El Salvador

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

One day after President Trump referred to African nations as "shithole countries," adding that the U.S. should want immigrants from countries such as Norway rather than from Haiti or El Salvador, the countries that came in for the president's criticism are offering some responses of their own.

Updated at 7:37 p.m. ET

President Trump is denying reports, from NPR and other news outlets, that in a Thursday meeting at the White House he disparaged African nations as "shithole countries" and questioned why the United States would admit immigrants from them and other nations, like Haiti.

Trump told lawmakers that the U.S. should instead seek out more immigrants from countries like Norway.

Scott: Trump Immigration Remarks ‘Absolutely Wrong’

Jan 12, 2018
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday blasted President Donald Trump for reportedly disparaging Haiti, El Salvador and Africa during a bipartisan White House meeting about immigration reform.

According to several news outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, Trump reportedly questioned why the United States should accept immigrants from “s---hole countries” like Haiti, El Salvador and countries in Africa.

Bryan Cereijo for The Miami Herald

Many immigrants from El Salvador are in a state of shock. On Monday, the Trump Administration announced that it will soon be ending a humanitarian program that has allowed nearly 200,000 of them to live and work in the U.S. since 2001, after two earthquakes devastated their country. Now they worry for their future.

But the potential pain is likely to prove just as acute in El Salvador. That's because nearly all these Salvadoran immigrants work — and a huge share of them regularly send a portion of their earnings to family in El Salvador.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The Trump administration says it will end the temporary protected status that has allowed some 200,000 natives of El Salvador to live in the U.S. without fear of deportation for nearly 17 years, the Department of Homeland Security says.

In announcing the designation's end, DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen also said she's extending it for another 18 months, to Sept. 9, 2019 — a delay that her agency says is to ensure "an orderly transition."

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José Cabezas/Reuters

Millions of Salvadorans, including many in the country's poorest neighborhoods, have cellphones. 

But when those impoverished Salvadorans are victims of abuse at the hands of police, few dare to use their mobile devices to record the misconduct. 

Why not?

Salvadoran American youth advocate Susan Cruz asked young residents of the heavily policed San Salvador suburb of Soyapango if they would use their phones to document police wrongdoing. 

Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement

Miami-Dade County’s population is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan. And its police force reflects that.

In 2012, the State Department decided to put that diversity to use beyond our borders. State recruited Miami-Dade police to help train and build law enforcement in Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica and even Egypt. Federal officials say it worked out so well that this week they re-upped the Miami-Dade force for another five years.

Fernando Vergara / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

In response to Latin America’s sudden outbreak of Zika – the insect-borne virus tied to a serious fetal brain defect – some of the region’s countries are telling women to shun pregnancy for months if not years.

We can debate whether that strategy is appropriate. Rights groups, for example, have a point when they say it puts an unfair if not unrealistic onus on women when the focus should be eradicating mosquitoes.

Esteban Felix / AP via Miami Herald

OPINION

El Salvador is once again the deadliest place in the world.

Data released this week show the small but gang-plagued Central American nation logged an astonishing 104 murders per 100,000 people last year – more than 20 times the U.S. homicide rate.

So if you’re a Salvadoran, what could possibly add insult to that injury?

Warning: Some of the depictions and images in this story are graphic.

Violence is rampant in El Salvador. In the month of August alone, there were 900 homicides. That's a daily average of 30 murders in a country with a population of 6.3 million — less than New York City.

At least 35 of those murders have been officially ruled feminicides — a crime involving the violent and deliberate killing of a woman.

Universidad de Centroamerica

This Sunday marks one of the sadder remembrances on both the Latin American and Roman Catholic calendars: The 25th anniversary of the brutal military massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter during El Salvador’s civil war.

freedigitalphotos.net

Cristina Quintanilla’s tragic story now includes a sad epilogue.

Quintanilla was 18 when she suffered a miscarriage at her home in rural El Salvador. But when she awoke on an operating table that night in 2004, she didn’t see doctors. She saw cops.

Someone on the hospital staff had accused Quintanilla of inducing an abortion. And abortion under any circumstance is a felony in El Salvador.

“They arrested me while I was in surgery,” says Quintanilla, now 28. “I was handcuffed to the bed. They didn’t care how badly I was hemorrhaging or how terrified I was.”

Alison McKellar / Flickr

In the 1980s, it was hard to find a scarier place than El Salvador. Crushing poverty and right-wing death squads. Civil war and left-wing guerrillas.

The flashlight in that darkness was Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero.

In his last Christmas Eve homily, Romero urged El Salvador’s reactionary oligarchs to find the infant Jesus on the nation’s streets – among the hundreds of thousands of children “who go to bed with nothing to eat, who sleep covered by newspapers in doorways.”

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