Thousands march for children in Costa Rica
In capital city San José, evangelicals and Roman Catholics denounced the trafficking of children and other forms of exploitation in Latin America.
Periódico Maranata, Evangélico Digital · SAN JOSE · 03 OCTOBER 2023 · 13:08 CET
Both the evangelical and the Roman Catholic communities in Costa Rica (a Central American country of 5 million people) supported a march on 30 September under the motto: “Our children are sacred”.
The event was motivated by the presentation in the country of the film Sound of Freedom, produced by the Mexican Eduardo Verástegui, a movie that denounces child slavery in Latin America.
The march was declared by the Costa Rica government to be of public interest.
The march filled the entire Paseo Colón avenue in the centre of capital city San José. By the time those leading the event had reached the main stage at the end, a large crowd could still be seen several blocks away.
Participants were asked to wear white. Christian worship and praise music, choreographies were streamed throughout the streets. The march for children wanted to be an act of denunciation but without losing a positive mood.
For Jorge Gómez, former president of the Costa Rican Evangelical Alliance, the idea of the march was to defend the rights of children, including the unborn, but at the same time to publicly denounce sexual, ideological and doctrinal abuse at an early age, saying this combination of factors was happening throughout the Latin American continent.
Gómez told local Christian website Periódico Maranata: “It is our responsibility to share the message of the truth of the Holy Scriptures, in the end each person will be responsible before society for their attitudes”.
Shirley Díaz, director of the Frente Nacional por la Vida (the Costa Rica National Front for Life), said Costa Ricans were giving a message in support of the value of children, and that this should be taken into account by the different sectors of society and also by international organisations.
A banner with the motto: Our children are sacred. / Photo: Periódico Maranata
Hundreds of thousands of children at US borders
According to the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), more than 1.8 million children are victims of sexual exploitation globally.
A comprehensive study by ICMEC and UNICEF on the disappearance of children in Central America, conducted in 2011, found “a serious problem of child trafficking due to the existence of ‘blind spots’ at borders and the increase in illegal migration throughout the region”.
Nowadays, between 250,000 and 800,000 children from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua live along the US-Mexico border as illegal migrants, the agency says, making it difficult to estimate the exact number of children who may be trafficked.