When governments facilitate the business of multinationals and leave communities unprotected– as with mining – those communities must defend themselves by their own means, through self-defense organizations, mobilizing affected communities, or creating new ways to prevent being evicted from their own territories.
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.
In recent weeks, the world spotlight has fallen on the drama of Central American refugees crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Yet little attention has been accorded to the ongoing, forcible population movements within Mexico caused by similar outbreaks of criminal and state violence that are propelling Central Americans north.
After three years of relative silence, the U.S. press has finally “discovered” the crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors piling up on the U.S. border. Although the coverage often began with moving stories of the hardships these young migrants faced, it soon turned ugly. For right-wing pundits and politicians, the “humanitarian crisis” has become a crackdown on kids.
On April 22 2013, Horacio Cartes’ victory in the Paraguayan presidential elections marked the return of the right-wing Colorado Party to power—a position it held for 61 years before left-wing former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo won office in 2008. Cartes – a political novice who had never even voted in presidential elections before running for the office and who faced accusations that his wealth was acquired by money laundering, cigarette smuggling and drug trafficking – ran on a platform promising “a new path” and economic prosperity to all.
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.