Children on the Edge: Why children are fleeing their Central American homes

The number of children entering the United States from Mexico and Central America has grown exponentially in 2014. While official numbers total 65,005, others estimate the number to be closer to 90,000.

Here, we have gathered information from global data bases and international reports as to the reason why parents and families are sending their children across dangerous territories into the hopeful safety of the United States borders.

Explore this page to find out detailed information about the four countries the children are fleeing from, as well as view official reports, documents, news articles and graphics.

El Salvador

According to the United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security, El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in the world with a per capita murder rate of 43.3 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Read more …  

Guatemala

Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime and homicide rates in Central America. According to the United States Department of State, “The Policia Nacional Civil (PNC) lacks sufficient personnel and training to accomplish their mission. Read more … 

Honduras

“There are no opportunities here. They die, they leave for the United States or they become criminals,” says Dr. Hector Hernandez, the man in charge of the San Pedro Sula morgue. “San Pedro Sula is the deadliest city in Honduras and reportedly the “largest source of unaccompanied minors.” Read more …

Mexico

The illicit drug trade has always been present in Mexico and in the last years the drug trafficking organizations have been violently fighting for control of smuggling routes into the United States. The violence that came along with these organizations is something that was never seen before, including mass killings, torture and dismemberment. Read more …

See the Numbers

Explore this interactive to see the countries children are coming from and why. Read more …

View official reports and related news articles

See the United Nations report and the Congressional Research articles on the above-mentioned countries, as well as previously published VoiceBox Media articles in the series. Read more … 

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