It was called Eléne. He was two years old and from Mali. On March 16, after a four-day boat trip, he arrived at the Gran Canaria dock in Arguineguín with a severe dehydration that ended his life five days later. The image of a toilet trying to revive her on the same asphalt of the port went around the world. One more to add to that album of misfortunes, increasingly bulky, with which from time to time we play to flagellate ourselves until forgetfulness and boredom make us turn the page.
Do you remember Go around? He was three years old when he drowned off the coast of Turkey after slipping from his father’s grasp as they fled hell. Do you remember his inert little body on the sand or limp in the arms of the policeman who picked him up? Remember even if it hurts. How hurtful it is to remember the image of that small, petite and shrouded, with his round little face, cornered on the dirty floor of the Syrian hospital in Douma, next to a large stain of blood, alone and left by the hand of God, if at all God has hands. He seemed asleep, but he was dead. How dead did that little girl from the refugee camp in Lesbos to which a doctor tried to revive with a cardiac massage in his minimal and skinny chest while the mist from his eyes gave us his goodbye.
And we talk about these four cases, or others that slap us from time to time, just because of the photos, because a photographer passed by. But in 2017, 5.4 million children under the age of five died in the world, in similar situations and without a photographer: 14,794 a day, 616 an hour, more than 10 a minute, one every six seconds. Now, shake your conscience and calculate how many little ones have died in the time it took you to read this.