"He signed my name for me."
Family from Guatemala: two daughters (11 and 4) and mom (35)
We left Guatemala because the gangs were targeting my daughter. She is only 11, but she is tall for her age, and looks older. They followed her everywhere. When this happens is that the girls become the property of the gangs, they are raped and disappeared. This happened to the daughter of someone I know. They said that my daughter was asking for it because she left the house, but she only left the house to go to school. I tried to report this to the police and nothing happened.
I had the proof that this was happening and that her life was in danger when I got the border. I showed it to the agent but he didn’t care. He said I either had to return to Mexico and wait there or return to Guatemala. I said I didn’t want to do either. He said I had to, and that if I didn’t sign the papers, he would sign them for me and no one would know it wasn’t me. I never did sign any papers but here I am. He signed my name for me.
When I had to decide if I would go back to Mexico or Guatemala I chose Mexico. It’s dangerous for us as Guatemalans here too. But at least here there’s a small chance of opportunity, and that’s how I decided. I told the official I didn’t know what to do when I got back to Mexico. He said, “you can ask your God if he will let you into the U.S.”
Here, we are staying at a shelter. It’s not safe. There is the mafia here. There is a man there who follows my daughter around. It’s scary for her and for me and the shelter doesn’t do anything. I think he is about 35.
We have our court date on March 31. I don’t know how we will survive until then. I don’t know how we will find the money to get to Juarez.
These stories are from people who arrived at the Kino Border Initiative's comedor (dining room) in Nogales, Mexico from January to March 2020. Each person not only gave permission for their story to be shared, but also expressed the importance of people in the US paying attention to them and knowing more about their reality. They speak and they share because they believe that if we work together another world is possible.