A Call for Compassion

_C1_8252The national rancor over the tens of thousands of Central American children coming to the border has reached Fayetteville.

About 40 people rallied yesterday near downtown to gather donations for a charity near the border and to tell U.S. officials to take care of those kids. From my story:

Gang-related violence reigns in these children’s home countries, according to multiple reports from the area. El Salvador’s murder rate is the second-highest in the world, for example, according to the U.S. Department of State. Children, including infants, have been killed by at least the hundreds, sometimes reportedly by other children.

“These children only have two options now: either flee or die,” said Fernando Garcia, president of Fayetteville’s OMNI Center, which focuses on a range of social justice issues and organized Monday’s rally.

Of course, other people vehemently disagree on how much we should be helping these kids. Many politicians say the border should be tighter, while others have said the children are dangerous and potentially diseased.

It’s a fascinating and revealing discussion, and one I’ve been wanting to cover somehow — this rally gave me the chance. We had a staff photographer there, but I snapped a handful of my own images, too.

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_C1_8246(That’s Fayetteville’s mayor, Lioneld Jordan.)

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_C1_8236Other news media were also on the scene.

Thanks for looking. I recommend keeping an eye on the politics surrounding this issue. Several charities are also working to help these children and some of their families as they wait for court hearings.

Dan

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