The Surge of Unaccompanied Children from Central America: Causes and Policy Issues

AP741775481885FOR-WEB-02

From AmericanProgress.org
By, Dan Restrepo and Ann Garcia
July 24, 2014

Some facts about Guatemala:

  • Has the 5th most homicides in the world with a rate of 39.9 homicides per 100,000 people.
  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated overall gang membership at 22,000 people.
  • 29.1% live in extreme poverty and 54.8 % in poverty.

Some facts about El Salvador:

  • Has the 4th most homicides in the world with a rate of 41.2 homicides per 100,000 people.
  • A gang truce that reduced homicides by nearly half from March 2012 to March 2013 has unraveled, and violence has spiked to a level of 70 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2014.
  • The UNODC estimated 323 gang members per 100,000 people in 2012, meaning there were about 20,000 gang members and a police force of only 16,000.
  • More than 13.5% live in extreme poverty and 45% live in poverty.

Some facts about Honduras:

  • Has the worlds highest per-capita murder rate, which in 2012 was 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people.
  • 5 years prior to that it was 50 homicides per 100,000 so it has nearly doubled.
  • Gang membership is estimated at 36,000 members and the police force has fewer than 15,000 personnel.
  • 42.8% live in extreme poverty and 67.4% live in poverty – almost everyone lives in some level of poverty.

Some facts about the Northern Triangle:

  •  In 2011, three times more children from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador arrived at the U.S. border, with a majority from Guatemala.
  • The following year that figure doubled, totaling more than 20,000 unaccompanied minors at the border in fiscal year 2012, and for the first time eclipsing the number of Mexican children.
  • Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador were 3 of the 5 most dangerous countries in the world in 2013.

To read the full article, click HERE.

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