El Salvador is #10 globally in number of forced displacements by violence

Translated from Ezequiel Barrera at La Prensa Grafica.


The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) ranked El Salvador tenth yesterday in terms of countries with the most victims of internal displacement due to violence. According to IDMC data, 296,000 new victims were displaced in El Salvador in 2017. This conclusion was drawn from data including refugee requests around the world, victim complaints, and government records.

According to the IDMC, El Salvador is the only country on the entire American continent on this list. The other countries in the top ten are from Africa and Asia.

The country where the most people were displaced in 2017 was Syria, with 2.9 million victims, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 2.2 million and Iraq with 1.4 million. These three countries together account for a little more than half of all the displaced persons in the ten countries with the most victims of displacement caused by political conflict or violence.

The other countries on the list are South Sudan, Ethiopia, the Philippines, the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

In El Salvador, six families who had suffered forced displacement filed requests for protection (amparos) to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice at various times during the past year. To date, the Court has admitted five of these lawsuits and is in the process of admitting the sixth.

Despite the fact that the amparos were admitted, none of them has yet been resolved by the Court. This keeps the families in uncertainty, especially because the current justices of the Court end their term on July 15 of this year, according to human rights organization Cristosal, which accompanied the families in filing the cases.

Celia Medrano, Cristosal Chief Program Officer, speaks at a press conference Tuesday. /  Photo Cristosal

Celia Medrano, Cristosal Chief Program Officer, speaks at a press conference Tuesday. / Photo Cristosal

"The six families, which include a total of 60 people, hope that the justices can make a decision before they end their term, that they can issue a sentence to set a precedent. These families didn’t file these suits so much for their own benefit, but to ensure that this does not keep repeating," said Celia Medrano, Cristosal Chief Program Officer.

Medrano added that a court ruling in these cases could prompt the government to recognize the phenomenon and develop and implement a comprehensive policy of attention to victims.

"Government initiatives are cosmetic. A comprehensive care policy must be implemented, and this government has the opportunity to do so," said Medrano.

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Hannah Rose Nelson