July 20, 2015
Actress Kat Graham, a UN Refugee Agency High Profile Supporter, has travelled along the Guatemala-Mexico border where she met face to face with women and children forced to flee extreme violence in Central America amid a worsening regional refugee situation.
“The stories I heard from these brave women and children were shocking and absolutely heartbreaking,” Graham said of her trip in June.
“It is time people face the fact that the violence is deadly and out of control. Those running from it are refugees and they must be helped,” she said.
Visiting shelters in northern Guatemala and southern Mexico along the Suchiate river, Graham talked with women and children fleeing violence by ruthless armed criminal groups in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – an area known as the “Northern Triangle.”
At least 140,000 people from these Central American countries were forced to flee their homelands last year alone to escape the violence. Some reached the United States in search of help while others have requested asylum in Mexico and other countries in the region.
“Many of these people are refugees plain and simple,” said Shelly Pitterman, head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Washington DC. “Kat has seen this for herself and we hope her work will help others understand this so that the refugees can get the protection and assistance they deserve.”
UNHCR continues to urge all governments in the region to protect these refugees. The children, women and men fleeing the Northern Triangle deserve to be acknowledged and safe from violence. We stand ready to support governments in the required humanitarian response.