Honduras: Children fleeing violence

According to Customs and Border Protection, more children have traveled from Honduras to the U.S. than any other Central American country including Mexico.

“So far, 17,582 unaccompanied undocumented children have come to the U.S. from Honduras during 2014. CBP recorded only 6,747 Honduran children entered the U.S. in 2013.”

Twenty-eight percent of the 65,005 children who have entered the United States this year from Central American countries are from Honduras.

These numbers show that the number of Honduran migrant children has more than doubled in the past year. Thousands of unaccompanied minors have been detained on the U.S./Mexico border for their attempts to flee the country. Many children flee to escape poverty, retribution for not joining gangs, or not paying extorters’ fees. The minors are typically between 12 and 18 years old. For most immigrants, deportation from the United States means death. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, between 5 and 1o children have been murdered since February after being deported by the U.S. back to Honduras.

Honduras currently has the highest per capita murder rate in the world due to gang and drug trafficking violence. According to The Department of Homeland Security, Honduras has 90 murders per 100,000 inhabitants each year, more than twice the rate of El Salvador or Guatemala.

“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.” 

“According to a United Nations report, at least 58 percent of the children cited “international protection needs” as in they were seeking protection from the international community because their home governments could no longer protect them. “

The White House anticipates over 150,000 unaccompanied minors will immigrate into the US in 2015.

Sources: The Latin Post, American University Radio

(Written and compiled by Emily Burns)

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