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Going Back Home?

Central American News
Going Back Home?
By Central American News • Issue #55 • View online

Dear Readers,
A lot of Central American asylum seekers are going back home.
Many are deported. For example, close to 65,000 Hondurans have been returned to Honduras from Mexico and the U.S. since the beginning of the year, Radio Progreso reports.
Thousands more leave their shelters - which are parking lots - on the border cities of Mexico. Around 40% of migrants have left Tijuana, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“They don’t secure us, we can’t bathe, they don’t have food — they treat us like dogs,” Claudia Lopez Galvez, 37, who had fled Guatemala with her 16-year-old daughter, told LA Times. The U.S. has returned 20,000 asylum seekers to Mexico. And until now, no one has been granted asylum through the "Remain in Mexico” policy.
But the reports stop there, and we ask ourselves, what happens to the tens of thousands of people who go back home? Do they still have a home? Will they be able to stay alive? Pay their debt to the coyote? Get back their job if they had one?
Please share with us your thoughts about this.
Salu,
The Central American News team
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Photo of the Week
From the multimedia report of the Seattle Times in Tijuana, link on photo. Photo credit: Erika Schultz
From the multimedia report of the Seattle Times in Tijuana, link on photo. Photo credit: Erika Schultz
Headlines
Migration
📰 In Mexico: In the first seven months of 2019, the Mexican government has surpassed the number of deportations of 2018. Also, about 200 migrants awaiting their asylum case proceedings in Mexico did not appear at their presentations for their court case. // Mexican police shot a Honduran migrant and then put the gun in his hand.
📰 Immigration Raid: About 680 workers were detained in “the largest single-state immigration enforcement operation carried out” in U.S. history at several Mississippi food processing plants on Wednesday.
📰 Government Database: The U.S. government’s creation of a database of reporters, attorneys, and advocates that provided resources to migrants at the southern border is being investigated.
Guatemala
📰 Elections: Guatemala’s final round of presidential elections are held on Sunday, August 11. The main candidates are Sandra Torres, from UNE, and Alejandro Giammattei, from Vamos. Both of their parties have, in past elections, had more “members” than actual votes in several municipalities. As these parties faced defamation campaigns on social media, the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal condemned the accuations.
📰 Justice/Corruption: Former Defense Minister Williams Mansilla will face prosecution for abuse of authority but managed to have the crimes of money laundering and fraud removed.
Belize
📰 People’s United Party condemns Barrow administration for lack of leadership concerning illegal logging by Guatemala along the Sarstoon River. 
📰 Belize-Cuba Solidarity Group stands in support of Venezuela in face of the US placing a new embargo against them.
📰 New desalination technology hopes to give many Belizeans more access to clean water by using the Caribbean Sea.
Honduras
📰 U.S. Relations: Nancy Pelosi, as part of the congressional delegation from the U.S. to Honduras, ensured that “there can be no security without first ending corruption, and no prosperity without justice.“ She also affirmed the delegation’s support for the Maccih, the OAS mandated anti-corruption body. The delegation also met with Berta Caceres’ family, civil society organizations, and held a press conference where Rep. McGovern shared his “deep, deep concern about the alleged culture of corruption and human rights abuse surrounding Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández.” 
📰Protests: Hundreds of Hondurans peacefully protested in the city’s capital demanding that the president resign. The protests were organized after the President Juan Orlando Hernandez was signaled as being a co-conspirator in his brother’s drug-trafficking case last week, according to documents in a court in New York. 
📰Repression: National Police officers attacked a cameraman of Channel 11 and threw tear gas bombs at a bus with the students inside who were from the National Autonomous University of Valle de Sula (UNAH-VS). // The UN High Commissioner’s Office in Honduras condemned the attacks
📰Political prisoners: Human rights activists Edwin Espinal and Raúl Álvarez were released on bail pending trial. During the post-electoral crisis, the two activists were accused of causing damage to a hotel in Tegucigalpa.
El Salvador
📰 LGBTQ: The Constitutional Chamber will evaulate two lawsuits that allege that the prohibition of same-sex marriage in the national Family Code is unconstitutional. // LGBT rights activists are concerned with the government’s decision to remove the Social Inclusion Secretariat.
