More Hondurans attempt to migrate to the US

More Hondurans attempt to migrate to the US
Thousands are being detained and many are buried along the way

[Translation at Lo de Allá of an article from Tiempo of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, for July 19. See original here.]

Mexico City – In contrast with tendencies seen in the past few years, Central American migration through Mexico, principally from Honduras, is increasing.

Data from the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) and from migrant shelters operated by the Catholic church show that an ever increasing number of undocumented migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are crossing Mexican territory on their way to the United States. From January to May of this year, 37,582 migrants from these three countries, who make up most of the traffic, were housed in INM migrant stations, according to statistics from the organization. That number is greater by 34 percent than was registered during the same period last year.

Honduran migration has shown the greatest increase, equivalent to 52.9 percent. In the first five month of the year, 12,783 undocumented migrants from Honduras were lodged in migrant centers, while during the same period of 2011, there were 8,359. According to studies by the INM Centro de Estudios Migratorios, published in July of last year, in 2006 there was a reverse in the tendency of growth in Central American migration that had been seen since 1995. By 2009 and 2010, it had stabilized.

Leticia Gutiérrez, executive secretary of the Dimensión de la Pastoral Humana, stated that migrant shelters have recorded an increase of 200 percent of persons taken in. “In pastoral work, where we would take care of 200 people sometimes, now we have been obliged to attend to as many as 700 or 1,500 people in a single day. This speaks of an emergency situation or a contingency,” she said.

The growth of the diaspora, she believes, is related to the 2009 coup d’état in Honduras, since 90 percent of the migrants come from that country. “We have been living through the real humanitarian crisis of the coup d’état in Honduras now because the increase in Hondurans and the greater passage of Honduran migrants has been seen not only as a matter of numbers but we find more unaccompanied women, boys, girls and adolescents. People who are no longer leaving because of hunger but because of violent situations,” she added.

The priest Pedro Pantoja, coordinator of the Belén Posada del Migrante in Saltillo, declares that the situation of poverty in Central America, particularly in Honduras, is critical. Pantoja stressed that the passage of migrant women has also increased. Of the 220 migrants who have arrived daily at the shelter in the past few months, he specified, between eight and 12 are women while earlier there were one or two.

“Central America is dying of hunger and violence. I was in San Pedro Sula a month and a half ago and the poverty is at its greatest level. There is no work, there are massive layoffs,” said Father Pantoja.