News Articles

Gang Wars Force Thousands to Flee Northern Triangle for US: Catholic Charities Mission Trip

Photo Credit: Cristian Benavides via Twitter @cbenavidesTV

by John-Mark de Palma

3 Min Read: Christian Benavides continues his live coverage of Catholic Charities Mission Trip to the Northern Triangle with reports from Honduras and El Salvador. He speaks with police officers and former gang members, shedding light on the complexities and challenges facing millions of people in Central America.  

Many of the 100,000 migrants who headed to the United States in the past year were residents of Honduras’ most dangerous neighborhood – Chamelecon. A 3-year gang war between rivals MS13 and the 18th Street Gang left the city empty and littered with bodies. When MS13 declared victory, residents of the city were given 24hrs to pack their belongings so gang members could take over. Much of the population’s houses were converted to ‘casas locas’ where the murder and torture of innocent men, women, and children became daily occurrences. 

In El Salvador, Christian reports that the officers of the National Police Force are targets of gang violence and assassination on and off patrol. In the past two years, 80 officers have been killed by gangs and, so far this year, 10 have been assassinated.  

Christian speaks with a Born-again Christian pastor, who in his life as a MS-13 gang member, killed 15 people. When he was just eight years-old, he committed his first homicide. Now the pastor works with gang children in the Las Palmas neighborhood, preaching repentance and redemption, encouraging the children to find a new peaceful way of life.

WPIX News continues its coverage of Catholic Charities New York fact-finding mission trip to Central America’s Northern Triangle all this week. As an embedded reporter, Christian covered the fact-finding mission trip headed by Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, New York State Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, and Stewart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). 

View PIX11 reporter Christian Benavides' live reports, “Stories from Central America’s Northern Triangle.” 

Related Content: 

Trapped in the Triangle: Pix11 to travel to Central America’s Northern Triangle | PIX11 News  

Catholic Charities Fact-Finding Mission Touches Down in Northern Triangle | Catholic Charites New York 

Catholic Charities Heads Delegation to Northern Triangle to Shine Light on Struggle of Thousands | Catholic Charities New York 

Catholic Charities Leads Fact-Finding Trip to Northern Triangle | Catholic Charities of New York 

Tom DiNapoli Joins Catholic Group’s Mission to Central America | New York Post  

Update: Church, Agency, Union Leaders on Fact-Finding Trip to Central America | Catholic News Service  

Catholic Charities, City and State Officials Speak Of Collaboration on Immigration, Border Issues | Catholic New York