San Salvador, the beautiful city in El Salvador has been proclaimed the “MURDER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.
Thousands of children and adolescents in El Salvador are the main targets of many violent gangs, most of which traffic in drugs. Gangs often first harass youngsters to join, then threaten them. If they still resist, the youth risk getting killed.
During the Salvadoran civil war some 30 years ago, the US, at a minimum, provided millions in military aid that ended up in the wrong hands, but our involvement was truly more extensive than that. I recommend reading about that moment in El Salvador and Central America’s history. Re deportations, gangs or “maras” are a US phenomenon. Families were driven to the US by this destabilization, often with very young children. Their documentation status and non-existent upward mobility possibilities led them to settle in neighborhoods with much gang activity, particularly in LA. As adolescents some years following, unable to obtain jobs and given their context, they join gangs. Naturally, trouble with the law follows and they’re deported. They were raised in our streets, but are now El Salvador’s problem in this postwar context of enduring violence that, paradoxically, continues to drive many to the US.