Central Americans make long journey north to escape violence

World Today

Central Americans make long journey north to escape violence

Experts say what makes today’s Latin American undocumented immigration different is a large numbers of unaccompanied minors making the dangerous trip north. CCTV’s Franc Contreras reports more.

The San Pedro River is located in the remote El Peten region of northern Guatemala. Daily, hundreds of undocumented Central American migrants use this river because it’s their fastest route into Mexico. This is a key part of the migrant smuggling network that moves tens of thousands of people, mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, northward.

Central Americans make long journey north to escape violence

Central Americans make long journey north to escape violence

Experts say what makes today’s Latin American undocumented immigration different is a large numbers of unaccompanied minors making the dangerous trip north. CCTV's Franc Contreras reports more.

One family from Honduras is traveling with their young daughter, who is not quite two years old. The long road has been especially hard on her. They say they left their homeland because of death threats from a local gang. The wife says their entire neighborhood in Honduras has been under attack for months.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees Mexico office says many Central Americans, including a growing number of families and unaccompanied minors, are fleeing violence.

Two teenage cousins from Honduras are making the difficult and often dangerous trek through Mexico, hoping that their lives will improve if they can reach the United States. After more than two hours under the hot sun, some undocumented migrants have reached a remote ranch. Up the hill, a smuggler’s vehicle waited for them.

The migrants make their way to Mexico. The people who accompany them say it’s about a two-hour drive. They’re going to have to confront a situation that’s quite difficult for them all along the way as they leave this part of Central America.

A few were unable to pay for the smuggler’s ride, which costs less than 25 dollars. Those will have to make the next part of the long and difficult journey by foot.