Elections Forum Sponsored by Alianza Americas and El Faro: El Salvador- “A Country Where People Stay”

Elections Forum Sponsored by Alianza Americas and El Faro El Salvador- “A Country Where People Stay”

This event will take place on Wednesday, January 23 in San Salvador and will feature analysis from current and former government officials, policy experts, and civil society activists. The Forum will be transmitted globally via Facebook Live.

San Salvador, January 17, 2019 – In the days just prior to the February third presidential elections in El Salvador, Alianza Americas -a network of organizations led by Latin American and Caribbean immigrants in the United States, and the digital news outlet El Faro have joined forces to organized a forum titled “A Country Where People Stay”.  This forum will take a careful and in-depth look at the proposals made by presidential candidates with respect to addressing the systemic problems that cause internal displacement and that drive thousands of Salvadorans to leave the country each year.

This year’s elections season is taking place in the shadow of a new migration phenomenon in the region: thousands of people- including entire families, children and young people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador– have left their countries in caravans to seek protection in the United States.  Those who join the caravans are fleeing conditions that make it impossible for them to live a dignified life: unemployment or jobs with miserably low pay, violence and insecurity that comes from living in areas controlled by gangs and organized crime, and the lack of hope for a better future.

Many of those who left the region in caravan, are now in Tijuana, Mexico, on the US southern border, where they have come up against a physical and political wall, making their future uncertain. Although the caravans represent a different mode of migration, the flows of people who flee the region are nothing new.  Over the past two decades, governments in the northern triangle region of Central America have proved incapable of providing opportunity and security to the majority of their citizens.

A clear example of this permanent exodus are the approximately 200,000 Salvadorans and 86,000 Hondurans currently residing in the US with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and who are now at risk for deportation as these programs are canceled.  Statistics show an increase of 25 %  in the number of migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras living in the US since 2007.

In this context, a group of experts, activists, and policymakers will discuss a series of questions aimed at understanding the changes that will be needed for El Salvador to become a place where young people, families, and workers believe they can stay and thrive.  What do the presidential candidates propose to do to mitigate problems of unemployment and violence? How do the candidates plan to build a country in which people can stay? How do the candidates’ plans address the humanitarian crisis generated by the migrant “caravans”?

The event will start out with a one-hour dialogue between a moderator and the panelists and a 20 minute question and answer period. Afterwards, informal conversation will continue in a reception.

When: Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Where: Museo de Arte de El Salvador (MARTE).

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Panelists:

  • Rosa Anaya, Community Development Coordinator for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in El Salvador.
  • Amparo Marroquín, Professor and expert on human mobility
  • Gerson Martínez, Coordinator for the FMLN presidential candidate’s proposed government program and former Minister of Public Works in El Salvador, 2009-2017.
  • Johnny Wright, President of the newly form political entity Nuestro Tiempo and former Deputy in the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador, 2015-2018.

Live streaming: The event will be livestreamed vía Facebook Live from the El Faro page.

El Faro is the first exclusively digital newspaper in Latin America.   El Faro carries out investigative journalism across an array of platforms- both online and traditional- including radio, books, documentary film, and live events.   El Faro means lighthouse or beacon—and that’s what it is. … From its inception in 1998, El Faro has shown how digital media can overcome barriers of cost and tradition and offer honest journalism of high quality in a region where press standards are low and much of the media is highly partisan or even corrupt.

Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org.

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