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El Salvador: News & Updates

El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. The US-backed civil war, which erupted after the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980, lasted 12 years (1980-92), killing 70,000 people and forcing 20% of the nation’s five million people to seek refuge in the US.

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A 14-year old told us she was taking care of a 4-year old who had been placed in her cell with no relatives. "I take her to the bathroom, give her my extra food if she is hungry, and tell people to leave her alone if they are bothering her," she said.

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On World Environment Day, June 5, upwards of 16,000 people in San Salvador took to the streets for the 19th annual Caminata Ecológica(Ecological Walk), calling for land and water rights and an end to the right-wing water privatization campaign. This urban pilgrimage began in 2000 as a way of visibilizing the country’s environmental issues and organizing popular support behind them.
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The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have complained to federal agencies about the treatment of gay and transgender detainees at the New Mexico facility where the Salvadoran woman was held.
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As people from Guatemala and Honduras continue to seek sanctuary in the US for a variety of reasons, including violence and poverty, another factor driving their migration has gotten much less attention: climate disruption.

Many members of the migrant "caravans" that made headlines during the 2018 US midterm elections are fleeing a massive drought that has lasted for five years.

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Campaigners say Honduras suffers from one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the hemisphere, and that half of sexually active young women face obstacles to obtaining modern contraceptives. “We should unmask the myths and unite so that the ministry of health...guarantees the reproductive rights of all women in Honduras and protects them from preventable traumas as victims of a rape.”
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by Maria Benevento

The University of Dayton, a Catholic school in Ohio, plans to present its Romero Human Rights AwardApril 11 to three individuals who have worked to investigate those responsible for the El Mozote Massacre during El Salvador's civil war and ensure that they are prosecuted.

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"We want justice and that these cases are investigated and the reformed penal code procedures to be applied when those who are responsible are found,” Aspidh Arcoiris Trans Projects Coordinator Ambar Alfaro told the Blade, referring to a 2015 amendment to El Salvador’s legal code that enhances penalties for hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. “Although we have begun the year badly, we hope these crimes establish precedents for there to also be a positive legal framework that regulates the situation of trans people, especially the situation of violence and insecurity.”

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