The direct cause of this migration is violence in their home countries. The level of violence has risen dramatically in this century. According to UN statistics, the Central American country of El Salvador had the highest murder rate in the world with a recorded 83 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2016. Its neighbor to the north, Honduras, had the second worst rate at 57. Tiny Belize had the 7th worst rate. Guatemala was 15. th
On a recent excursion into the otherwise tranquil and picturesque country of Costa Rica, I learned that violence and murder were the country’s main problems. The murder rate there is 12, which is slightly worse than Uganda!
Looking at 20 countries with the highest murder rates, 17 are below our southern border in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. Those facts should give us a strong hint as to what is causing the exodus from Central American countries…
…The cartels use violence and the threat of violence to intimidate the local population and governments. They do not require control over entire countries, but only a small conduit. As a result, the violence is highly concentrated in the areas they wish to have power over. In these places, life outside of the cartels is intolerable. This is the same reason for the hysteria last year about children without guardians making the treacherous journey from their homes in Central America to the US on their own.
If you care as much about the immigrant children in US detention centers as much as I do, then you should care at least as much about their frightened, terrorized cousins back in their home country.