In rare move, human rights group tries to halt deportation of mother and daughter

Women hold portraits of murdered community leader Aida Maria Paniagua in San Salvador, on March 8, 2016. Paniagua, a women's rights defender, was killed on March 4 by members of the "Mara 18" gang, according to the police. (MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)

In a rare intervention, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is trying to stop the U.S. from deporting a woman and her 12-year-old daughter to El Salvador, because the group believes the pair’s lives would be at risk. The organization claims that, after analyzing the legal facts, the mother and daughter “are facing a situation of seriousness and urgency, since their lives and personal integrity would be at risk if they were deported.” The woman fled to the U.S. in March after allegedly being gang-raped multiple times by members of “Mara 18,” a notorious street gang, whose members also killed her brother-in-law and threatened her daughter.

She says U.S. authorities did not understand her plight. “When I was apprehended I told him, the border patrol officer, the reasons I left my country were because I was raped and that they are threatening me,” the mother, who is currently in a detention center in Texas told The Guardian. “His response was that I needed to solve these problems in my own country, and that it wasn’t his problem.”

When later interviewed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, she didn’t bring up her assaults because of the experience with the border patrol officer, as well as the fact that her daughter was in the room with her. She told The Guardian that she feared “her death will become a reality” if she and her daughter are deported. The Inter-American Commission, which monitors human rights for its 35 member states, issued a resolution calling for “precautionary measures” to halt the deportation, asking the US government to respond within 10 days.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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