BENEATH THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S LIES: LET’S SEE WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING IN EL SALVADOR: “We don’t hear that what’s happening at the border is a symptom of the real crisis in El Salvador and other countries in the Northern Triangle of Central America.”

Meghan E. Lopez
Meghan E. Lopez
Head of Mission
International Rescue Committee
El Salvador

Yesterday my colleague Frank Mc Manus updated you on the escalating crisis in Yemen. Today, I wanted to share what’s happening in El Salvador — and why your help is needed now.

The threat to women and girls is real. It is frightening. And it must not go unnoticed any longer.

Our teams at the IRC supports women and girls around the world, including in El Salvador. Donate now to help us provide women and girls and entire families in need with lifesaving support.

In the States, we often don’t hear much about El Salvador aside from it being the country of origin for many asylum seekers at the border. We don’t hear that what’s happening at the border is a symptom of the real crisis in El Salvador and other countries in the Northern Triangle of Central America.

El Salvador is one of the world’s most violent and deadly places, similar to those of active war zones. The high level of violence is largely due to organized crime and rampant gang activity — and it’s what drives people to flee for their lives. Here are some startling facts:


  • In 2018, one woman was murdered every 20 hours.
  • There were more than 9.2 homicides per day.
  • Approximately 10 people each day disappear.


My teams on the ground are seeing that it’s teenage girls who are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence from state, civilian and criminal entities. They are also being forced into becoming “gang girlfriends,” which is essentially sex slavery so they can protect their families.

We are helping women and girls and their families in El Salvador in many ways. We run an online platform called which has become a lifeline. It provides information for people during moments of crisis or while on the move in El Salvador, and soon in Honduras and Guatemala as well. We provide emergency cash assistance to help people find shelter and safety when they most need it and a crisis referral service to help people connect directly with the support they need, all the while working to improve those services that our partners provide.

The IRC provides support in many places facing emergencies around the world. You can help women and girls in the places where we work, including in El Salvador, by making a lifesaving gift today.

Thank you so much for giving your attention to this often forgotten crisis.

My very best,

Meghan Lopez
Head of Mission
IRC El Salvador



So why are we not only returning vulnerable women, children, and families to El Salvador, but, outrageously, also trying to send asylum applicants from other countries there, even though the Administration knows full well:


  • It isn’t “safe,” by any definition;
  • It’s a hellhole where gangs, narcos, and corrupt government officials aligned with them are in control of much of the country;
  • It doesn’t even have a functioning asylum system; and
  • It can’t protect and support its own population, let alone tens of thousands of refugees from other countries that the U.S. intends to “outsource” there.

These outrageous shams are some of the “proud legacy” that folks like “Big Mac With Lies” leave behind. And the new DHS honchos, Wolf and “Cooch Cooch,” have promised to be even more cruel, racist, and scofflaw.

Remember the truth and the facts the next time you hear a dishonest Trump official falsely claim that the only reason folks are fleeing for their lives is to take advantage of “loopholes” in US. law.