‘Patricia’: “It’s impossible to live in my country”

Patricia, a 32-year-old transgender woman, is too afraid to stay in her home town in El Salvador after gangs begun to threat and harass her because of her gender identity and after she failed to pay a “fee” for the right to sell soda.

In June 2015, police officers with their faces covered went to the home that Patricia shared with her mother and siblings one morning at 3am. They asked for another brother who had not lived there for more than three years, and then hit her with their guns and told her she had a month to leave the house. Three months later she said a neighbour had alerted her that police officers had come looking for her at the same house twice in the previous week and they also looked for her at her work.

She reported the incidents with the Human Rights Ombudsman but never saw any results so she decided, for her own safety, to leave for Mexico.

After being assaulted and robbed on the journey, Patricia said her asylum application in Mexico was denied on the grounds that 12 years earlier she had served a jail term on drug offences. She was deported back to El Salvador in April 2016 and said that she told the Salvadoran immigration officer that she had fled out of fear for her safety but that he offered no response.

Too afraid of what could happen to her if she stayed in El Salvador, she has left the country once again.

I’m afraid that something will happen to me again and that they will hurt me again


‘Patricia’: “It’s impossible to live in my country”

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.