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The horrors driving thousands of Central American kids to take the dangerous journey to the U.S.

Before the 15-year old girl said goodbye to her uncle on that early April night, before she crossed El Salvador's border, before she negotiated the serpentine and danger-studded road north, she thought of plastic bags. And whether she, like the others, would end up inside one.

A local gang member had said he “liked” her, she told the United Nations refugee agency. And in a country like El Salvador, where gangs recruit in schools, target girls for “sexualized killings” and have pushed the state to the brink of collapse, getting “liked” by a gang member is the last thing anyone would want. “The guy who liked me was going to do me harm,” she said. “In El Salvador, they take young girls, rape them and throw them in plastic bags.” Her uncle took her aside and told her she must flee — so she did….

“In El Salvador, there is a wrong — it is being young,” a young boy told the Women's Refugee Commission. “It is better to be old.”

Read the full article in the Washington Post.