The children of Central America are at our doorstep – a “crisis” of “illegals” banging on the door of Rick Perry’s Texas. No one is answering the door.
Last Wednesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees called for Central American migrants to be treated as refugees from armed conflict.
“The US and Mexico should recognize that this is a refugee situation, which implies that they shouldn’t be automatically sent to their home countries but rather, receive international protection,” the agency said.
The children are fleeing the most violent places on earth – the hell holes that are Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Vast swathes of these countries are now controlled by gangs which extort and kill without consequence.
The Guardian reports: “Heavily armed street gangs such as the Mara Salvatrucha and Calle 18 impose a reign of terror on entire neighborhoods across the region, which is also a key route for Mexican and Colombian cartels shipping narcotics north.
Drug-fueled corruption, political instability, and – in the case of Honduras, a right wing coup – have all contributed to a situation of institutional collapse. As their states fall apart around them, many Central Americans feel that justice and security can only be found elsewhere.
“For many people the choice is to flee or to die,” says Carlos Paz, director of the San Pedro Sula office of the church organisation Cáritas.”
San Pedro Sula is the most violent city on earth with a murder rate of 180 per 100,000 – the rate in the U. S. Is 5. If you don’t follow gang orders you are a dead man.
Meanwhile death squads have begun combing the crime ridden neighborhoods killing teenagers as a method of “cleansing” crime. Are they government controlled? Who knows. None of the MSM knows a thing about what is going on in the “banana” republics. There has been little coverage since St. Ronnie fought the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
This week the U.N. acted: The United Nations wants refugee status for the thousands of children crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. Officials at the UN say it would step up the pressure on both countries to accept many of the children fleeing violence in Central America. The UN move comes as Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson meets officials in Guatemala today to discuss the government response to the migrant crisis along the southwest U.S. border.
Meanwhile some leading members of the U.S. Congress are calling on the Obama administration to consider launching an emergency refugee program for Central American children as one way to address a rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis at the southern border.
We never talk about the elephant in the room – Central America today is a creation of U.S. policy over the last century – supporting United Fruit, supporting right wing dictatorships, the bringing down of the Arbenz government by the C.I. A. In Guatemala, the war on the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
The results of U.S. policy? Guatemala and Honduras are the 2nd / 3rd poorest countries in the hemisphere after Haiti. Central America is rife with drug corruption, street gang and death squad violence.
The young are fleeing north.
Meanwhile here in this “exceptional” nation, protesters meet a busload of children in California with signs – “Go Home!”. Nice.
Italy is the destination for tens of thousands of refugees from the Syrian and Libyan conflicts – coming across the Mediterranean from North Africa. Italian facilities to feed, house and cloth refugees have been overwhelmed so churches have opened their doors, removing pews and installing beds. Italy has asked the E.U. for financial assistance to meet the crisis.
After hundreds of refugees died off the Italian coast when their rickety boat caught fire and sank, Italy was appalled.
The government ordered the Italian Navy to rescue those at sea fleeing the violence, bringing them safely to shore. Some in the government, particularly in the Northern League (Berlusconi’s party) called the effort a “taxi service”.
But I have never been prouder of Italy. Jordan has taken in thens of thousands of Syrians while the Kurds are sheltering other ethnic Iraqis. These countries can ill afford it. If only we could act with such humanity.