Honduran President: US Drug Policy Caused Migrant Crisis

Latin America A Call to Action
President of Honduras Juan Hernández. (Flickr)

President of Honduras Juan Hernández singled out US drug policy as the main driver of increased violence in Central America and the recent surge of migrants fleeing to the United States, according to an interview published in the Mexican newspaper Excelsior.

“Honduras has been living in an emergency for a decade,” Hernández said. “The root cause is that the United States and Colombia carried out big operations in the fight against drugs. Then Mexico did it.”

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Hernández suggested that these operations forced drug traffickers to settle in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. As a result, he said Central America does not have the necessary resources to fight drug trafficking. Hernández added that Central America’s Northern Triangle deserves help from the US government, which funded “anti-drug operations in Colombia and Mexico.”

Since Mexican drug cartels began expanding their business into Honduras, the murder rate in connection with the illegal drug trade has increased. “A good part of [migration] has to do with the lack of opportunities in Central America, which has its origin in the climate of violence; and this violence, almost 85 percent of it, is related to the issue of drug trafficking,” Hernández pointed out.

US government officials have blamed “poverty, gang, and drug violence” for the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Central America and the southern US border. Smugglers have also perpetuated the false rumor that children who reach the US border will be allowed to stay.

President Obama has request US$3.7 billion from Congress to enhance border security, create more temporary detention centers, and pay for additional immigration court judges to speed up asylum and deportation processes.

Source: Huffington Post.

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