Extreme Violence & Poverty Drives Honduran Children to the U.S.

Monday, June 30, 2014

A young child walks home in an area known for heavy drug dealing on July 18, 2012 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Honduras now has the highest per capita murder rate in the world. (Spencer Platt/Getty)

The White House is requesting $2 billion in emergency funding to stem the increasing flow of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. So far this year, more than 52,000 Central American children have been detained at the border after making the arduous trip unaccompanied by a parent.

Most of these children are coming from Honduras, fleeing a life of poverty and extreme violence. A 2012 United Nations report named Honduras the murder capital of the world, with 90 homicides occurring per every 100,000 residents.

The White House has announced additional plans to create more economic opportunities for farmers in Central America, but that won't stem the intense gang violence overcoming urban centers, which is driving children to travel thousands of miles alone in search of safety and opportunity.

David Martin Davies, Texas Public Radio's news director, traveled to Honduras to see where and how their journeys begin.


David Martin Davies

Produced by:

Megan Quellhorst and Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [2]

Jose from Brooklyn, NY

This is a serious and very important topic that needs approaching with real data and smart comments. The person above mentions rape of Americans as a product of illegal immigration but the facts tell a different story. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network provide us with data that contradicts this person's comments. Read below and you'll see that 52% of convicted rapists are white and that they are already in the country and are not necessarily illegal immigrants.

Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.
73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.
38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
28% are an intimate.
7% are a relative.

Let's approach the subject with intelligence and facts.

Jul. 01 2014 01:08 PM
John from Boston

This is about as low as you can sink, John. The latest excuse for the wave of illegal immigration is the gang violence in Honduras, which was caused by .... the United States!!! Are you kidding??? WE CAUSED CENTRAL AMERICAN GANG VIOLENCE??? So I guess that means that since we caused the gang violence down there, we have no choice but to atone by letting millions of people pour in with the claim that they are fleeing violence and poverty. Despite what your creative if fact challenged reporter said, it is clear that this wave of illegal immigration was caused by loose talk of an amnesty here and all the talk about the Dreamers. It is not the children that one should ask why they are coming here, it is their PARENTS, who are sending the children, and they are doing so because of feckless US policies and irresponsible talk about an amnesty. The president has tacitly admitted as much by his belated words and actions aimed at stemming the flow.

Honduras had 2.5 million people in 1960. It has almost 8 million today. The same is true of other Central American countries. Unless these countries get a handle on their population growth, there is no way to help them. And we should not bail them out by importing their poverty and pathology into OUR country. Absolutely not. We have plenty of experience of what this means for the average American. Google up articles about Mexican gangs in the US, or Americans killed or raped by illegal aliens. Why should import more of this??? We should just enforce our current laws instead, and Mexico and the rest be damned.

Jun. 30 2014 11:53 AM

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