Felipe came to Nogales from northeast Guatemala. He doesn’t speak English. He barely speaks Spanish and struggles to tell his story of fleeing violence in his home town in his native mam. U.S. authorities can find no translator.
Susana (name changed to protect her identity) will have try again to make the journey to the United States with her son Daniel, 16. Both left everything they had in El Salvador to escape because a gang threatened to kill the boy for refusing to be a gang member.
Honduras has been rated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as the country with the highest homicide rate in the world from 2010 until 2012, when the most recent report was issued.1 From 2005 to 2013, the number of violent deaths of women rose by 263.4%. This violence is the result of multiple factors, including high levels of economic inequity and inequality, poverty, corruption, militarization, and an ever increasing presence of organized crime and drug trafficking, all of which has a strong negative impact on the human rights of the population, and on the lives of women in particular.
Officials at the Salvadoran Foreign Ministry do not have accurate data on the number of children who are traveling to the United States illegally at the hands of smugglers. The Vice Minister for Salvadorans Abroad, Liduvina Magarín, recently visited 12 sites that function as shelters, detention centers, and migrant processing centers located in the southern U.S. border. In a single day, these places received 310 Salvadoran children. Given the traffic and movement of people in recent months, it is speculated that the daily number of children passing through that border is between 500 and 600 Salvadoran children who have been sent with coyotes to the United States.
On a day like today five years ago, I woke up with the noise of military planes crisscrossing the skies, and without light, without water, without news. It was June 28, 2009 and the chronicles of the impossible were yet to be written. In the entire world, even in Honduras, our generation thought that coups d’état had passed into history. We were wrong.
They can’t stay and they have nowhere to go. Forced out by poverty and the threat of imminent death in their countries, extorted by organized crime, kidnapped and executed in the transit countries and deported if they make it to their destination.
There have been major advances in truth and justice movements in recent years. But of all the goals of the movements for truth and justice, the most important is the least achieved: to guarantee the crimes will not be repeated.
The results of the Feb. 2 elections in Costa Rica surprised the left party, leaving it out of what is now a one-candidate run-off election. We talked to Maria Florez-Estrada of the Broad Front about what happened and what to expect.
It’s common practice to take stock on this day of where we are and how far we’ve come in the movement for full gender equality and respect for the human rights of women. This year in the Americas, the situation is getting worse rather than better.
When violence is attacked with violence, women become both victims and defenders. They are disproportionately and differently affected by violence, violation of human rights and the erosion of community. Yet Mesoamerican and the U.S. governments continue to fund militarist enforcement policies framed as counternarcotics or anti-terrorism that arm and train men to patrol and control the population that put women at great risk.