Many of us find it hard to fathom the fact there are real monsters in the world. Monsters who rape and kill; monsters capable of turning our worst nightmares into tragic realities.
For many Chileans, there’s a monster they can put a face to: A 30-year-old man who raped and killed a girl who was just one year and seven months old. It’s a case that has rocked the country to its very core.
Many have argued that the perpetrator deserves the death penalty. The man has yet to be sentenced.
Now, the doctor who treated 1-year-old Ambar Lazcano has had his final say in a post on Facebook, one that explains in his own words why he doesn’t think the death penalty should be handed to the man who took this child’s life.
Paediatrician Alvaro Retamal works at the San Camilo Hospital, eight miles north of Chile’s capital of Santiago. He was the one who treated 1-year-old Ambar Lazcano when she arrived at the hospital with severe injuries. The girl’s aunt and her partner said that the child had fallen over, but the damage that the doctors assessed made it clear this was far from the truth.
The doctors found that she had been sexually abused; a crime that resulted in her death.
Little Ambar had been placed in the care of her aunt because her mother could no longer take care of her due to drug-related problems.
According to El Comercio, another uncle offered to look after the girl, but he was denied by authorities in the country because he was gay.
Instead, Ambar ended up in a home where she would eventually be killed.
Doctor Retamal has written on his Facebook concerning how painful it was for him and the other hospital staff to see little Ambar fighting for her life. Nevertheless, he doesn’t believe the death penalty should be used. The post below is from the doctor himself, and has been shared by tens of thousands of people.
Dr. Retamal’s translated message
“It’s so easy to get mad and demand the death penalty for a monster like this.
A criminal who certainly deserves the death penalty for these crimes … and it’s easy to keep up with that idea. When I had Amber Lazcano in the hospital and we struggled to save her life, when we saw her fragile body, her little hands, when, in the middle of everything, I stroked her forehead and told her to live because the world would not let anyone hurt her…
When you have the opportunity to say to her in a hushed voice: Please listen to me: Live! There is nothing to be afraid of, the earth is full of people who want to love her … Like the aunties and uncles who received her at the hospital, who went with her in the ambulance, who took care of her in the emergency room at lPabellón, while operating, and all of us here at the hospital … From the attendant, to the doctors who sometimes try to maintain emotional distance so we don’t have to absorb so much pain.
We all cried for this beautiful little angel.
And we clearly wish that he who has done this will suffer an unthinkable punishment.
Amber finally got rest from a life that was otherwise only full of pain. I held her hands when she left us and, without being worthy, I blessed her, just because I was the person who was there; I am not a priest or her dad.
What I feel today is no desire to kill someone, because it’s an act that does not solve anything. Today, I feel that we should be there to put a stop to what happened to Amber and so many others…
It is easy to demand the death penalty. But why do not we take all the hatred we feel now and turn it into love and protection for all our children? For those who have no parents, but also for those who keep quiet; those we do not know or do not want to know that suffer in silence.
Our calling must instead be to organize and protect the children from the evil that surrounds us in the world, between all hills and mountains. This will lead to something that may be helpful to others. To ask for the death of a monster leads only to relief.”
As a society, we must strive for an environment where situations such as the terrible thing that happened to Ambar do not occur. As this doctor writes, sentencing someone to death does not help to change things in the long run.
Do you agree? Please leave thoughts and have your say in the comments box!