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Wed Jul 2, 2014, 03:32 AM

Central America: what's causing child migration?

Central America: what's causing child migration?
Submitted by Weekly News Update... on Tue, 07/01/2014 - 08:57 Central America Theater

In a statement released in the last week of June, the Honduran Black Fraternal Organization (OFRANEH), a leading organization of the Garífuna ethnic group, charged that the US-backed Honduran government was largely responsible for the dramatic increase in minors trying to migrate from Central America over the past few years. The organization said the government "blames the numbers only on narco trafficking; however, they forget that this catastrophe is also caused by collusion among politicians, business leaders, state security forces and criminal organizations linked to the trafficking of narcotics. The government has seen the situation worsen for years without doing anything to change the scenario, much less to avoid it."

Honduras is the country providing the largest number—more than 13,000—of the nearly 35,000 underage Central Americans detained at the US border in the last six months; the others come mostly from Guatemala and El Salvador. OFRANEH pointed to statistics from the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Casa Alianza Honduras, which reported that 287 people were murdered in Honduras in May alone, 104 of them under the age of 23. From 2010 to 2013, more than 27,000 people were killed in Honduras, according to OFRANEH; about 450 of the victims were younger than 14. (Adital, Brazil, June 23)

In related news, on June 23 unidentified assailants gunned down Luis Alonso Fúnez Duarte, the producer of a music program on the Súper 10 radio station in Catacamas, in the eastern department of Olancho. He was reportedly the second producer of a music program to be murdered in Olancho in June, and the 42nd Honduran media worker killed in the five years since the June 28, 2009 military coup that overthrew former president José Manuel ("Mel" Zelaya Rosales (2006-2009). (Adital, June 25)

Much of the US coverage of the child migrants has played down the violence against minors in the countries they come from and instead has emphasized reports that the migrants were drawn to the US by the expectation of lenient treatment. According to US journalist David Bacon, this version of events largely started with a report from the US Border Patrol which was "leaked" to Brandon Darby, a former informant and infiltrator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who is close to the right-wing Tea Party; reports based on this leak were circulated on the far-right website breitbart.com. (CounterPunch, June 26)

More:
http://ww4report.com/node/13344

(My emphasis.)

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Reply Central America: what's causing child migration? (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jul 2014 OP
bemildred Jul 2014 #1
bemildred Jul 2014 #2
malaise Jul 2014 #3
flamingdem Jul 2014 #4
delrem Jul 2014 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 2, 2014, 08:13 AM

1. Massive Exodus

If the deplorable situation of thousands of immigrant children in shelters and military bases was unfolding anywhere else other than the U.S., the well-known Inter-American Commission on Human Rights would be right on top of it with reports like the ones they give us, as well as the other ombudsmen and nongovernmental organizations that are sent to developing countries to put the spotlight on governments who violate human rights. Now that the U.S. vice president is coming to Central America, this should be the main topic discussed, as it is linked to other issues whose roots U.S. officials apparently haven’t the slightest idea of: Unlike what the U.S. government insists, it has nothing to do with parents sending their children.

As if they have their parent’s or guardian's consent to go and risk their lives at that notorious corridor of death and exploitation, including suffering indignities going through Mexico, where human rights violations are also committed. These children are escaping the terror of violence. They are escaping organized crime, which is involved in the drug trade that supplies the demands of the U.S. market. They are leaving so as not to be recruited into their neighborhood gangs and because their lives, in such an unsafe situation, become an ordeal without opportunities and full of horrors. What did they expect these preyed-upon children to do in a war-like situation, as the Honduran president described it? The roots of this massive exodus have not been dealt with properly.

The first to go were adults who could not find work or opportunities in their native countries. Instead of dying of hunger, they elected to risk it all. Now, children are going because of a different ordeal. They are tormented by a violence that has its roots in drug trafficking to North America. This situation is sinking countries, which are being used as bridges for corruption, breeding insecurity, and the deterioration of their own institutions. The U.S. tries to fix this problem, which it is a part of, by providing aid that comes in dribs and drabs. Aside from this minimal contribution — it doesn't even supply the radars the country needs to fight drug trafficking and blocks the possibility of upgrading airplanes — what is the response, the good-neighbor policy, to the presence of this large number of unaccompanied children? The response has been to treat the situation as an illegal immigrant problem: Holding the children in refugee camps, asking parents to stop sending their children and deporting them, which means sending them back to the same hopeless situations they escaped.

http://watchingamerica.com/News/241400/massive-exodus/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 2, 2014, 08:14 AM

2. Taking a United Stand Before Joe Biden

The moment it was announced that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden would visit Guatemala, the speculation began around the reason for this unexpected visit. The visit will bring together the president of El Salvador and representatives from Honduras and Mexico along with representatives from Guatemala to have a conversation with the important official from Washington.

It’s interesting to note that the visit will take place in Guatemala and not in El Salvador or Costa Rica, as has traditionally occurred. This is a clear sign that Guatemala is successfully repositioning itself with the U.S. capital.

Some aspects stand out in the issue of unaccompanied immigrant children. Thanks to the Guatemalan ambassador’s intervention, the press in Washington found out about first lady Rosa Leal de Pérez and her efforts to address this issue over the past two years. Last year she presented a strategy for handling the problem at the regional immigration conference. Afterward, she opened two shelters for returned children, one in the capital, Guatemala City, and another in Quetzaltenango.

In April she helped to create the National Commission for Attention to Children and Teen Migrants and has also assisted through the American organization Kids In Need of Defense or KIND. In addition, she has also organized free legal assistance for minors who manage to cross the border into the United States. All these actions have placed Guatemala at the forefront in addressing this problem.

http://watchingamerica.com/News/241308/taking-a-united-stand-before-joe-biden/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 2, 2014, 09:26 PM

3. Excellent post

This should be sent to Rachel

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Response to malaise (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 2, 2014, 09:48 PM

4. Good idea Malaise, Rachel

is digging around in her interviews today. She needs to get intensive background information that's not generally available.

Judy I added a link to this in my rant against Jose Diaz-Balart:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5185973

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 2, 2014, 11:06 PM

5. Tears. And perhaps this can be a teaching moment. nt

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