Honduran Migrant March: A Refugee Crisis Caused By US Policy And US Partners

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Above Photo: From Hondurassolidarity.org

Honduran Migrant March — A refugee crisis caused by US Policy and US Partners

On October 12, 2018, hundreds of women, men, children, youth and the elderly decided to leave Honduras as a desperate response to survive. The massive exodus that began in the city of San Pedro Sula, reached more than 3 thousand people by the time the group crossed to Guatemala. The caravan, which is headed north to Mexico first, and to the United States as the goal- is the only alternative these people have to reach a bit of the dignity that has been taken from them. They are not alone in their journey. Various waves of Hondurans, whose numbers increase every hour, are being contained by Honduran security forces on their border with El Salvador and Guatemala.

The Honduras Solidarity Network in North America condemns any threats and acts of repression against the refugee caravan, human rights activists and journalists that accompany their journey. The conditions of violence, marginalization and exploitation in which this refugee crisis find its origins, have been created, maintained and reproduced by US-backed social, economic and military interventionist policies, with the support of its Canadian and regional allies. We call on people in the US to reject the criminalization, prosecution, detention, deportation and family separation that threaten the members of this march and the lives of all those refugees forced from their homes in the same way. We urge a change of US policy in Honduras and to cut off security aid to stop human rights abuses and government violence against Hondurans.

This refugee crisis has been exacerbated by the governments of Guatemala and Mexico, who subservient to Donald Trump’s administration, have chosen the path of repression. Bartolo Fuentes, a Honduran journalist and spokesperson for the refugees, has been detained in Guatemala. Meanwhile the Mexican government has sent two planeloads of its National Police to the border with Guatemala. Irineo Mujica, a migrant rights activist and photojournalist, was arrested in Chiapas by agents of the Mexican National Institute of Migration when he was getting ready to support the Honduran migrant march. Today (Friday) in the afternoon, tear gas was fired into the group as they tried to come into Mexico on the border bridge. Honduran human rights organizations report that a 7 month old baby was killed.

The massive forced flight of people from Honduras is not new; it is the legacy of US intervention in the country. Since the 2009 US-backed coup in Honduras, the post-coup regime has perpetuated a system based on disregard for human rights, impunity, corruption, repression and the influence of organized crime groups in the government and in the economic power elite. Since the coup, we have seen the destruction of public education and health services through privatization. The imposition of mining, hydro-electric mega-projects and the concentration of land in agro-industry has plunged 66 percent of the Honduran population into poverty and extreme poverty. In the last 9 years, we have witnessed how the murder of Berta Cáceres and many other activists, indigenous leaders, lawyers, journalists, LGBTQ community members and students has triggered a humanitarian crisis. This crisis is reflected in the internal displacement and the unprecedented exodus of the Honduran people that has caught the public’s eye during recent days.

The fraudulent November 2017 elections, in which Juan Orlando Hernández -president since questionable elections in 2013- was re-elected for a second term in violation of the Honduran constitution, sparked a national outrage. The people’s outrage was confronted by an extremely violent government campaign with military and US-trained security forces to suppress the protests against the fraud. The result of the repression was more than 30 people killed by government forces, more than a thousand arrested and there are currently 20 political prisoners being held in pre-trial prison.

To the repression, intimidation and criminalization faced by the members of the refugee caravan, we respond with a call for solidarity from all the corners of the world. In the face of the violence that has led to the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Hondurans, we demand an end to US military and security aid to Juan Orlando’s regime, not as the blackmail tool used by Donald Trump, but as a way to guarantee the protection of the human rights of the Honduran people. We demand justice for Berta Cáceres, for all the victims of political violence as a consequence of the post coup regime, and the approval of the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act H.R. 1299. We demand freedom for all the political prisoners in Honduras. We demand the US end the criminalization, imprisonment, separation, deportation and killing of migrants and refugees.

Today we fight so that every step, from Honduras to the north of the Americas, is dignified and free

Honduras Solidarity Network of North America

  • justnowcurious

    So in other words the United States has no right to protect their borders and decide who enters the country? Exactly how do you expect these uneducated, unskilled people who enter the U.S. illegally to support themselves? Is it the responsibility of U.S. taxpayers to provide them food, housing, clothing, medical care and education? These people don’t come to the U.S. to assimilate. They come here to take and to turn the U.S. in to the same socialist failing countries they left.

  • disqus_YzQItOTWot

    Our drug policies and support for right- wing dictators having destabilized the countries, people whose family members have been attacked and murdered move to better the dire situation. They for the most part come to work, to be able to live without fear.

