Angel, a Salvadoran who travels to Europe to save his life after receiving gang threats, It shows the vicissitudes of migration.
By Diego Recinos
Night 12 February 2017 It was the longest lifetime Angel. Treatment, again and again sleeping, but he could not stop thinking about that in a few hours would cease to see his family for an indefinite period.
angel lived 25 years of his life in the San Bartolo in the municipality of Ilopango, west of San Salvador. Remember it was a good life. "We were not rich, but we had what we needed because my parents owned a pupusería. I had to work with them, but that helped me to value the money ".
Worked in a call center and own business, when he decided with his wife who was a good time to have children. They had two. Life seemed to be fine until then. But nevertheless, over the years, urbanization where he lived, where he was known by all, where he is running and playing with his friends, He began to change. A group of young, who called gang, Terrero began to gain and control over all elements of everyday life of the place.
Ilopango is one of the l0 most violent municipalities of San Salvador, and the San Bartolo has a high crime rate. corpses abandoned, shootings, murder and extortion; They began to be increasingly frequent in the area. Until violence and gangs knocked on the door Fathers Business Angel. The gang wanted their piece of the business and not paying threatened to get even with the blood of his son. Angel's parents refused to give in so easy to abandon the work of his life and went to the police after increasing calls and threats. But, that was not enough.
Angel remembers that after filing the complaint things got worse. "My parents were not over and closed the pupusería. Unable to pay, We expect the worst ". The whole family had to leave the business to save their lives.
Things did not improve. The call center where he worked closed Angel, and all workers were fired. Jobless and with the gang after him, He decided to leave the country. His uncles offered help to travel from "wet" to the United States, but the fear of dying in the northern border did dismiss that idea. Relatives of his wife lived in a European country and said they could help. "Venite here it does not cost much. We help you, I was told. I believed them ".
After buying the ticket, thanks to a loan made by his parents to a usurer, He could travel a 12 February bound for the old world. "It was tough ringing. My youngest daughter was three months old. My parents were alone because I'm an only child and was afraid of being killed. But I had no choice ". The arrival in Europe was hard. "I was used to the heat, al sol, people and when I came, Nobody told me it was so cold. I came in midwinter and that was just the beginning of the ordeal that I lived ".
From time to land on European soil, things did not go well. He discovered poverty, rejection and racism in a country that is not used to being in solidarity with the suffering of others. "I spent almost 4 months without finding work, he had no papers. further, Latinos who have businesses and give you hours of work, costs to get paid and do not pay well. did not have to eat, or for the passage and what little was getting win to pay the rent, because my wife's family charged me 450 per month for a room ".
Angel applied for asylum in the Immigration Office. But nevertheless, the request was denied and after three attempts received a deportation order. "I did not know what kind of documents submitted, nobody told me. I had no complaint made my family to the National Civil Police of El Salvador, and did not bring enough evidence to prove that my life was in danger. They did not believe me and told me I had to leave ".
Illegal and certain death if returned to his country, Angel decided to stay. "I worked like a slave long hours, poorly paid, to bring my children and my wife. I had to work almost 20 hours a day. When there are no documents, few companies that hire and provide job opportunities ".
further, the days are exhausting and no descaso. According to the law of the European country where Angel lives, working time must be paid at least 11.31 euros. But, Some Latino businesses come to pay the time 5.56. "If one does not do what the boss says, you threaten to call you. Anyway, as you, there is 15 People also need work, express. There's no escape. Toca head down and work like animals ".
Life had saved him more, in February this year, Angel's mother died. To be illegal could not leave the country and give a final farewell. "The truth, I have known that this was so, perhaps I would not come. This is nice, It's quiet and you can live in peace. But it suffers from having a different skin, not speak the language and have no papers. As well, Latinos own treat you like a slave. Not worth it".
After months of hard effort, Angel could bring his family. They have started a new asylum procedure Immigration hoping to obtain documents. But he can not be included in the case to have deportation order. "My children go to school and my wife helps me work, She cleans houses and makes pupusas to sell. For them worth keep fighting. Even though I, I miss my land ".