Central America and its Migration Corridors

During a presentation provided by representatives of Central American countries in a United Nations side event on June 15th 2016, the increasing issues and dangers of migration and deportation in these countries were revealed. The shocking factual information announced during the event raised deep concerns for the future well being of the persons living in these countries, and for the countries themselves.

Migration, as explained by the representative, A. Baños, is usually triggered by several situations such as bloody battles, social conflicts, or strong political conflicts – as in the case of Guatemala. During these difficult times, families, or their children, flee to other countries in an attempt to protect themselves, escape the violence, and in hopes of finding a better life elsewhere. Children become the most vulnerable victims of these scenarios as they are forced and pressured into getting involved in drug trafficking, and different gangs. As a consequence, not only do they contribute to the organized crimes within their country, but also put theirs and other persons lives in danger, hence the urge and desperate need to migrate elsewhere.

“Migration is an extremely secretive process”, Baños stated, “not even their close family members are told about it”. The reason for this is because if the individuals attempting to migrate are caught at the borders of their country, for example in Mexico, they are either sent back, or made to pay $7000 by a coyote at the border in order to be allowed to continue through the Mexican migration corridor. This opens doors to a corrupted system, and to an entire business revolved around this secretive activity, as more people are participating in it every year. “If they get caught by police, they have the possibility of paying an additional $7000 to be set free”.

“Unfortunately, this activity doesn’t seem to be stopping soon”, Mr. R. Marquez declared, “more than 400,000 persons migrate from Central America annually”. On July 7th, 2014, the President of Mexico presented a comprehensive program of the border that organizes migratory flows, and attempts to protect citizens’ human rights. However, this shielding of the border became obvious in the increasing number of raids, detentions, and deportation of migrants. According to official data revealed by the representative, in 2015, around 171,000 migrants were detained in Central America, and over 150,000 were deported, he stated, “migration has become more and more invisible to avoid migratory checks. But this figure has increased of about 150% this year.”

Not only do migrants get detained, but the majority also suffers some type of crime of violation of human rights, for example sexual or crime violence. “Out of the 11,000 persons received from Central America in 2015, only 40 received protection from the state, generally, women who have been raped.” Marquez stated, “and only one in three persons who request asylum in Mexico has been recognized.”

The Country representatives and UNHCR recognized this situation as highly urgent, and as the escalation of these figures increases annually, they call for the international community to come together, and act upon this severe issue in order to make it come to an end, and in order to “re-distribute the basic human rights of the people who come from these countries”.

 

Marianna Barbieri

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