What is behind the Honduras exodus? | The Stream


Al Jazeera English

Streamed live 46 minutes ago

In recent weeks US media coverage has focused on people travelling from Central American countries in search of asylum in the United States. Reports of these so-called ‘migrant caravans’ in US media are often framed in terms of domestic politics, and particularly the anti-immigration stance of Donald Trump and his administration. Yet journalism that examines what compels so many people to seek asylum in the US is less common. Honduras is just one of several countries where thousands of people have made the difficult decision to flee immediate danger at home and head north. Around 300 people leave Honduras each day according to Bartolo Fuentes, a prominent Honduran journalist and former member of the Honduran congress.

The reasons behind this exodus are manifold. Hondurans remain divided over the deeply contentious outcome of the November 2017 general election. Meanwhile, violence is routine and rooted in the everyday. Gangs frequently target poor communities with extortion, and commit brutal reprisals against those they deem out of line. Security forces often collude with these gangs, from allegedly assisting in drug trafficking through to the killing of activists. Funding for health, education and social programmes lags behind – contributing to an ever-widening gulf between the rich and poor.

The Stream will examine what is driving so many people in Honduras to leave their homes and ask how their lives can be improved.

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