Honduras Repatriations

“There are No Good Coyotes”

“There are No Good Coyotes”

DINAF reports a total of 7,400 migrant minors were repatriated to Honduras through September 21.

“There are No Good Coyotes,” apart from our efforts in investigating missing children cases, we also engage in educating families about the risks of entrusting their sons and daughters to human smugglers. Children are exposed to human harassment and exploitation along the entire route,” Lizbeth Coello, DINAF.

Until September 21, 2023, a total of 7,400 migrant minors had been repatriated to Honduras after embarking on their journey along the migration route. This information was shared by Lizeth Coello, the director of the Directorate of Children, Adolescence, and Family (DINAF) and reported by Confidencial Honduras.

“Currently, we have records of 7,400 children who have been returned and have been cared for by the Centro de Atención a Migrantes Retornados Belén in San Pedro Sula. Among them, approximately 3,000 belong to family groups, including those as young as five years old,” said Coello.

“During a recent visit with President Xiomara Castro to the United States-Mexico southern border, particularly in McAllen, Texas, we had the opportunity to tour a documentation center known as Donna,” detailed Coello.

This center plays a crucial role in assisting families and, especially, adolescents who have endured the challenging journey and successfully reached their destination. Upon arrival, they are admitted to this documentation center, where they receive humanitarian aid such as first aid, personal hygiene items, and clothing. However, the primary focus here is the documentation process, which involves identifying their names and places of origin within a maximum of 72 hours, explains the DINAF leader.

This information is essential for initiating the process of sending them to refuge centers or shelters. Within these spaces, investigations continue to determine whether they can be reunited with their relatives or if further investigative processes are necessary to address their status.

While most children are accompanied by family members, it is more challenging for those who undertake the journey without any family ties. Therefore,

 

 

“We are particularly focused on ensuring the safety of the unaccompanied children and adolescents who face higher risks along the migration route,” Lizbeth Coello.

 

 

“Our approach is based on human rights, aimed at protecting them not only through investigations and measures but also by securing their lives and improving their conditions,” she continued.

President Xiomara’s government has established strong relations with the United States government to ensure humane processes and ultimately resolve each individual case.

“It’s essential to remember that these are not just statistics; each number represents a person, a child, a family seeking opportunities. We must create conditions in our country to address these needs,” expressed Coello.

The director of DINAF stated that President Xiomara “has urged us, her officials, to take coordinated actions to provide impactful responses and solutions within Honduras, before people, families, and children feel compelled to migrate.”

In response to Missing Children cases, approximately 800 have been handled so far this year. “We are currently examining whether this figure has changed compared to previous years and are collaborating with the National Registry of Persons, the National Immigration Institute, the Foreign Ministry, and United States authorities to obtain a more accurate count reflecting the reality of the situation and the conditions of these children, girls, and their families in migration,” confirmed Coello.

Regarding the number of children currently housed, there are approximately 4,000 children at the center. “A daily flow of 1,500 children, including a significant number of Hondurans, arrives at this documentation center. They receive basic care, medical evaluations, and, importantly, improved treatment conditions, including the recruitment of multidisciplinary staff such as social workers and psychologists. The measures aim to address the emotional trauma and provide necessary emotional first aid,” reported Coello.

 

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Soledad Quartucci | CEO/Founder, Latina Republic

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