We were taken by surprise when we learned Monday afternoon that Maura Contreras, anticipated speaker at our March 24th event, Disappeared Children in El Salvador and a Mother’s Search, was denied a visa by the U.S. embassy in El Salvador.
Maura was prepared for her appointment with a file of letters of invitation and support for her visa application from the Romero Interfaith Center and our three member congregations: from the provost of Saint Joseph’s University, and from Representative Chaka Fattah. Despite all this, the embassy official dismissed her after only a few minutes saying there would be no visa issued that day.
We are currently working through our elected officials with hope to appeal this decision.
We will continue to update you on the status of Maura’s visit, but no matter what happens we will hold the event on March 24th. We will show the documentary, Niños de la Memoria, which tells the story of three families, their search for their disappeared children and their longing for reunification. María Teresa Rodríguez , the producer of the film, will speak about the process of making the documentary and the stories it reveals. And Maura will join us, whether in person or via Skype.
We will have an update on the status of Maura’s visa and her potential visit by the end of the week. Thank you for standing with us in solidarity with the people of El Salvador.