NALACC leaders visit El Salvador to address border crisis
Representatives of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) are in El Salvador to hold meetings with government officials and organizations to address the humanitarian crisis caused by the thousands of Central American unaccompanied children migrants, who have been detained in the United States and now face the risk of being deported back to their countries.
As explained by Oscar Chacón, CEO of NALACC, one of the objectives of the tour is to influence the process of deliberation and decision-making of Central American governments to improve public management, so that issues affecting nationals abroad are properly incorporated into government plans including adequate budgetary allocations for this purpose. "The only way to support the Salvadoran population in crisis, is by making sure governments in their home countries take more responsible attitudes," Chacon said.
The Unites States Department of Health and Human Services estimated that by the end of 2014 the crisis could affect up to 90,000 children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, who undertook a risky journey to the United States in an attempt to meet their parents or other relatives, or to escape the conditions of insecurity, violence, poverty in their countries.
Data released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that between October 2013 and July 2014, 47,906 Central American children were arrested on the southern border of the country, of which 14,591 were Salvadoran.
Compared to the total under-age detainees in fiscal year 2009, when a total of 3,304 minors were arrested, the number represents an increase of over 1400 percent.
"It is time that governments recognize that their citizens abroad have specific needs of multiple nature, including safeguarding the rights of those seeking humanitarian protection in other countries," Chacon said during a press conference in San Salvador.
NALACC’s tour through Central America coincides with the visit of several United States congressman to these countries, in order to learn more about the economic, social and violent conditions that are prompting the massive exodus of thousands of people.
"We invite members of Congress who are touring El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to support the protect of people who have fled their countries to save their lives, and and not to deport them, " said Lariza Dugan-Cuadra, director of CARECEN, and a NALACC leader. "The existing humanitarian protection laws should be applied, while urging these changes if the United States wants to remain a beacon of hope for those fleeing violent conditions in their countries in search of peace, freedom and better life better," Dugan-Cuadra said.