Javier was halfway through his walk home from the fields at the end of the work day, but he was not relaxed to be headed home. He was keeping a wary eye out for a truck to drive up along side him, and for what could happen if it did. Javier was watching for MS-13 gang members. They had already harassed him three times in the fields and twice on his way home — each incident closer and closer to where he lived. If they followed him much further on his route, their death threats could easily turn into reality.Franklin and Erick's (in Spanish):
Javier’s older sister had caught the eye of the 25 to 30 year old men in MS-13. They wanted her as a “girlfriend” for the gang, and they weren’t letting up until they knew where she was. They had threatened to kill Javier and his grandparents if he didn’t tell them her whereabouts. Javier thought about the increasing threats and the danger he and his grandparents were in. It was no longer safe in Honduras. He needed to leave.
"Empezaron pidiéndome dinero, que trabajara. Con el tiempo me tenía más metido a ellos, yo no podía salirme de ellos, si yo intentaba decirle a alguien, me golpeaban muy fuerte. Me agarraban a batazos, a pedradas", relata Franklin.Ronald Aldana's:
"Estaba trabajando en un bar y tenía tres meses de estar trabajando en ese bar, cuando llegaron los de las pandillas y me dijeron que tenía que vender droga, que solo teníamos una semana para pensarlo", cuenta Erick.
He was studying auto mechanics at a trade school when he heard that his cousin was murdered alongside a road. Aldana and his dad reported the crime to the police and helped with his burial. Within hours, Aldana started getting threats that escalated into attacks.and Yenesis's:
"We just couldn't deal with it anymore," Aldana said. "The first time they tried to kill me, I'd gone out to pick up some books and as I headed home, a group of men on the street started shooting in my direction, but I jumped towards a ravine behind me."
Aldana survived the attempts on his life. But his father decided it was time for him to leave – for good. Aldana said, "[My father] hugged me and said, 'Son, you know I love you, but you cannot stay here. I'd rather die than have you killed.'"
Aldana resisted. But he was familiar with this kind of story, and he knew how it was likely to end: If the gangs target you – you'd better go.
"When you live in Honduras, you quickly learn that anywhere and anything is better, but then you get to Mexico and you understand that hell extends beyond Honduras."Of those coming to the U.S. overland, Doctors Without Borders finds 60% experience violence en route (Spanish). More comprehensively, Anita Khashu has interviewed unaccompanied minors traveling through Mexico, in a report released in 2010 (pdf, English).
« Older A young boy named Owen who has a very rare muscle ... | The CIA Must Tell the Truth Ab... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments