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El Salvador and Honduras Are Safe

Central American News
El Salvador and Honduras Are Safe
By Central American News • Issue #61 • View online

Dear Readers,
This week, Honduras and El Salvador, who both have epidemics of violence according to UN standards, are one step closer to receiving asylum seekers on their soil. The U.S. could send back asylum seekers to El Salvador to process their cases there and migrants crossing Honduras can start their U.S. asylum case in Honduras. This last agreement is similar to the one made with Guatemala.
Salvadoran and Honduran citizens are among those who have most fled their countries to request asylum abroad in 2018.
Parts of a city in Honduras are now under curfew because of the spike of murders and El Salvador, with a population of six million people, lived its own violent day on Friday and closed with 19 homicides. Human rights organizations claim these Central American countries cannot safely host refugees and process their cases.
Within Honduras and El Salvador, these immigration deals went nearly unnoticed in the media. However, these deals could have harsh consequences for nationals, asylum seekers, and for the countries themselves.
We’ll keep you updated on what happens next. Thanks for following Central American News.
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The Team
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Photo of the Week
"Border Patrol agents take into custody a father and son from Honduras along the Mexico border on June 12 near Mission, Texas.(John Moore / Getty Images)"
"Border Patrol agents take into custody a father and son from Honduras along the Mexico border on June 12 near Mission, Texas.(John Moore / Getty Images)"
📰 Asylum: Border Patrol agents have begun screening migrant families for “credible fear” to determine whether applicants are eligible for asylum in the U.S, rather than trained asylum officers. // 126 women and children who were denied asylum under a new U.S. law are suing the federal government for violating their rights as asylum-seekers by banning their entry into the U.S.
📰 Mexico: A Honduran teen waiting in Mexico under the “Remain in Mexico” program was hospitalized after nearly drowning in the Rio Grande. // The Mexican government denied a visit from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to inspect the conditions that migrants experience.
📰 Deportation: Trump Administration officials want immigrants to pay nearly $1000 to appeal deportation cases. // After widespread condemnation, Trump Administration will allow temporary protection from deportation of immigrants and their relatives who are receiving treatment for life-threatening medical conditions.
📰State of Siege: The Guatemalan government analyzes if it should declare a state of siege due to the conflict over land between the indigenous municipalities of Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán and Nahualá which resulted in one dead and 13 wounded. 
📰 Plastics: Government of Guatemala prohibits disposable plastic utensils ranging from single-use plastic bags, straws, plates, glasses, mixers or agitators, containers or containers for food storage and transport for a term of two years in Agreement 189-2019.
📰Census: Census shows inequality regarding educational levels of Guatemalans: Indigenous peoples, Xinkas, Garífunas and Afro-descendants of Guatemala are the ones who find it most difficult to access secondary and university education.
📰U.S. asylum: Five Guatemalan mothers who were detained in centers in Arizona are suing the U.S. government for cruel treatment in the zero tolerance plan.
📰Independence Day: Belize celebrates its 38th Independence Day, commemorates “Father of the Nation” Rt. Hon. George Price eight years after his passing.
📰Environment: Work continues toward improving the water quality of Orange Walk’s New River, including the use of aerators; high levels of mercury are being discovered in fish throughout the country.
El Salvador
📰 Asylum: On Friday, the US and El Salvador signed a “cooperative asylum deal,” which may allow asylum-seekers who reach the US-Mexico border to be diverted to El Salvador. Human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, say the agreement is meant to trap asylum-seekers in a country that cannot guarantee the safety of its own nationals. 
📰 Violence: On Friday, the National Police registered 19 homicides within 24 hours, the highest number since Nayib Bukele took office on June 1. In response to the spike in violence, President Bukele held a press conference in which he threatened to reinstate the emergency measures if the killings continued. 
📰 Transgender Activism: The UN Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, has granted Salvadoran trans activist Bianka Rodriguez the Nansen Refugee Award for championing the rights of the transgender community in El Salvador. 
📰Environment: During the Global Climate Strike on September 20, students and environmentalists gathered outside the University of El Salvador (UES) to demand that the government declare an environmental emergency in the country. // A few days before,  inhabitants of various communities in ​​Soyapango organized a protest because they have not had drinking water in their homes for three months.
📰Curfew in Choloma: Given the increase in homicides, massacres and femicides in the city of Choloma, municipal authorities ordered a curfew in the southern part of the city.
📰Asylum: Honduras agreed to allow Nicaraguans and Cubans to stay in Honduras while their asylum claims to the United States are handled by Immigration Services. This could take days, weeks, or even months. 
