OAKLAND -- Child migrants seeking refuge in the Bay Area after fleeing Central American violence got a boost from the Oakland City Council on Tuesday night when it voted unanimously to offer them $577,000 in legal aid.
The money will pay for lawyers to defend hundreds of children and teenagers from being deported to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
Susan Smith March 2012
When Emelin was 13, she asked the mayor of her rural Guatemalan town to find ways to help girls stay in school and get better health care. He laughed out loud. "You are wasting my time; you should go home," he told Emelin and her friend Elba, who had come with her.
Guatemala’s 36-year civil war may have ended in 1996, but peace – of mind or community – has been elusive. Impunity reigns, allowing organized crime and drug traffickers to operate their deadly enterprises without interference. Street gangs that started in Los Angeles can even be found in dusty villages that have few paved streets, making life unbearable for law-abiding residents. And the nation’s many indigenous groups – who were promised much under the ambitious accords that ended the war – find themselves under siege from forces that want their land.
Francesca Dziadek February 2015
...it was an indigenous story from Guatemala – ‘Ixcanul Volcano’ by Jayro Buscamante (37), set among the Maya community in the Pacaya volcano region – which took home the Berlinale’s Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize this year for a film that “opens new perspectives on cinematic art”.
Stephanie Sinclair February 2015
In Guatemala, the legal age of marriage is 14 with parental consent, but in Petén, in the northern part of the country, the law seems to be more of a suggestion. Underage brides are everywhere. They parade endlessly through Petén’s hospital in San Benito, seeking medical care. Most have traveled from the villages along the mud-soaked roads that flow out in all directions.