Mexico: Ecuadorian girl trying to get to the U.S., dies in hanging, ruled suicide in Ciudad Juarez

Posted on April 21, 2014 • Filed under: Border Issues, Ecuador, Mexico, Social Issues reported..In March, a month after she left home, the police picked up Noemi and a coyote in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The authorities took her to a children’s shelter. She was described as crying inconsolably after being questioned by a prosecutor. A few days later, she was found hanged from a shower curtain rod in a bathroom at the shelter. Her death, ruled a suicide by Mexican authorities, remains under investigation by a human rights commission there.

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The number of unaccompanied minors entering the United States is expected to reach 60,000 in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, said Lisa Raffonelli, a spokeswoman for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an increase from 6,560 in 2011. In Mexico, the number has more than doubled. No single factor explains these surges, but in Noemi’s hometown there are clues about the forces at work in her story.

In the district of El Tambo in Canar province, her maternal grandparents, Quillay, 57, and Maria Jesus Guaman, 59, live in an adobe home without running water. About 15 years ago, during an economic crisis in Ecuador, their adult children began migrating to the United States without visas.

“My four children went to find decent lives,” Quillay said. “So I took over five grandchildren from when they were little.” They ate from the grandparents’ farm. “We don’t have the little sweets that they sometimes ask for,” Quillay said. “She was just born when her father left, and when she was 3, my daughter decided to go herself,” Guaman said of Noemi. “I raised my granddaughter the same as the others.” As the children grew, their parents sent money to pay for the construction of a two-story concrete house nearby where the five grandchildren, cousins, lived on their own. Read Article

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