The New York Times
SAN SALVADOR — Veronica picked up some modeling clay, molded it into little human figures with her hands — and then dug holes into the sculpture’s face.
“Look,” said Veronica, 9, showing off the creation to her aunt. “That’s how Mamá ended up.”
For more than a year, Veronica and her sister have been in hiding here in El Salvador, hoping to receive refugee status in the United States. The two girls were doing homework at their dining room table when masked men burst in and gunned down their grandparents — the community’s only two health workers — on rumors that the couple had been tipping off the police about gangs in the neighborhood.
Like many thousands of others, Veronica and her sister applied for sanctuary in the United States under a special Obama administration effort to grapple with the violence that has gutted Central America and sent waves of its people on a desperate march toward the American border.