Despair continues to drive Hondurans to migration

Omoa, Honduras (AP) — A refurbished seaside hotel where more than 200 Honduras immigrants were tired of traveling overnight in Guatemala after getting off six buses and being deported to Mexico. ..

Their journey ended somewhere in Mexico, just before the border with the United States, and they were now returning to Honduras early Friday morning, preparing to return to their place of departure.

The US Customs and Border Protection reported last month that it had encountered Hondurans more than 41,000 times on the southern border of the United States. This is an increase of about 12,000 from March 2019.

The reasons why Hondurans continue to flee their country are well documented: widespread violence, deep-seated corruption, lack of work, and widespread destruction by two major hurricanes that struck the area last November.

Here at one of the return reception centers of the Government of Honduras, their documents were reviewed, had a medical examination and screened with the help of the Red Cross to see if they could safely return to the community ..

Gilles Carbonnier, Vice President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, visited the center on Friday during a week-long visit to El Salvador and Honduras. In that effort, the Red Cross is working to help those exiled by violence.

On Saturday, Carbonnier said he met a Honduras cobbler who had a store in the Tegucigalpa market. When one of the notorious street gangsters in the area blackmailed him and he couldn’t afford to pay, the gang beat him hard.

The man had no choice but to close the store and move to the United States. He was deported over a year ago, screened at another reception center in Honduras, and finally introduced to the Red Cross. Humanitarian agencies helped him move and gave him some money.

“With the financial help we gave him, he bought the material to resume his cobbler work, and now he has two stores and six employees, he I was able to resume my life, “said Carbonnier.

Hondurans and others around the world are feeling the need for migration because of “lack of opportunity and lack of hope,” Carbonier said. I go in this country. “

For Eugenio Sosa, a sociologist at the National Autonomous University of Honduras, various factors that drive Hondurans out of the country contribute to general despair.

“People don’t go because it’s really bad,” Sosa said. “People go because it’s bad, and because they’re convinced that it’s going to stay bad, and because the country is forever corrupt.”

This week, US Vice President Kamala Harris, who is responsible for addressing the root cause of migration in the region, made a similar statement.

She said on Wednesday that the United States wanted to use its resources — the Biden administration talked about $ 4 billion in aid — “people in the North Triangle are on the way to help if they are at home and they are We hope that the opportunities and needs they have to give them the hope of being able to do it will be met in some way. “

Sosa said that even small signs that things are starting to turn around will make a difference, even if the tremendous challenges in the areas of health, education, work and corruption do not change overnight.

“When people start seeing small changes, they start to think it’s worth staying rather than going,” Saucer said.

Honduras immigrants departed from San Pedro Sula in a caravan in December, January and March. All attempts to travel safely in large groups failed by the time they entered Guatemala. However, caravans in recent years are only a small part of daily migration that are rarely seen when families and individuals attack on their own or with the help of smugglers.

The Trump administration has pressured the governments of Mexico and Central America to work more aggressively to stop immigrants. The Biden administration sent a more compassionate message, often mistaken for an invitation, or at least a friendly welcome sign. But the reality is that the US government will soon expel most of the people who arrive at the southern border.

Advocates are more difficult for those seeking international protection when White House officials said this week they had reached an agreement with the Northern Triangle government to deploy soldiers to combat smuggling of immigrants at the border. He criticized the government for trying to.

Mr Carbonier said countries have the right to control their borders, but they must treat immigrants humanely and with dignity.

“What we see in the Sahara Desert, in the Mediterranean, and in parts of Asia, if strict measures are taken to limit the possibility of migration in a more formal way. I will continue to move, “said Carbonnier. “Immigration takes more risk because they have to find alternatives.”