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Protesters in El Centro demand child services “fix the broken system”

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY)- Protestors gathered outside of El Centro’s Department of Child and family services (DCFS) demanding they fix “the broken system."

Because of closures and stay-at-home orders most mandated reporters of abuse, such as teachers, coaches and clergy members have been sidelined.

California began its stay-at-home order on March 19, they went from 10 reports a day to nearly none.

“I don’t want to see anything else on the news umm related to a child dying in their parents' hands and anyone in the foster care it’s just too much it’s so overwhelming, it’s out of control. It shouldn’t happen they’re paid to protect why aren’t they protecting, said Eva Perrone, a protestor.”

Protecting children like Gabriel Fernandez abused multiple times by his mother and her boyfriend, ignored by social workers, and failed by the entire system.

A picture of him with a black eye  for a mothers day project still haunts all those who know his story 

protestors say they are here for him and the countless other children whose stories bear a resemblance.

“I get emotional because it could be anyone’s child that’s going through this we’re in a pandemic there’s no school they must be going through abuse, hunger and we can’t do anything about it," said Perrone.

Eva Perrone says as a mother she felt compelled to stand up for the children who are experiencing abuse. 

“I have a son, my oldest son he looks like Gabriel and it would break my heart if he ever went through anything like this.” 

Imperial County’s DFC has not responded to our request for comment.

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Gianella Ghiglino

Peruvian-born and LA raised Gianella Ghiglino joins the team from the San Fernando valley. “LA is the place that taught me how to breath and Peru is my breath.” She says she was inspired by the community she grew up in and began documenting her experience through poetry at the age of 7. “I wrote about everything I saw, felt and everything that inspired me.” When she entered High School she joined her school news station and realized that broadcast journalism allowed her to pursue her passion and her purpose all at once. Gianella attended Cal State Northridge and received a Bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish Broadcast Journalism, and Political Science. She did several internships while in College but most notably interned for PBS’s local LA station for three years. “My purpose is to share my story and of those in my community, my passion is writing.”


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