Honduran migrants motivated by familiar Central American anxieties: violence, corruption, poverty

Kara Marxer
October 24, 2018 - 6:13 am

John Moore-Getty Images South America

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Millions of Americans wonder what is drawing thousands of Central Americans, many from Honduras, to form a caravan to march north to the United States border.

Advocates say the primary reason for the march is asylum in the U.S.

Poor living conditions, violence and widespread corruption in and out of government make it worth the risk for people to pack up and walk hundreds of miles, said Dr. Clara Irazabal-Zurita, director of UMKC's Latina/Latino studies program. 

"There's corruption in the church, in other social institutions, in the military, in the police," Irzabel-Zurita said. "It is endemic."

People commonly have to pay local gangs just to open stores or to continue to live in a particular neighborhood. The fear and hopelessness is enough to force people away from their homes.

"When you don't have anything to lose, you risk all you have," Irzabel-Zurita said.

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