Organized crime and violence are the “new major sources of internal and external displacement in Central America”, reported today in Costa Rica International Center for Human Rights of Migrants (CIDEHUM).
The director of the organization, Gabriela Rodriguez, said in an interview with EFE that while Central America has always been a region of displaced economic migrants, currently the motivation of many of these people is to flee violence.
“In the ’70s and ’80s there was a great migration by armed conflict, but now, without an official war we are facing the same situation of displaced populations,” said Rodriguez.
This situation is most dramatic in the “northern triangle” of Central America, in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, but throughout the region illegal migrants face violence risk and abuse.
The new migration phenomenon is not visible. Persecuted, there are many people whose security is threatened by transnational organized crime.
The CIDEHUM study reported, “moving populations fleeing from organized crime and forced recruitment for illicit activities should be recognized as persons with specific protection needs”.
“There are stories of fear, persecution and horror in these populations, homicide, violence, threats, abuse of power and discrimination that far exceed the worst days of the war in Central America,” described Rodriguez.
Between 2008 and this year, a total of 240,000 Honduran migrants were sent back to their country. An estimated 277 people a day leave Honduras, which has a homicide rate of 18 to 22 young people a day, according to data.
Central America is the busiest bridge of drugs and the route taken by migrants from South America to the United States. Moreover, in recent years has been affected by the actions of criminal gangs called “maras”, attacking and recruiting civilians.
The Costa Rica news (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica