Malnourished, barefoot, in their underwear, frequently absent from school. That was the life of two little girls aged five and eight, who the Guardia Civil have removed from a campsite in Mijas where they were living with their mother. She has been detained for neglecting them, but the authorities are also investigating possible cases of ill-treatment.
The investigation began on 17 May, when someone from the campsite rang the 112 emergency service after 10pm to say they had taken in an eight-year-old who said she had been assaulted by her mother. She was scared to go home and had asked them for help.
When the Guardia Civil arrived and talked to the girl, she said her mother was with a man and was drunk, and after hitting her (she had a slight bruise on her face), she threw her out of the caravan where they lived. The girl also said she had not been to school for a month.
The officers went to the caravan to talk to the mother, a Scandinavian woman aged about 40. Their report says she showed obvious signs of drinking and her pupils were dilated. There was apparently a strong smell of marijuana in the caravan.
The woman refused to cooperate, and was hostile towards the Guardia Civil officers. She said she didn’t know where her daughters were, and didn’t want to know. In fact, she said she wanted them to take the girls away.
The mother, an alleged victim of gender violence, has a police record for causing injury and for breaking and entering. She is said to have been on the point of eviction from the campsite for not paying the fees for a year.
People living nearby say the children often had nothing to eat and they would give them food, clothes and toys. The girls are said to have been heard crying for long periods, ignored by their mother.
After arresting the mother, the officers tried without success to make contact with the girls’ father, a 48-year-old who does not live with them and also has a police record, including for contravening a court order to stay away from their mother.