Salvadoran refugees in Belgium, in legal limbo

Final delivery

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By Hector Murcia

The circumstances of insecurity that still exist in El Salvador, but nevertheless, They are not perceived internationally and this is what is evidenced by the refusal of these three Salvadorans and their families to offer them asylum in the European country.

All three agree that the image that is being given internationally by the current government, is that El Salvador has improved in terms of security levels and that therefore, the European countries where entire families are fleeing due to problems with gangs, consider they do not deserve refugee status.

Roberto states that when the current government began to provide data that in El Salvador the violence exerted by gangs was decreasing, This is when the Belgian authorities began to systematically deny asylum concessions.

Even, states, who had benefits as a social home, being denied refugee status, had to enter centers for irregular immigrants or would have to leave the country.

The reasons they give, in many cases, Belgian officials to deny asylum, they become the total mistrust that in El Salvador there are people who are in danger of death due to the actions of the gangs.

For example, Oscar, who was blackmailed for a long time, states that he presented all the documentation that was requested, as you report to the Police, but your request was rejected because, according to the official who handled the case, could not reliably ascertain whether their case was true.

Meanwhile, Roberto adds that gangs are not recognized as terrorist groups in Belgium and that makes asylum requests difficult., and although their lives are in danger in El Salvador, the best option given by the Belgian authorities is voluntary return.

The three Salvadorans living with their families in a shelter for undocumented immigrants, state that they do not have the support of any Salvadoran consular representative accredited in the European country.

That is why they have tried to form a network of Salvadorans who are going through the same situation, to advise each other, either personally or through WhatsApp groups.

They also detail that the only support they have is that of the refugee centers themselves where they are., where they are even given medical assistance.

Thus, The call made by these three Salvadorans is that the case of the Salvadoran refugees in Belgium be taken into account in order to be able to solve their cases in a favorable way., even if an immigration pact could be negotiated in order to lead a dignified life in that country.

Among your estimates, state that at the end of 2020, there were a thousand 800 asylum applications, including adults and children.