📰 U.S. Relations: This week, a delegation from the U.S. Congress led by House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, visited El Salvador. During the visit, Pelosi voiced concerns over Trump’s approach to curbing migration from Central America and emphasized the importance of seeking justice in the case of El Mozote. // Echoing Trump’s hard-lined rhetoric, the Director of ICE threatened that Salvadorans who attempt to migrate to the U.S. without permission will be “arrested, detained and deported” during a press conference at the U.S. consulate in El Salvador. 
📰Corruption: President Nayib Bukele announces that he will launch the International Commission against Impunity in El Salvador (CICIES) within the first 100 days of his presidential term.
📰Indigenous Peoples:  Nawat, Lenca and Kakawira people are concerned about the announcement of President Bukele on streamlining environmental permits.
Nicaragua
📰 Money: A new law obliges lawyers and accountants to denounce any operations that they consider suspicious of “terrorist financing, money laundering and financing to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”. The same law forces all kinds of financial companies, like remittance agencies, to report any transaction over US$500 dollars. // Government increased its fiscal revenues despite recession, through its tax reform.
📰 Health: Dengue epidemic and overall decline in the quality of service in the health ministry is related to the layoff of 400 doctors and specialists.
📰 Human Trafficking: Seven Nicaraguans were arrested in Spain as they are suspected of being part of a criminal cell that was dedicated to exploiting Nicaraguan women in Spain.  
Costa Rica
📰 Tons of seized cocaine: Costa Rican authorities reported on Friday that in the first 9 days of August they have seized almost 2.2 tons of cocaine in cases involving a small plane, fishing boats and a container in port. 13 people are detained. 
📰 Costa Rica’s “Before-and-After” Corruption Scandal: In the wake of the “cementazo” corruption scandal, Costa Rica’s Attorney General Emila Navas spoke to America’s Quarterly to discuss the state of the country’s anti-corruption movement and about rebuilding Costa Rica’s justice system.
📰 Drought detection: NASA detected drought in Guanacaste region in Costa Rica with special thermal radiometer system.
Panama
📰 Martinelli, close to a sentence?:  Panama’s public prosecutor asked a court “to make an example” of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli, who is accused of spying on political foes and of graft. Martinelli claims his innocence. 
📰 Costa Rica: Authorities in Panama and Costa Rica have jointly dismantled an international human smuggling ring. Given that success, Panama’s government is preparing a bill to create the Integrated Control System at the border with Costa Rica. This would simplify the transit of people, vehicles and goods between the two countries.
📰 China and Panama: Panama will “strengthen and strengthen” its commercial relations with China, said Foreign Minister Ferrer. China and Panama are currently negotiating a free trade agreement.
Lenca Language: a Revival?
In El Salvador, the last probable speaker of the Lenca indigenous language Potón, Salvador Hernandez, is attempting to transmit the language to future generations. Linguists and academics see the hope, not only that it will survive, but that it will be recovered. Link on photo.
In El Salvador, the last probable speaker of the Lenca indigenous language Potón, Salvador Hernandez, is attempting to transmit the language to future generations. Linguists and academics see the hope, not only that it will survive, but that it will be recovered. Link on photo.
Good Reads and Conversations
🗨️ Insight Crime publishes an analysis on why El Salvador’s peaceful month may not be be due to Bukele’s Security Plan.
🗨️ Gabriella Sanchez from the Migration Policy Centre of the European University writes that the El Paso shooting that targeted immigrants and Mexicans, “the largest racial attack on Hispanics” in U.S. history, must not be decontextualized from a history of racial violence at the border. 
🗨️ The Safe Third Country Agreement between the U.S. and Guatemala was achieved through coercion in an attempt to continue legacies of colonialism in Central America, according to a piece in NACLA.
✒️ More than 2 million people in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua have been affected by the destruction of their crops due to climate change, reports Radio Progreso. Many families are planning to leave.
🎧 Code Switch from NPR discussed whether U.S. immigration detention centers could be called “concentration camps” or not.
El Norte
For its 35th anniversary, Gregory Nava’s 1984 film “El Norte” about Guatemalan siblings that flee violence in their country for a life in the United States will play in U.S. theaters on September 15.
El Norte (1983) ORIGINAL TRAILER [HD 1080p]
El Norte (1983) ORIGINAL TRAILER [HD 1080p]
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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