Sixteen-year-old Andrés is living in hiding in El Salvador since he was arrested in May by security forces. He told Amnesty International they tortured him to confess to participating in a shootout and being a lookout for gangs in what seems a desperate attempt to show officials are trying to tackle the shocking levels of violent crime in the country.

He said the soldiers poured bottles of water into his mouth and nose, put his head in a puddle, stuffed sand into his mouth, jumped on his stomach, then kicked, punched and threatened to kill him unless he confessed.

His mother filed a complaint about her son’s treatment and an official investigation has been opened. The investigators recommended Andrés not to return home.

Andrés is now constantly moving from house to house, afraid the men who abused him will find him, and is desperate to leave the country. 

Because we are poor, even if we file a report, no one ever listens

Andrés

‘Andrés’: “I was told I should leave”

Protect Central American refugees from brutal violence

El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala must ensure that deportees are protected from danger when they return to their home countries.

To the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador

We are calling you to:

  • Protect your people from violence.
  • Assume central responsibility for the protection of deportees using the resources required given the demand caused by the increase in numbers of deportees.
  • Identify deportees-at-risk to provide them with specific protection given their particular needs
  • Ensure protection programmes for deported migrants take into consideration the rights and specific protection issues relating to groups such as women, indigenous people, LGBTI people and unaccompanied children.
  • Assess individual cases for re-admission asylum procedures.