Still others flee the country for safety rather than seek justice from a system that more often delivers impunity. “We are seeing an exponential increase,” said Lindsay Toczylowski, a lawyer with Catholic Charities in Los Angeles.
“It’s the evolution of gang warfare, what’s going on in Honduras and El Salvador.
First, a classmate became pregnant by a gang member. They were all at the park, Sandra said, a car drove up to the entrance and called the girl. “The Maras come looking for girlfriends and they follow you,” Sandra said.
Even from the safety of Los Angeles, Sandra begins to cry about a mother who couldn’t protect her from gangsters who drove her out of the country.
Sandra reached out to her aunt in the United States, who sent her money for the illegal journey north — a journey the aunt made herself after becoming pregnant from a rape.