© Santiago Arcos Veintimilla

Text by FernandaCarrera  

Reed panels, beams and destroyed nails scattered everywhere, covered the floor of the cooperative Melida Toral. On the rubble of their homes, men and women tried to rebuild their houses, with the broken walls of their homes. On March 27, 40 families were evicted in the Cooperative Melida Toral, located on Isla Trinitaria, one of the poorest sectors of Guayaquil.

They lived by the "Estero Salado". They used to bathe there and tend their clothes on thin strings. After the eviction, they lost the four walls that guarded them from total uncertainty.

They were evicted on Friday 27th at nine o'clock in the evening, Julio Cesar Quiñonez, then director of the Technical Secretariat for the Prevention of Irregular Human Settlements (Stpahi) announced that of the 40 families, 33 accessed to a "contingency plan". In April he had not yet publicly published the content of the plan.

At midnight on March 27, photographs of children sleeping on the houses toured social networks-especially Twitter, where they were seen by 260,000 people-as part of the communication campaign #TrinitariaEnPaz, led by Ernesto Yturralde and Andres Loor. The campaign had as its main objective the dissemination of the contents of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This document, signed by the Ecuadorian State, states that "When those affected do not have the resources, the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure that adequate alternative housing, resettlement or access to productive land, as appropriate".

Help arrived on 28 March. The children were taken to the Center Salesian John Bosco, where they took refuge, until the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing built houses of cane, after two months, where the homeless families could go live by paying $ 5,877 for these homes.

On March 29, the Municipality of Guayaquil installed three tents which temporarily housed those who had lost their homes. Subsequently, the women were taken to the city center of comprehensive care.

When this place was no longer a refuge, adults returned to evicted sector slept there covering himself with pieces of plastic and bags, in a collective dwelling, which they would leave early in the morning to attend to their respective jobs.

The pink and blue walls of Ninfa's house protected Johana, a pregnant woman who lost her home while a medical check was performed. Other neighbors in the same situation as Johana were received in neighbor and family homes.

Currently, most have moved to the Housing Plan built by the Housing Ministry in Mount Sinai. Rosa Caicedo bought a home in this place. She protested against the imminent overthrow of his home on March 5. During this demonstration, Rosa says that a member of the national police applied a stun gun in the belly, trying to disperse the protest. She was admitted to the hospital. The next day lost her baby. Was six months pregnant.

In the cooperative Melida Toral, along the Estero Salado, now lies the rubble of what once was a neighborhood. Where the houses used to stand, the state built a Boardwalk.