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Celebrating the reunion of a Salvadoran migrant girl with her grandmother in the City of Chihuahua
an article by Gloria Ramirez, Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres

The Mexican government granted a humanitarian visa to a little 8- year old girl who was abused sexually during the voyage to meet her mother in the United States. On May 12 at 4:00 in the afternoon, Ana Girón, the girl's grandmother reclaimed her granddaughter, thanks to her persistence and to the legal strategy of the Center of Human Rights of Women (CEDEHM). Based on international treaties, the Center argued before the migration authorities and the government of the state for the superior interest of children, and they obtained permission for the family reunification.

click on photo to enlarge

From the 18 of April, the little girl had remained in the National Agency for Family Development in the City of Chihuahua. She had tried to arrive in the United States to meet with her mother, but during the passage she was the victim of sexual abuse.

On May 4, Mrs Ana Girón, grandmother of the girl arrived at the City of Chihuahua to initiate a fight that lasted 9 full days, to reclaim her granddaughter. She insisted she would remain in front of the palace of the government of the City of Chihuahua in her wheelchair and that she would not leave without her granddaughter in her arms.

On May 12, Mrs Girón and members of the CEDEHM and JPNH (JUSTICIA PARA NUESTRAS HIJAS) waited in front of the Government Palace and managed to speak with Governor Caesar Duarte to ask for his intervention in the case. Later that day, at a high-level meeting, including state and federal officials, repesentatives of the National Commission of Human Rights, the consul of El Salvador, as well as girl's grandmother and her lawyer Lucha Castro, human rights advocates Gabino Gómez, Juan Carlos Solís and Norma Ledezma requested the Mexican Government to grant a humanitarian visa to the girl and release her to the safekeeping of her grandmother.

The afternoon 12 of May gave reason for celebration. The civil servants could not hide to their emotion, seeing the happiness of the little girl when finally she could leave and embrace her grandmother. The grandmother, now has the safekeeping of her granddaughter and the young account with a humanitarian visa given by Mexican government.

Attorney Lucha Castro indicated that when leaving “the girl ate ice cream with her grandmother”. She recognized “the work carried out by Mexico state to respond to the legitimate and just demands that we realised”. She concluded: “This one is a great triumph, that was won by to the persistent fight of the grandmother and the aunt Mónica. These women came to the conclusion that they would never return without the little girl. It is also a triumph of the civil society organizations of Los Angeles, coordinated by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles and by the Mexican Center of Human Rights of Women and Justice For Our Daughters of Chihuahua, an international effort. We are happy and confident that this case is a precedent to guarantee the rights of other migrant children who will seek family reunification."

(Click here for a Spanish version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

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Latest reader comment:

The 47 CPNN articles devoted to this theme suggest that indeed progress is being made.

This report was posted on May 17, 2011.