Tue | Sep 25, 2018

3 Salvadoran kids separated in US were abused at shelters, says officials

Published:Friday | August 31, 2018 | 10:19 AM

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Three minors from El Salvador separated from their parents after crossing the U.S. border were sexually abused in shelters in Arizona, Salvadoran officials said Thursday.

Liduvina Magarin, deputy foreign relations minister for Salvadorans overseas, said authorities had received reports of the abuse of the children ages 12 to 17 by workers at unnamed shelters.

“They are sexual violations, sexual abuses, that is what this is about,” Magarin told journalists.

She added that the Salvadoran government is making lawyers available to the families, and it will be up to them to decide how to proceed.

The revelations come as the Trump administration has been facing heavy criticism over its slow pace in reuniting separated families.

Most have been reunited, but hundreds remain apart.

Magarin said her government is pressuring the United States to begin reunification of the children with their families.

“May they leave the shelters as soon as possible, because it is there that they are the most vulnerable.”

Magarin said the three minors were in good health but “the psychological and emotional impact is forever, and we are attending to that situation.”

Once back with their families, they will be offered psychological assistance.

Magarin urged U.S. authorities to respect due process and said: “they have acted in accordance with the law.”

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