    PS: worldwide people who register highest on the happiness index live in socialist countries. Think what we could do in this country if we gave up our wars of imperialism?

  • irategrandmother

    The U.S. has no right to train and fund insurgents to overthrow existing governments for the purpose of installing puppet dictators. This took place throughout central America. The U.S. caused the conditions that these people are fleeing. It’s no different than the U,S, destroying Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The destruction in the Middle East has created refugee problems for European countries that take in the refugees that the U.S. created through illegal wars. The U.S. has caused this problem. It has an obligation to fix the problems it caused. Assimilating the refugees would cost much less than the funding of the illegal wars in which we are now bombing 7 countries and dropping 23,000 bombs per year. I just wish the U.S. would actually become the benevolent country that it claims to be.

  • justnowcurious

    And just how many of these “refugees” do you suggest the U.S. “assimilate?” I don’t know where you live, but here in Houston we have seen what happens to a community when a flood of illegal aliens arrive. Our social services are overrun, our hospitals are bankrupted, and our schools become havens for uneducated, imported gangs. The U.S. can’t fix everything wrong in the world and we are not obligated to support those who won’t help themselves. If refuge is all they want, why do they pass through so many countries to get here? Why not go to South America or perhaps Belize? How about Costa Rico? Many Americans go there to vacation. We all know the answer to those questions. The benefits in those countries won’t support them like welfare does in the U.S. I am sick of this communistic/socialistic drivel. Ask Venezuela how well that works out.

  • irategrandmother

    I understand your perspective better since you explained what happens in Houston. I live in a mid-size city that has a community organization that helps assimilate refugees. We have taken in many refugees but do not have the kinds of problems that you describe. Most of the immigrants here are hard-working and friendly people who do not live on welfare.

    I know that Houston took in many people because of Katrina. That I’m sure was difficult for Houston.

    I think the world would be better if the U.S. didn’t spend more than half of its discretionary budget on dropping 23,000 bombs per year on other countries. If they ceased all the meddling in foreign affairs we would not have these refugee problems. The U.S. also interfered in Venezuela’s internal affairs. Things just don’t work out well when the U.S. is involved in foreign countries.

  • kevinzeese

    It is so sad that US policies create refugee crisis (as described in this article) through our regime change operations as in Honduras or our militarizaton and war as well as trade agreements designed for US corporations, not corporations of developing countries. The US creates the problems and people trying to survive come to the US and someone like justnowcurious attacks them in what is more of a racist-based more than fact-based reality.

    Immigrants actually pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, even though they cannot take the benefits. In addition, Undocumented immigrants nationwide pay on average an estimated 8 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes (this is their effective state and local tax rate). To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent of taxpayers pay an average nationwide effective tax rate of just 5.4 percent. They do jobs that people in the United States do not want to do and keep our economy moving in areas where they are needed.

    And, research shows that undocumented immigrants do not increase crime. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181022/07183740886/ajit-pai-telecom-lobbyists-are-now-coordinating-their-lies-perfect-symmetry.shtml

  • justnowcurious

    Tell me how sending your unaccompanied children to the US has anything to do with surviving. Better yet, tell the over 5000 unaccompanied children in Texas in shelters how they are here so their parents can survive. Why don’t you come to Houston and help comfort these over 1000 kids here before you call me a racist. Join me in trying to teach, console and reassure children who are in a country where they don’t understand the customs, language or have any family to comfort them. They want to go home. Of course, to people like you they are just collateral damage to be used to attain your goal of open borders.

  • chetdude

    You need to learn how to read and comprehend written English…

    Learn something instead of just regurgitating the racist, xenophobic, misogynistic orange turd in the WH…

    Start with this: Immigrants are a net GAIN to the economy, not a drain…

  • chetdude

    I’m sure the Swedes, Norwegians and Danes aren’t sick of their “socialist drivel”…

  • chetdude

    Whereas to people like you they’re pawns in a zero sum game…

  • jemcgloin

    Yes exactly, these refugees are not coming from Nicaragua or Venezuela, the socialist countries Republicans love to hate.
    The caravan is coming from the capitalist “success” stories, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

    These countries, succumbed to the pressure from the CIA, and global governing bodies like the IMF, to fully embrace the “American Consensus” including Supply Side Economics and austerity.
    They slashed taxes on the global rich and global corporations to encourage direct foreign investment, cut regulations on mining and other extractive industries, and paid for it by slashing investments the People, including safety nets, education, and local infrastructure.

