Battle Looms over Nicaraguan Little one in US Custody

Meylin Obregon, the Nicaraguan woman allegedly held by kidnappers in Mexico. Their 10-year-old son is in a migrant camp in Texas.

The Nicaraguan government wants to repatriate a boy abandoned by coyotes at the US border. The child’s mother, Meylin Obregón, is still missing in Mexico.

HAVANA TIMES – Nicaraguan police said Monday they were negotiating the repatriation of the Nicaraguan migrant boy rescued from the United States’ southern border on April 1. Meanwhile, his mother, Meylin Obregon Leiva, is still missing in Mexico.

“I have great confidence that it will appear alive. I can see that the governments are interested and I thank them. I’m not well, I’m sad, I don’t want to eat… “, Socorro Leiva, mother of the 30-year-old woman, said on the phone to Confidencial. She said the Nicaraguan authorities did not communicate with her.

The boy was abandoned by “coyotes” in a desert area near the Rio Grande in Texas when a group of migrants sporadically crossed from Mexico to the soil of the United States. He left Nicaragua on February 8th with his mother and two cousins.

“The Mexican authorities reported that they have no records of entry or exit in Mexico on behalf of Meylin del Socorro Obregón Leiva,” the statement read as they reiterated the request to Interpol for assistance in locating them .

Meylin (left) with her father Francisco and her mother Socorro. Photo: Courtesy.

In the municipality of Monte de Oro, in the municipality of Muelle de los Bueyes in the southern Caribbean region, where Meylin and the boy came from, there is great concern among neighbors. Especially from Meylin’s relatives, her cousin Jerling Obregon commented. “People are very desperate, what is happening is sad,” he said.

Socorro said she communicated with her Miami-based son Misael Obregón Leiva on Sunday April 11. On April 8, he denounced that Meyling was being held captive by human traffickers in Mexico.

Misael explained that his sister was out with her son and two other boys, his sons. The group tried to enter the US illegally, but when they were intercepted by border guards, only Misael’s children were received, while Meylin and her son were unceremoniously deported to Mexico, where they were captured by “coyotes”.

The kidnappers asked Misael for money. He assures that he only had enough to pay for the release of the boy who was left in the desert. He was found by an agent who rescued him and recorded the video of the child being seen alone and crying. “Can you help me? You left me behind,” he says.

Dona Socorro said that Misael was concerned because when they called him to negotiate the boy’s release, “it was quick” but so far there has been no news from his sister.

Her other brother, who lives in Monte de Oro, Ismael Obregón, is also concerned because he believes that with media attention, Meylin could be in greater danger. “It is unknown how those who have them may react when they see the news that attention is on them,” he commented.

The government will request the boy’s repatriation

Screenshot of the Nicaraguan boy abandoned on the US-Mexico border.

According to the police press release, an inter-institutional commission made up of the Ministry of Family, the police and the Ministry of the Interior is working on the repatriation process of the boy and supporting his relatives. Confidently, Lazaro Gutierrez, the boy’s father, called that Monday afternoon, who apologized not to speak as he was with the police at the time.

“We will accompany the family, the father, to do what he proposed, the formal application for his son’s repatriation,” said Vice President Rosario Murillo in a phone call to the official media, adding that the Nicaraguan consul is in Texas Samuel Trejos will visit the boy.

The young boy is in Casa Padre, a migrant shelter in Brownsville, Texas under the care of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Meylin’s relatives would prefer the boy to stay in the United States. Socorro also asks the authorities to wait for Meylin to appear so that she can also decide about the child’s future.

In confidence, HHS asked about the child’s status, but the communications bureau replied that it did not provide information on specific cases. When asked about the number of Nicaraguan children in their care, they said that they did not have an exact number, but that the percentage was small and that in the past year the vast majority of unaccompanied minors were from Guatemala (48%) ). Honduras (25%) and El Salvador (14%).

The reason for Meylin Obregon’s departure

Meylin’s relatives say the young woman decided to emigrate after separating from her spouse Lazaro Gutierrez, who “treated her badly” and abused her psychologically, Socorro said.

“I can’t stay here. I know why I’m saying it, ”she remembers her daughter crying out before leaving. Meyling did not tell her that she was going to the United States. “If she had told me, I would not have accepted it because it poses a great risk,” Socorro said in an interview with Univision.

“I don’t understand why he insulted her. She didn’t tell me he hit her. She just told me, “If you only knew what he said to me, mom.” I don’t know what it was, criminal offenses… ”said Socorro, claiming that the authorities had ignored a complaint from Meylin in the past. This happens in the vast majority of domestic abuse cases in Nicaragua.

“The child went with his mother. So she said to him (Lázaro): “I will leave him with you, but I will take the other one,” and they agreed: Everyone will take one, “she added. So the ten-year-old boy went with Meylin and the older one Brother stayed with his father Lázaro.

The Nicaraguan Migrant Child became a story symbolizing the dangers faced by the 19,000 unaccompanied children and youth who illegally crossed the southern United States border in March alone.

Since President Joe Biden eased immigration policies and said he would not immediately turn away unaccompanied minors illegally entering the country, the number of children and youth detained by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials has doubled.

The detention centers on the southern border are overcrowded. About 4,000 people lived in Donna, Texas, where the Nicaraguan boy stayed after he was rescued. The minors had to take turns sleeping on mattresses on the floor, reported the EFE agency.

Cases like Meylins are also common, blackmailing criminal gangs and kidnapping migrants in their attempt to reach the United States.

Read more from Nicaragua here in the Havana Times.

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