Hondurans organizing mass caravan through Mexico to reach the USA

The government of President Juan Orlando Hernández blames human traffickers and opposing politicians for organizing the caravans

Human rights activists announced Friday that a new caravan of migrants would leave in January for Honduras to the United States. The group hopes to flee from extreme poverty, unemployment, violence, and insecurity in the Central American country.

“I don’t know if it will have the same momentum as the previous caravans, but they plan it on social media for the second half of January,” Hugo Maldonado, president of the local Human Rights Committee, told The Associated Press.

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The government of President Juan Orlando Hernández blames the traffickers of people and opposing politicians for organizing the caravans. On October 13, 2018, more than 3,000 Hondurans left the United States surprisingly from San Pedro Sula, 180 kilometers north of the capital.

The former Minister of Defense and former Foreign Minister, Edmundo Orellana, told AP that “Hondurans are desperate for the circumstances in which they live and do not mind fleeing the country although they know that the United States will not receive them with open arms and that it will stop them in Guatemala or Mexico, where they could be isolated. ” He said that “living in Honduras is suffocating because there is a gigantic deficit of employment and opportunities, small entrepreneurs are extorted by gangs and the government does nothing to generate wealth.”

Ricardo Puerta, a Cuban sociologist, and expert on migration issues, told reporters that without the different caravans of Hondurans, the current immigration agreements between the United States and the countries of the so-called Northern Triangle would not have been signed: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

These were created under pressure from President Donald Trump to restrict the flow of Central American migrants who arrive in their country and force them to seek asylum in other territories.

“There is a cut in the history of Honduras before and after the migrant caravans, since October last year,” said Puerta.

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Collective migration has become an attractive resource for Hondurans because it offers greater protection against the stalking of criminals who could await them along the way.

However, it is estimated that many Hondurans travel by bus alone or with family members every day to the United States.

Official figures indicate that more than 60% of the 9.2 million inhabitants of Honduras live in poverty and 37% in misery. In addition, unemployment overwhelms 5.7% of the economically active population.

“Even if they have a job, Hondurans will hardly get out of poverty or become middle class,” said Ismael Zepeda, a researcher at the Social Development Fund, a local body funded by the World Bank.

The government has invested around $ 20 billion in strategies to reduce poverty, but no progress is seen because corruption in the government absorbs at least $ 2 billion every year.

Source: associated press

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