The Guardian: US government deporting Central American migrants to their deaths

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From The Guardian:

by Sibylla Brodzinsky and Ed Pilkington

The US government is deporting undocumented immigrants back to Central America to face the imminent threat of violence, with several individuals being murdered just days or months after their return, a Guardian investigation has found.

The Guardian has confirmed three separate cases of Honduran men who have been gunned down shortly after being deported by the US government. Each was murdered in their hometowns, soon after their return – one just a few days after he was expelled from the US.

Immigration experts believe that the Guardian’s findings represent just the tip of the iceberg. A forthcoming academic study based on local newspaper reports has identified as many as 83 US deportees who have been murdered on their return to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras since January 2014.

Human rights groups warn that deterrent measures taken by the Obama administration after last year’s “surge” in arrivals at the border of unaccompanied children from Central America have triggered a series of powerful unintended consequences across the region.

The number of migrants crossing the US border with Mexico unlawfully has declined sharply this year. But the increasingly militarized surveillance and patrol of the southern frontier has forced migrants to take ever greater risks in the routes they choose. And although fewer people are attempting to enter from Mexico, the death rate among those trying has gone up, activists say.

Side effects of the crackdown can also be seen in Mexico, where authorities have also stepped up security across the across the south of the country.



This has caused migrants to make lengthy detours, making journeys to ever more remote and perilous routes where they face a heightened risk of robbery, rape, abduction and death.

Human rights experts warn that in its haste to expel or deter undocumented immigrants, the US government is scrimping on its obligation to provide asylum to those genuinely in peril in violation of international law.

The collateral damage of America’s increasingly unforgiving deportation process is that people are being returned to extremely dangerous situations in Central America, which has some of the highest murder rates in the world.

Based on reporting from northern Honduras and freedom of information requests in the US, the Guardian has compiled the stories of three young Honduran men who were all killed soon after deportation. Two of them had originally fled to the US after their brothers were violently attacked by gangs, one of them fatally.

Read the full article from The Guardian.