Soon after crossing into Mexico from Guatemala, 17-year-old Ana became separated from the group of Hondurans with whom she had been traveling. She wound up alone in a mountain cottage where she was repeatedly raped by strangers.
“They threatened me, saying that if I ever said something about this they were going to kill me,” Ana said amid tears during an interview in a Little Havana home. “The only thing I begged them was not to harm me. The only thing I was thinking was that they were going to kill me, that I was going to die.”
Ana’s ordeal was the most extraordinary in a series of harrowing stories told by minors from Central America, part of the unprecedented exodus of thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the Mexican border into the United States.
Miami is one of 10 cities where the children are being sent for immigration proceedings as border shelters fill up.
Though unaccompanied children have arrived in the United States for decades, the number has reached levels never seen before — with the majority coming from Central America, largely Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.