A California Democrat who has been critical of the governments of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala said she sleeps with a gun by her bed after facing online threats.
“I never thought it would get to this point but I have to protect myself in my home,” Torres first revealed to the Los Angeles Times.
Torres was born in Guatemala.
“Growing up, I experienced the same forces that are currently driving children to flee from the #NorthernTriangle. I’m ready to call out corruption like I see it — even if that upsets those who enable it,” she wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Torres, who represents California’s 35th Congressional District, said people have staked out her house, according to FOX 11 Los Angeles.
In March, she tweeted about the corruption of the governments of the Northern Triangle countries, prompting a response from El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele.
“This is a great shame to the governments of #Guatemala#Honduras#ElSalvador your compatriots deserve governments that are truly committed to fighting corruption and drug trafficking!” Torres wrote on Twitter in March 31 along with a story about smuggles who abandoned 3-year-old and a 5-year-old after dropping them over the southern border wall.
“Look ma’am, did you read that the children are from ECUADOR and not from EL SALVADOR? In addition, this occurred on the border of Mexico with the United States. What does El Salvador have to do with this? You should use a portion of your financier’s check to buy glasses,” Bukele responded on April 1.
In April, Bukele would not meet with a visiting senior U.S. diplomat. Bukele’s decision not to meet with Ricardo Zuniga, the Biden administration’s envoy to the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Central America, followed a similar snub he allegedly received from U.S. officials during an unannounced trip to Washington in February.
Zuniga traveled to El Salvador following talks in Guatemala focused on immigration amid a surge in child migrants on the U.S. border. Upon arrival, he immediately announced a $2 million U.S. contribution to an international commission seeking to strengthen the fight against corruption, which Biden officials see as one of the root causes of illegal immigration.
Clockwise from left, Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., and Rep. Albio Sires, D- N.J., attend a meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris with the CHC, in her ceremonial office, Monday, May 17, 2021, on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
On Thursday, Vice President Harris announced commitments from businesses and other organizations to invest in Central America to support economic development in the countries from where the migrant surge – which has overwhelmed border officials in recent months – originated.
“Today, we are launching our call to action for businesses to invest in the Northern Triangle,” Harris said at a roundtable.
Harris and the Biden administration have been emphasizing the “root causes” of the crisis at the border, such as violence, poverty and climate in Central America – and have called for $4 billion of investment in the region to combat those causes. Critics have instead pointed to the rollback of Trump-era border protections that they say have incentivized the migrant flow that saw 178,000 migrants hit the border in April alone.
Fox News’ inquiry to Torres’ office was not returned at the time of publication.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and the Associated Press contributed to this report.