Wednesday 8 February 2023

IOM: Central America is in a “migration storm”

Economic distress is the main factor pushing migrants from Central America to the U.S. The issue of migration is not only a challenge for Honduras or El Salvador.

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Q24N (EFE) The situation of immigrants who cross Central America on their way to the United States is “quite complex” because the region is in a “migration storm,” according to the head of mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for Honduras and El Salvador, Nicola Graviano.

Economic distress is the main factor pushing migrants from Central America to the U.S.

“It is a rather complex situation at this moment because the region is in the midst of a migratory storm, a perfect storm in the sense that important migratory flows of different types converge in this region,” Graviano said in statements to EFE this Monday in Tegucigalpa.

He added that Honduras in particular is a country of origin, transit, and return, but also affected by internal displacement and with quite high volumes of immigrants crossing through its territory, especially this year.

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Graviano said that between January and November 16 of this year, 154,451 people had traveled through Honduras looking for opportunities to migrate to other countries in the region, bound for the United States.

With regard to returned Honduran immigrants (mostly from the United States and Mexico, by air and land) he pointed out that they exceed 100,000.

IMMIGRANTS IN A SITUATION OF VULNERABILITY

The senior IOM official stressed that there is concern in the United Nations because irregular migration poses significant challenges for immigrants in transit due to the multiple abuses they are victims of while traveling through various countries.

The situation of those who are in transit is one of “vulnerability and potential and real exploitation by groups of traffickers who take advantage of the desire, aspirations and needs of migrants to exploit them and break their rights to life, health,” he added.

Graviano stressed that “all the rights of children are in danger when migrants die irregularly,” and that at the IOM they have heard of extortion, physical and psychological abuse.”

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“It is a very difficult situation along the entire migratory path, from its point of departure to its destination point, passing through our region, often through the Darién area (in Panama) where the physical and the lives of many of these people,” he said.

Regarding the “Darién Gap”, where according to various sources many immigrants have died, the IOM representative said that unfortunately it is one of the most dangerous regions in the world.

“We have seen how many migrants have lost their lives or have suffered significant physical and mental damage that later affects their well-being, both throughout the migration process, and throughout their lives, with permanent damage. So we must not lose attention to what is happening and we must join forces to be able to provide responses to a serious humanitarian situation”, he stressed.

COOPERATION AND DIALOGUE TO RESOLVE CRISES

Graviano said that last week a conference was held with the National Institute of Migration of Honduras in which a draft of the Humanist Migration Policy was presented, which has been developed for two years and in which the different migration issues are addressed. with a look at the next 10 years.

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This document, according to Graviano, will constitute the cornerstone of the actions that the Government of Honduras will take, with the support of the IOM, which has also been helping to provide direct humanitarian responses, assistance, and protection to immigrants in transit, mainly at points nerve centers such as Danlí and Trojes, in the department of El Paraíso, on the border with Nicaragua.

In his opinion, the issue of migration is not only a challenge for Honduras or El Salvador, but an issue that affects all the countries of the region and as such must be resolved in cooperation, dialogue and collaboration with all.

He added that it cannot be thought that a single country has the answer or the capacity to provide solutions to the whole world, but that countries must sit down with the United Nations and civil society, which also give immigrants a voice, to find answers. effective to a phenomenon such as migration that is worldwide, of life, that is not going to stop.

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Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

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