📰Protests: Police forces repressed the community of El Hatillo by shooting live rounds and throwing tear gas at demonstrators. The community is calling for the definitive cancellation of the “Bosques de Santa Maria” residential project, which could leave thousands of families without the water supply that comes from La Tigra National Park. // The soldier accused of killing Eblin Corea, a 17 year old student, was arrested. Corea was killed on June 19th of this year, as part of greater repression against demonstrators in Yarumela, La Paz. 
📰Water shortages: There are serious water shortages in Tegucigalpa and the neighboring areas. Past mayors have not prioritized the water supply as a key issue, and thus the issue has worsened, experts say. 
📰 Human Rights: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights presented the Report on Forced Migration of Nicaraguan People to Costa Rica; forced migration of Nicaraguan people has reached more than 70,000 people; of which 55,000 have moved to Costa Rica.// Nicaragua’s government rejected 124 recommendations out of 259 made by the members of the United Nations to respect human rights and reach a resolution of the crisis. 
📰 Once missing, now found alive: Xavier Mojica, missing since June 2018 was held in captivity by paramilitary forces in undercover jails with the collaboration of the police. He was recovered 6 months ago by his family, kept clandestine, and today tells his story for the first time from abroad.
📰 Economy: Corn and beans production fell 30% and 35% due to short rains. The price of energy rises by 18.3% so far in 2019.
📰 Drugs: Anti-narcotics police in Panama have burned 26 tons of illegal drugs. The massive haul of cocaine and marijuana has been seized by the authorities in different operations between June and September. 
📰 Agreement: Singapore and Panama sign agreement to strengthen maritime relations
📰 Canal: Climate change threatens the Panama Canal. As water levels sink, ships have had to shed cargo.
Costa Rica
📰 Climate Change: Indigenous farmers in Costa Rica have to change from their traditional farming methods and adapt to newer methods that work with the changing climate, as well as deal with the limited access to roads, health care, and other resources.
📰 Award: Costa Rica has received a 2019 Champions of the Earth Award from the UN, for its efforts to protect nature and create policies to help combat climate change. 
Central American Music
Garifuna Belizean music group “Garifuna Collective” was interviewed by a US publication as the group was headed to New Mexico to perform. Here is one of their songs, enjoy!
The Garifuna Collective "Mongulu" OFFICIAL VIDEO
The Garifuna Collective "Mongulu" OFFICIAL VIDEO
Good Reads
🗨️ Breaking News Belize shares an opinion piece that argues Belize is still dependent because the “government keep[s] borrowing money from several countries and institutions to survive” and because it is “still haunted by the Guatemalan claim to our territory.”
🗨️ Blogger Tim Muth provides an overview of what we know about the asylum agreement made between the U.S. and El Salvador.
🗨️ The Hill published an opinion piece pushing U.S. Congress to denounce Honduran President Hernandez, allegedly complicit in drug-trafficking, whether it be through publicly criticizing his actions or holding oversight hearings. 
🖊️ CONNECTAS reports on sexual violence committed by the Nicaraguan national police to political opponents.
🖊️ Washington Post reports on how illiterate Central American women, who cannot decipher Department of Homeland Security documents, are being manipulated into signing deportation papers and their rights. 
🖊️ Read on the “connection between Afro-Panamanians love for gold jewelry and the Panama Canal,” a hidden story reported for Remezcla.
🎧 New podcast Central America Talks features three Hondurans who discuss politics and issues in Central America, with the first episode airing on Independence Day. They discuss Honduras’ relationship with the U.S. and their current president. 
📺 MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” went to Guatemala to demonstrate why Guatemalans are fleeing climate-change induced starvation and poverty, as reported by a government report ignored by the Trump Administration. 
“In Honduras, the saying of ‘those who don’t owe anything should not be afraid,’ ceased to be true because here innocent people who don’t do anything wrong often end up paying what they don’t owe and their deaths go unpunished,”  Oscar Hendrix said. He got murdered a few weeks ago in the southern sector of Choloma while he was grocery shopping. The quote is translated from the ContraCorriente report.
CEJIL invites you to join them in a solidarity rally, together with human rights defenders from Central America, to demand justice for the victims of repression, violence and criminalization in Honduras.
CEJIL invites you to join them in a solidarity rally, together with human rights defenders from Central America, to demand justice for the victims of repression, violence and criminalization in Honduras.
The Team
Melissa Vida, Founder and Editor
Nansi Rodríguez, Guatemala News
Rodrigo Peñalba, Nicaragua News
Jonathan Peraza Campos, Migration News
Jalileh García, Honduras News
Rachel Ketola, El Salvador News
Rachel Osorio, Costa Rica News
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