1400 BC. They had been ... continue reading


Is the Islamic State - In Mexico? Officials deny 'car bombing' rumors Watch

Image of While it's nightmarishly plausible - and there have been warnings from the international community to the United States as such, the Department of Homeland Security has denied claims on from a watchdog group that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has militants stationed in Juarez, Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it's nightmarishly plausible - and there have been warnings from the international community to the United States as such, the Department of Homeland Security has denied claims on from a watchdog group that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has ... continue reading


Deadly silence: 92,000 Columbians remain missing Watch

Image of Around 4,000 graves have been discovered and 5,000 bodies found, following the confessions of scores of paramilitary warlords.

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

More than 92,000 Colombians have disappeared during 50 years of war and at the hands of drug gangs, and the government needs to step up efforts to find missing people, the Red Cross said. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Every day nine people are reported missing ... continue reading


GOING DIGITAL: Ecuador plans digital currency Watch

Image of Some believe that Ecuador's new digital currency will eventually lead to the nation's abandonment of paper and coin currency altogether - i.e., the United States dollar.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a bold move into the 21st Century, the South American nation of Ecuador is now planning digital currency. Some believe this will eventually lead to the nation's abandonment of paper and coin currency altogether - i.e., the United States dollar. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


California Governor: 'You're all welcome,' even illegal immigrants Watch

Image of California Governor Jerry Brown meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California Governor Jerry Brown in a speech this week declared that all Mexicans, including illegal immigrants, are welcome in California. While introducing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who said America is "the other Mexico," Brown "spoke about the ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 23:20-23
20 'Look, I am sending an angel to precede you, to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 10-11
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 18:1-5, 10
1 At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Leger
October 2: Leger was raised at the court of King Clotaire II and by his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter