AMERICA/EL SALVADOR - Violence in parts of Central America also encourages children to emigrate alone

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - The representatives of the Bishops of the United States of America, Mexico and Central America meet to discuss major issues related to the complex phenomenon of migration. The meeting, which started yesterday, Monday 19, in El Salvador, will end on Thursday, May 22. At the center of the talks there is an increase in the flow of minor migrants, who travel alone to the United States, and the alternatives that can be adopted to protect them both in their countries of origin and the migratory route they travel.
The note sent to Fides by a local source, refers to what was stated by His Exc. Mgr. Eusebio Elizondo, President of the Commission for Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): "The violence perpetrated by gangs and organized crime in some areas of Central America are a contributing factor to the large number of children who emigrate". Mgr. Elizondo, who is the Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle, in a statement released by the USCCB a few days ago said that "we must urgently take measures to protect these children and thus ensure their safety in their communities".
During the month of November, a USCCB delegation traveled to Central America to observe the migration of minors, and published a report entitled "Mission to Central America: The Flight of Unaccompanied Children to the United States". Mgr. Elizondo said that, in the long run, the U.S. government will have to work with governments in the region to increase the protection mechanisms for these young people, who live in fear and are deprived of opportunities for education and work. This is not only a question of immigration, as it also affects the foreign policy and aid to these countries to protect their citizens, especially the most vulnerable, said Mgr. Elizondo. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 20/05/2014)