Neither Security nor Justice
Sexual and gender-based violence and gang violence in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala
This report examines the relationship between gang violence and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. It describes common forms of SGBV in the gang context and the ways in which gangs use SGBV to exert and maintain control over populations and territories in the areas where they operate. It also explains the factors that prevent reporting and prosecution of SGBV, both when the perpetrator is a gang member and when the victim lives in a gang-dominated area. The report briefly outlines government efforts to address violence and impunity. It provides recommendations on how the governments of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala can work to reduce gang-related SGBV and increase assistance and justice for survivors, which in turn will provide affected individuals and families with alternatives to forced migration. The report also makes recommendations to the U.S. government on how to direct and prioritize aid to Central American countries to effectively bolster efforts to prevent and address SGBV. Spanish version available.
This report draws on interviews conducted with Central American migrant children, case documentation from KIND's child clients, and interviews with government and civil society representatives to demonstrate the ways in which SGBV and gang violence intersect to threaten the lives of thousands of children and families in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. KIND and the Human Rights Center Fray Matías de Cordova (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Cordova , or CDH Fray Matías) conducted 60 interviews with migrant children in Tapachula, Mexico, and Mexico City between March and July 2016. Documentation was collected from an additional 36 KIND client cases of child SGBV survivors. Every child provided informed consent to participate in the study. The research also draws on 58 interviews conducted by KIND with key government and civil society actors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, including judges, police, and prosecutors as well as representatives from organizations focused on migration and women's, children's, and LGBTI rights.