    These countries did everything the global capitalists wanted them to do and the result is mass poverty and gang violence. In Honduras where Hillary helped a right wing political coup, as she brags in her book, gang violence is so bad that parents were trusting their children to drug smugglers to get thth to safety.
    This is what I keep telling those are more upset by refugees than they are by attempts by the Trump administration to impose those same policies here with the help of Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer.

    The Party of Trump and centrist Democrats are helping global billionaires to turn the U.S. into a banana Republic. To do that they have to undermine the Constitution.
    When Republicans call a judge an originalist, that means they want to go back to the original Articles of Confederation before the Bill of Rights, end of slavery, or women’s vote.
    Trump’s constant shock generation is a cover for this process.

  • jemcgloin

    There is a process created in U.S. law, under the Constitution to process immigrants seeking asylum.
    Those that seek asylum are supposed to have their individual stories and evidence evaluated by a judge, and their asylum request granted or denied based on the criteria in the law.

    What Trump it’s doing is ignoring the law and throwing the whole process out of wack for political purposes.
    Notice that last year Trump claimed that terrorizing asylum seekers by separating children from parents would scare away future caravans. It didn’t work because the economic system that we imposed on these countries is scarier than Trump, which its saying something.

    Republicans and centrist Democrats are imposing this same system in us now. If they succeed you may well be joining a caravan to try to get into Canada.

    Asylum seekers are non illegal immigrants. They have rights under U.S. law created by Democratic processes under our Constitution. It is Constitutional to try to change these laws through Congress. Trump ignoring the law for political purposes is unconstitutional corruption.

    Support your own constitution.

  • jemcgloin

    You keep missing the point. We are responsible for the problems we cause, and when fixing the problem costs a tiny fraction of what causing the problem cost, we could actually save money and improve life for EVERYONE in Houston, for example, by ending our aggressive neoliberal/neoconservative foreign policy and investing in humans.

  • jemcgloin

    It has to do with having your children survive conditions created by U.S. foreign policy.
    These countries were used to launch the Contra campaign against Nicaragua, and have been bases in the drug war for decades.
    We convinced them, using a combination of hard and soft power, to enact Supply Side Economics including tax cuts for foreign capital paid for South massive cuts to healthcare, education, infrastructure and other things that the population needs to thrive.
    These are not the socialist countries generating all of these refugees fleeing hunger and gang violence. These are capitalist countries following our advice, after we deposed the leaders that refused our advice, and helped our hand picked replacements torture and murder human rights and labor activists.
    The term banana republic was coined to describe these countries that were dominated by U.S. fruit companies for decades.
    The Party of Trump is now trying to turn the U.S.into s banana republic. When they are done, we will be the refugees.
    Stop swallowing propaganda from the billionaires who got rich robbing you.
    The same corporations that fired them in Central America, will fire you to hire them, but you will not blame the corporation that fired you because you are a victim of misdirection.
    Setup regurgitating Fox News talking points and research actual history.
    The billionaires own corporate mass media and use it to lie to you.

  • jemcgloin

    Yes, Republicans have no problem when a corporation fires it’s workers picks up its factory and moves to a low wage country.
    That factory now employees citizens from a different country that pay taxes and shop in stores there, growing the economy there.
    That is far worse than immigrants working in America, paying taxes and shopping here, growing our economy.
    In fact last year’s tax law cut rates for factories that move away and send their profits back to ten percent, which is half of what a factory that stays in.The U.S. pays.
    While Republicans scare you with caravans they just created yet more subsidies for factories that leave the U.S. The Republican Party is a mafia front for global corporations stealing your productivity and turning it into profits for billionaires, and you are cheering them on.

  • chetdude

    “you are cheering them on.”

    You talking to ME?!? Maybe you meant that to apply to the OP or “republicans and billionaires”…?

    I’m totatlly, 100% anti-corporate-capitalist…a pox on all their houses and enablers…

    Let’s switch to Socialism as real Socialists define it: Community/Worker ownership of the means of production with democratic procedures in place for decision making about where, when, how, why and what to produce…

  • chetdude

    The United States had no goddamn right to create tens of millions of refugees and kill millions of innocent people in dozens of sovereign nations all around the world…

    Including the countries ravaged by USAmerican policies that these refugees are fleeing from…

  • jemcgloin

    No ai want talking to you, I was having up your argument against justnowcurious and got carried away.

    The last thing I would accuse you of it cheering on global billionaires. 😉

  • chetdude

    That’s what I thought… 😉

    No harm, no foul, my friend…