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Running from death

Posted by: | April 13, 2016 | No Comment |

19-Barrio-18-gang-AFP-GettyPeople are not just coming to the U.S. to pursue the “American dream,” rather they are crossing the border to flee gangs. Josue Salomon is an 18- year old male who was deported back to El Salvador in August of last year after being caught making his way to the U.S. He was desperate to leave his country after being threatened by 6 masked, armed gang members. If that happens in the U.S. our reaction would be to report it to the police, and we would expect them to take action.

However, in El Salvador, the majority of police are easily driven by the bribes of gang members or by their threats, meaning that most of the time, they can’t be trusted. Salomon went to the police and reported the threat but all they said was that they couldn’t do anything about it and advised him to run, so he did.

After being caught by immigration officials, he said, “I miss my family- but if I go back, the gang will kill me, like they’ve killed other boys who wouldn’t do what they wanted.”

El Salvador is considered to be the most dangerous country in the world. In 2014, almost 300,000 people left their homes to escape threats or violence. Gangs play a major role in the increase of violence and deaths in El Salvador.

Inmates at the Centro Preventivo y de Cumplimiento de Penas Ciudad Barrios. It is a prison just for members of the MS gang. No guards go into the prison and it is effectivly run and police by the gang itself. El Salvador.

My parents and half of my siblings were born and raised there, so I hear stories about this all the time. I hear stories about what they’ve seen, or experienced and how family members have been threatened for many reasons, like retaliation or for money, tortured and then killed. Can this problem be solved? Gangs run the country, they place fear in the residents and even the government, so how can the problem be solved if everyone is scared to do anything about it?

under: Comm 455
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