Saturday, August 2, 2014

More on the child refugee crisis

Here is an opinion piece that gives a more nuanced consideration than I have to whether Central American children surrendering themselves to US Border patrols should be classified as refugees or mere economic migrants.  This other articles fleshes out the story a bit, showing that the titles of "refugee" or "migrant" also overlap in many ways here, as parents and relatives already in the US (some prior economic migrants, and others earlier waves of war refugees) send for and pay money for their children's passage to the country. 

In this article, the president of Honduras discusses the portion of blame that should go to the US for the current crisis.  He focuses on the US demand for drugs that finance and embolden brutal gangs, as opposed to pointing out the US role in the civil wars and coups d'etat that created the conditions for and trained the membership of these gangs.  In this sense I believe he's missing part of the story, but the president of Guatemala is very clear about the Cold War roots of the problem.  And these are by no means radical, critical leftists saying this.  Hernandez of Honduras is from the right-wing party and hails from an oligarch family, and Perez Molina of Guatemala was part of the military's brutal counterinsurgency campaign during the Civil War there.  Both presidents are choosing their words carefully so as not to be confrontational or inflammatory, but even so, they feel it is important and necessary to signal the US role in generating the current crisis.

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