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Soldiers stole children during El Salvador's war

 
 



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Old 02-22-2013, 09:03 PM   #1
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Default Soldiers stole children during El Salvador's war

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — One of Gregoria Contreras' first childhood memories was the moment she last saw her parents.




Soldiers stole children during El Salvador's war
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Old 11-07-2014, 05:22 AM   #2
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Sexual violence rampant in El Salvador...

El Salvador’s gang members target women and girls
Fri, Nov 07, 2014 - In a nation terrorized by gangsters, it is left to the dead to break the silence on sexual violence.
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Rather, to the bodies of women and girls pulled from clandestine graves, raped, battered and sometimes cut to pieces. They attest to the abuse committed by members of street gangs who take girlfriends, discard them and then deliver them to group rape and murder. Those who gather statistics say there are no reliable numbers on sexual violence in El Salvador. Threats prevent many from reporting attacks. Others who have grown up amid abuse might not recognize rape as a crime. Still others flee to other nations.

US immigration lawyers say there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women and girls from Central America seeking asylum in the US after having been kidnapped and raped. “We are seeing an exponential increase,” said Lindsay Toczylowski, a lawyer with Catholic Charities in Los Angeles. “It’s the evolution of gang warfare ... It’s what we see in other war situations around the world where rape is used as a weapon.”

El Salvador’s 6 million residents live with the second-highest per capita homicide rate in the world, after neighboring Honduras. In a land of lakes and volcanoes, clandestine graves appear like wild mushrooms after a rainstorm. In the evening, the cacophony of San Salvador traffic gives way to the squeals of wild parrots and, sometimes, to wails of grief. Most of the violence is suspected to be the handiwork of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and 18th Street gangs, which were formed by immigrants in the US, then returned home and grew into warring forces of tens of thousands.

The official numbers show just 239 women and girls among the murdered so far this year, about a tenth of the number of men, with 201 others reported missing. Through August, 361 rapes were reported. However, worldwide, women generally report only 20 percent of rapes, the WHO said, and that percentage is likely lower in El Salvador. The missing and dead also might be under-reported. Criminologist Israel Ticas, who digs up clandestine graves for El Salvador’s Attorney General’s Office, says that more than half of the 90 sites he has excavated in the past 12 years contained the remains of women and girls. “For sure, there are hundreds of these cases and maybe thousands out there,” Ticas said.

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