Selective perception

02.04.2021 – Cuenca, Ecuador – Carolina Vásquez Araya

Selective perception
(Imagen de Oleg Yasinsky)

About 500 children and teenagers cross the northern border every day.

One of the great violations of rights against children and youth is perpetrated before the eyes of the world, without generating the slightest act of compensation or the urgent search for solutions. There is no assistance or shelter for this huge number of girls, boys and teenagers fleeing their country of origin seeking refuge far away from home. It does not matter what motivates this exodus. It has become clear to the international community how the US authorities blurred their gaze and, under the racist and xenophobic policies of former President Donald Trump, turned the border facilities into a US-style concentration camp as Guantanamo-style prisons.

Children and teenagers of all ages have been confined inside those immense cellars separated from their parents and without psychological care, sending a harsh message -as a means of discouraging immigration- to all who dares to cross to the border into the northern country searching for their own survival. The new government now has to deal with the current situation trying to undo the anti-immigration legal knots which Donald Trump had established and have harmed thousands of Central American families whose only motivation was to find a safe place far from the criminality perpetrated by the authorities of their home country.

While children are sacrificed for the sake of corruption and the negligence of those who govern their countries of origin – especially Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – these political leaders have closed their eyes to the inconceivable violation of the human rights of their younger and younger population. they leave them to their own devices, concentrating on accumulating personal wealth and using public funds to consolidate their networks of influence. In this task they are not alone: ​​they have the unrestricted support of the powerful business organizations and the backing of the military, congressmen, judges and magistrates, whose influence in state affairs has corrupted political and judicial entities to the core.

Before blaming the families that the thousands of children and teenagers are deserting, it is important to take a look at the situation in which they live. . Deprived of state care, basic services, health security and sources of work due to the offensive and shameless waste of those who have the responsibility and the decision on public policies in education, health and food, they find themselves trapped in a vicious circle of violence from which it is impossible to escape. To this must be added chronic child malnutrition, the effect of which on more than half of childhood condemns them to slow death; and also the recurrent threat of human and drug trafficking networks, whose operations with impunity have the protection of governments.

The situation of children who currently live on the street is not considered a priority by the leaderships of these countries. They focus on problems that are much closer to them, as is their own survival, they take a selective perception when it comes to boys and girls from poor areas. This apathy is a significant factor in their already complicated life, assuming that the problems and deficiencies they have are not relevant to the collective responsiveness and society prefers to concentrate on issues that concern them directly. This is one of the reasons for the abandonment: the lack of influence in the affairs of the State and the lack of will to fight to recover the integrity of its institutions. In this scenario, childhood has everything to lose.

The situation of children who currently live on the street is not considered a priority by the leadership of these countries. They focus on problems that are much closer to them, such as their own survival, they have selective perception when it comes to boys and girls from poor areas. This apathy is a significant factor in their already complicated life, given that the problems and deficiencies do not strongly affect collective sensitivity and society prefers to concentrate on issues that concern them solely. This is one of the reasons for the abandonment: the lack of influence in the affairs of the State and the lack of will to fight to recover the integrity of its institutions. In this scenario, children have everything to lose.

Translation by  Mireia Navarro Lopez, from the voluntary Pressenza translation team. We are looking for volunteers!