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    Migrants coming from Central America climb off a train during their journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border in Ixtepec, Mexico, Monday, April 29, 2013

    'Beaten Up and Tortured': Central American Migrants Abused En Route to US

    © East News / Eduardo Verdugo/AP/MXEV111
    Latin America
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    About 70 percent of Central American migrants suffer from violence while traveling through Mexico to the US, according to a new report by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) published on Friday. Radio Sputnik discussed the findings of the report with Marc Bosch, the MSF operational director for Latin America.

    The study contains a comprehensive medical data on migrants travelingtravelling from Central America’s violence-plagued Northern Triangle of Honduras, Salvador and Guatemala.

    It shows that many of these migrants are forced to flee their motherland because of violence at home only to be re-victimized along the migration route.

    Moreover, almost a third of migrants fall victim to sexual violence en route to the US. The refugees lack comprehensive access to medical care and have to face aggressive deportation policies that disregard their need for protection.

    When asked about the difficulties the migrants face when trying to flee to the US, and why the situation is so out of control, Marc Bosch said that, first of all, these people are victims of violence happening in their own countries.

    “According to the MSF findings, almost 45 percent of these people have relatives killed in their countries due to the violence of the past two years perpetrated by criminal organizations in Honduras and Salvador, which force them to flee north,” Marc Bosch noted.

    He added that when entering Mexico, these people face more violence, committed by local criminal organizations. As a result, these people fall victim to sexual violence, kidnappings and robberies.

    “They are beaten up and tortured, that’s why we consider this as a humanitarian crisis, which needs a coordinated response by the governments of the region,” Bosch noted.

    Speaking about the local authorities’ response to the problem and what needs to be done to solve it, he said, first and foremost, they need to make sure that the victims of violence get necessary protection, are granted refugee status and access to medical assistance.

    “The first thing to do for the governments is to acknowledge that there’s a humanitarian crisis. People are exposed to trauma, mental health consequences and this is something the Mexican authorities should do.”

    He emphasized the need for the people who flee from violence in their home countries to be granted refugee status abroad in line with internationally recognized refugee conventions and protocols.

    Honduras, Salvador and Guatemala, which make up the notorious Northern Triangle of Central America, are considered to be the most violent region in the world outside war zones.

    “Citizens are murdered with impunity, kidnappings and extortion are daily occurrences,” the MSF said.

    In 2015, Salvador’s murder rate reached 103 per 100,000 people; in Honduras it was 57 per 100,000.



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    criminal organizations, South American refugees, violence, report, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Marc Bosch, Central America
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